There is a scary period in any K-pop group career that fans always dread and anticipate the most: contract renewal.
Most groups' contracts envisage activities for 7 years, and in 2022 the uncertainty hovers over artists who debuted in 2015. One of these groups is Monsta X, currently consisting of six members.
Discussions whether to prolong or not their contract with their agency, Starship Entertainment, have started in the beginning of this year but only now the label has made their decision public. Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon and Joohoney have renewed their contracts with Starship Entertainment, while their maknae, Im Changkyun a.k.a I.M, decided to leave the agency for good.
When the artists who trained, lived and performed together for such a long time start making different plans for their future, it always leads to many worries of the fans. The fandom, Monbebe, can't help but overthink the lyrics to one of the last released songs that I.M wrote and composed which is 'Monsta X – AND' from their recent mini album 'Shape Of Love' (April, 2022). I.M himself sings such meaningful lyrics as 'I'll remember that all of this was beautiful' and 'I earnestly pray that you don't forget me'. What could it possibly be about if not the artist's worries about this upcoming uncertainty?
Many fans initially got scared that Monsta X will lose another member after Wonho's departure from the group in 2019 but I.M has reassured in his statement that he only left Starship Entertainment and has agreed to continue participating in future Monsta X activities. Im Changkyun also posted a handwritten letter where he explained that he needs a new challenge but he values his group, and their activities are still important to him, so "Monsta X will always stay with Monbebes as a 6 person group".
"Just saw someone saying that despite his traumatic experience being added in the middle of the survival show and has numerous time expressing frustration against SS, Changkyun still chose the group and that just proves how he loves MX and MBB so much especially now." – @nunudanaa
Unexpectedly, a lot of fans seemed happy with this turn of events, claiming the agency couldn't treat the rapper well anyway, always giving him bad promotions. Now they hope for many new solo I.M activities to come in the nearest future.
"Starship did Changkyun dirty so many times I don't blame him." – @madsunmerch
Despite the fact that Monsta X members have to do their obligatory military service now and group activities might become less intense in the next few years, loyal fans decided to put their trust into the artists and believe that they chose the best options for themselves.