When we last left off with WASSUP, Nada, Jinju, and Dain had filed a lawsuit against Mafia Records asking for contract termination over lack of payment. The record company had fired back by saying that they hadn’t made enough money, with one source saying the group was still over $400k in debt.
Hong Sung Yong, the CEO of Mafia Records, tried to explain his case to the press. Basically he said that Nada demanded the financial statements and he gave them to her to show that they indeed had not gotten out of debt.
Nada, after wrapping up ‘Unpretty Rapstar 3, asked for the group’s financial statements to see the earnings in detail. I personally met her and handed her the statements around September 2016. The statements showed every expense incurred by the group, all income earned along with the relevant receipts. Nada said the income did not make sense in relation to her solo activities along with the group’s activities. What she must understand is that during the 3 years or so Wa$$up has been promoting, there was no solid income so the debt was intact. Also, the amount isn’t very large compared to other company idols.
That one paragraph of substance was also surrounded by three paragraphs of public relations bullshit, though.
It is very unfortunate that Nada, Jinji and Dain have decided to submit a contract dismissal and leave Wa$$up and the Mafia Records family. With them leaving, Wa$$up will be composed of four members: Sujin, Jiae, Wooju and Nari. They had all been preparing for their comeback tirelessly and to have an issue come down like this is so unfortunate. Wa$$up was gearing towards a March comeback along with Nada and the other members. We had finished recording two new songs, prepared the album’s thematic direction and were near completion for the upcoming comeback. I feel very sorry for the remaining members to have such bad news when we were almost done.
I worked as a manger for 18 years and with the money I saved, created Mafia Records and Wa$$up. I believed that even though the company and the group were struggling – with our hope for a better future together, we all could have been happy. It is sad to hear that they want to leave for the wrong reasons.
Christ, does every company have to refer to themselves as some type of family? Come on, man.
Anyway, Nada released a statement of her own, claiming that the trio didn’t leave for financial reasons but because they had no trust in the company anymore.
I did not file the lawsuit because of money. It’s not because of financial reasons. People seem to think that I am trying to terminate my contract because I gained some popularity with “Unpretty Rapstar 3” but that’s far from the truth. I asked for financial statements before I even went on that show along with every member of Wa$$up. If I was looking out for my interests, I would not have filed a joint lawsuit with Jinju and Dain.
So not financial, supposedly, but it did basically come down to how the money was handled.
Every time I asked for the statements, the company would tell me the company was in a bad situation and I trusted them to show them to me later. They were my company so I believed them and patiently waited. The reason I wanted the financial statements was because I wanted to see if the expenses and earnings were being calculated correctly in accordance to our original contracts. I received the statements for the first time after 3 years from my debut date and I was shocked at the state of the statements. The statements we received were convoluted and not transparent at all. They weren’t made monthly and were all out of order. The documents omitted many earnings, contained personal expenses made by the director and other expenses that were irrelevant to the group. According to our original contract, expenses such as investments, employee salaries and personal expenses by the Director should not be counted against our earnings. The contract says the only expenses that would be count against our earnings were: food, housing, styling and transportation.
I have no idea how much of this is true, but if they’re right on a technical sense in terms of what the contract reads, then all of this public haggling is pointless in the end. That goes triply so if the CEO actually put personal expenses on their debt like Nada alludes to and/or if they were randomly adding on stuff that wasn’t supposed to be there.
Each member roughly owes $65,000 to the company. Yes, it’s true that compared to other companies, the debt is not large. But without the supporting documents, I can’t believe it in face-value. Because the first statements were incomplete, I asked for a re-evaluated statement with more information but the debt was larger in the updated statement. There were expenses for lessons that we never received and now I believe our debt statement isn’t fully accurate.
$65,000 per member. I mean … honestly they might as well file anyway, at their status in the K-pop game they were never making that back.
Wa$$up’s comeback was announced to be slated for March 2017 and I find that weird. The song that was picked for our comeback was recorded early 2016 and if March was really the comeback date, there would’ve been preparations made. There was zero mention of a choreography being prepared or music video production being scheduled. The remaining members are all young and they might find the whole situation they’re faced with as daunting. I understand their wishes to stay in the company. All the members have no ill-feelings towards each other, we are all friends.
So that throws cold water on the three aforementioned paragraphs where the CEO tries to make the remaining members victims. Perhaps more shitty is the inference that they all wanted to leave together, but the others were gun shy about committing filing a lawsuit. I’ll just say that I sure hope this part is true, or leaving trio using the members as a shield would be a terrible thing to do and would only put them under further scrutiny.
I wanted to resolve all these legal matters in the background but it was impossible and now I’m a public target. I contacted Director Hong before all of this went public to solve matters internally. He never replied so I had no choice to take legal action and take this to court. At first I had dreams as to what I wanted to do after I left the company but now I’m not sure about my future. I just want to resolve the current issue and see what happens. Future companies will probably be cautious to sign me due to this issue and that bothers me as well.
By the closing, Nada seems like she’s accepted her fate, for better or worse.
At this point in time, I’m more keen to believe the trio that left because their argument is far more complete and detailed. Most of the Mafia Records thing was fluff dedicated to generate sympathy, whereas the retort was a combination of debunking the said fluff and giving specifics on the details of the problem.
Still a long way to go unless this gets settled out of the blue, but considering there’s about $200,000 on the table right now, that seems doubtful. Court it is.