Jung Yoon Ki finally submitted the lyrics and got confirmation from Yong PD, allowing the recording of the title song to go smoothly.
The title song name and album name was decided, and after that, they moved on to recording ‘You’ that will be included in the album. There was also a change in the composition of the album.
It was obvious that Jung Yoon Ki’s recognizability will rise once < Student Rapper > starts to air. The company wanted to use that in whatever way they could. The idea Do Wook suggested at that moment was to produce and pre-release the intro of the song.
“Pre-release the intro?”
When he tossed that idea to Yong Soo Chul, who was worried about that part as the album’s sole producer, he reacted immediately.
Perhaps because of his peculiar background and his natural disposition, Yong Soo Chul was more open minded than other composers. He immediately reacted to Do Wook’s idea, which was about a half step faster than others of his time, and thought he could interpret it according to the trend.
Pre-releasing the intro was not a standardized method for idol group album promotion yet. However, if the intro is well made, it definitely has the power to make people listen to the entire KK album. It was his intuition as someone who was a PR employee.
This plan was also possible because they believed the intro would come out with outstanding quality. That belief came from their belief in rapper Jung Yoon Ki and PD Yong Soo Chul.
“Yes. I think it’d be good if we can showcase Yoon Ki’s rap in a short but strong way.”
“Hmmm… I’ll have to think about it a little more, but it’s good. That’s the direction of what the company wants too.”
Yong Soo Chul said he’ll have to think about it, but that very day he started to look for beats to use in the album intro among the beats he had created. He felt around 50 seconds would be enough for the song length.
Additionally, he instructed Jung Yoon Ki to write a rap that will go well with the lyrics of ‘Sorry but I love you’. Thanks to that, KK’s debut album was becoming an album that was completed with a precise storyline.
Learning the choreography for the title song, the jacket photoshoot, the music video shoot, etc., were done sequentially yet simultaneously.
The schedule raged on nonstop. Every waking moment starting from when they opened their eyes, the members moved under Oh Baek Ho’s instructions all day without any free will. Even blinking was determined by the schedule. Although they were yawning and rubbing their sleepy eyes all day, not one of the members complained.
It was because they were feeling the debut day getting closer and closer every day.
During that time, the < Student Rapper > broadcast started.
In the first episode, Jung Yoon Ki’s performance was aired right away. Sites where hip hop fans gather were a given, but all sorts of communities were restless. They were all united in praise of Jung Yoon Ki. Even Jung Yoon Ki’s past season performance was a hot topic, with many opinions stating it’s a shame he only made it to Top 4.
On top of that, Do Wook’s interview aired right before they revealed the results of the 1st place winner of the preliminaries.
The candidates Do Wook mentioned were Cadiate 20 and Candidate 26. The candidate he predicted to get the highest score in the first round of performances was Candidate 20.
It was an accurate prediction. For Do Wook, it wasn’t a prediction since he was just stating a fact he already knew, but he still became a person who made an accurate prediction. The person who got the highest score in the first round of performances, breaking everyone’s expectations, was not Candidate 1, but Candidate 20.
Everyone expected Candidate 1 because of his popularity, but when judging or scoring them, they had given Candidate 20 the high scores as if they were possessed.
Accurate analysis on top of good looks. Do Wook didn’t just attract people’s attention, he exuded it. There were hundreds, thousands of pictures captured of Do Wook standing in the audience listening to the performances and scenes from his interview that were circulating on the internet.
The two of them were getting attention at the same time and the internet even found out that Jung Yoon Ki and Do Wook were both trainees at the same agency. HIT Entertainment thought the timing was right and released an article stating they were preparing a group called KK and that it will debut from the end of this month to the beginning of next month.
Once it became known that Do Wook was debuting, the minor constraint of going around as a civilian disappeared and even the video of Do Wook’s interview was uploaded.
At internet cafes where lots of women go, there were up to a thousand comments and posts about the video with a substantial amount of people saying they’d be his fan no matter what if he debuts.
[I left a comment saying your personality is the best too!!!]
Do Wook had been stuck in the rehearsal hall so he hadn’t had much opportunity to enjoy his popularity. Do Wook finally felt like his hard work was paying off after reading the message from his older cousin, Kang Seo Hyun.
He received messages from all his friends that they saw him on the internet, even ones that attend different schools.
Later, as < Student Rapper > continued to air, aside from being known for his good looks, Do Wook started to be revered as ‘Idol of Nostrada’. This was because Candidate 26, whom nobody was paying attention to at the time of the first round performances, gradually showed his skills and became a favorite to win.
Do Wook’s interview was a hot topic on the internet so even Candidate 26 mentioned him in an interview, making a half-joking comment that he was thankful that the Idol of Nostrada noticed him.
After both Candidate 20 and Candidate 26 advanced to the Top 4, there were rumors saying it was rigged by Do Wook’s agency and the broadcast company, but when someone gains popularity, it was inevitable to get some backlash.
“Dude, how did you know that Candidate 26 will do well?”
“Do Wook… I’m getting goosebumps.”
The members who came down to the conference room where the TV was after receiving instructions to gather were huddled up and watching reruns of < Student Rapper >, which was the only hobby they enjoyed these days.
Do Wook laughed at Jung Yoon Ki and Ahn Hyung Seo, who were clicking their tongues while watching the broadcast.
“I just said that because I thought Candidate 26 did really well.”
“That’s true, his basic skills were outstanding. Still, he was kind of average that day…Dude, your good looks are enough, but you even have a good ear.”
When Jung Yoon Ki muttered sadly, all the other members nodded in agreement.
Just then, RDT Team Leader Im Sung Ahn and Manager Oh Baek Ho came into the conference room. The members immediately tensed up their previously loosened bodies and greeted the two of them.
As Team Leader Im Sung Ahn accepted the greeting and sat down in the middle of the conference room, Manager Oh Baek Ho changed the channel with the remote and turned on the SVS channel, one of the public broadcasts.
It was perfect timing. The performance was ending, and the camera turned back to the MC.
“Ms. Lae Im! I heard that you have a very sad story to tell?”
“Yes, one moment! Let me wipe my tears first. Next week, M2M will be wrapping up its activity for this album. Next week’s goodbye performance…Please prepare your hearts and watch the show!”
“Still, they’ll return very soon so don’t be too sad. I have happy news too! Next week we have a scary rookie’s debut performance prepared.”
“Yes! KK’s debut performance! Please look forward to it~!”
“Ok, then the 1st place nominees…”
Oh Baek Ho turned off the TV power. The members’ faces who were watching the TV turned white. Even Do Wook, who usually kept his indifferent face no matter what situation, could not hide his nervousness.
They all knew that next week was the debut performance, but it was different hearing their group name being called by famous MCs on air like this.
For Do Wook, it wasn’t just a debut performance. He was also preoccupied over the fact that he might run into M2M.
“I’m sure you were all informed, but the debut is next week on SVS’s ‘Life Song’. Let’s work hard until the very end to prepare for it.”
The members replied to Team Leader Im Sung Ahn’s remarks. Im Sung Ahn then announced the planned schedule.
“We’ll release one member’s jacket photo a day, and the music video and online music file will both be released at midnight on the day of the show. The album will be released in stores nationwide on Monday the very next day.”
Everyone oddly felt like they couldn’t breathe.
“Also we’ll start the intro pre-release at midnight today.”
It started immediately from today.
KK’s debut became a much bigger event than the original.
What Do Wook initially planned for was the debut song to be popular. However, as he prepared for the debut, there was a way to get more popularity more quickly, and it was because it was managed well.
The intro started about 80th place on the music chart. However, because the song was good, people who had heard the intro were all looking forward to the album coming out.
Also, with good promotion as Jung Yoon Ki’s official debut first song, there were several articles released and one of them became a portal popular news. Thanks to that, everyone interested in the entertainment industry found out about the jacket photos being released at midnight daily.
They had Jung Yoon Ki and Do Wook to draw interest, but KK also had Suk Ji Hoon as a secret card as an interest grabber.
As expected, when Suk Ji Hoon was announced, related articles were overflowing with comments asking if it really is the Suk Ji Hoon from Dongui Bogam*, saying he’s all grown up and crying congratulatory tears as if he was their own child.
(TL note: Dongui Bogam is a medical encyclopedia and means ‘Mirror of Eastern Medicine.’)
The jacket photos were all released, and the entire album sound file and music video was released immediately after.
After midnight, the members anxiously observed the public’s reaction while practicing for their debut performance that will take place on the music broadcast that afternoon. Jung Yoon Ki left a notebook computer connected to one side of the rehearsal hall.
Smartphones had been invented a little while back, so it was possible to go on the internet on your phone, but not one of the members owned a smartphone. It was because per policy, cell phone access had been prohibited for a the time being right before the debut.
They could only use phones freely when they left the rehearsal hall and went home, but they barely had enough time to sleep lately and weren’t able to go home from time to time as they used to.
Anyways, thanks to being a little behind in the latest product, everyone was huddled around in front of a 17 inch notebook computer.
“Hurr, 22nd place!”
Jung Yoon Ki shouted as he refreshed the live music chart. Ranked 22nd on the biggest music chart entity in the nation. It was undoubtedly a good grade for rookies who haven’t even been on stage once yet. Suk Ji Hoon, who had been calmed, asked back, surprised.
“That’s crazy! Ugh, my heart!”
Ahn Hyung Seo rolled around the rehearsal hall floor, causing a ruckus.
‘It’s a good grade. The song is good so as time passes it’s bound to go up in ranking. It’d be nice if we can get first place during this promotion…’
Do Wook thought once again that he should put his heart and soul into song promot.
“Music…Let’s watch the music video too…”
“Oh, yeah. Let’s watch the music video.”
At Park Tae Hyung’s words, Jung Yoon Ki moved his mouse and opened one more internet tab.
Starting with the jacket photo release, KK got an official homepage.
As expected, the music video was pinned on the home page of the official website right on time.
“Oh, my gosh, such a weird feeling! Goosebumps~!”
The members had already seen the final version of the music video with the CEO, but Kim Won shouted that it felt different watching it as a video that was released to the world.
Just then, Oh Baek Ho came into the rehearsal hall holding bags of snacks in both hands.
The members were preoccupied watching the music video even though it was snacks they had been waiting on for so long. Oh Baek Ho had also checked the ranking and music video reactions on his phone before he came. He looked at the members with pride and was also looking forward to the debut performance as much as the members were.