Less than two months since the release of their second Korean studio album, The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE, TXT is gearing up to release a new repackage. While the tracklist is yet to be revealed, it’s already becoming a point of contention as several producers accuse Big Hit Music of using them as “free labor.”
Repackage album The Chaos Chapter: FIGHT OR ESCAPE will be released on August 17, with the tracklist set to drop on August 7. In the past, Big Hit Music has been known to reach out to producers directly, asking them to create songs for their artists. Typically, these songs make it to the final album. However, several producers are now alleging that the company used a different method to produce TXT’s upcoming album.
Today, American electronic musician Gupi took to Twitter to reveal all. According to Gupi, Big Hit Music “pitted a bunch of hyperpop producers against each other without telling any of them.” Essentially, Gupi claims that the agency asked several producers to spend weeks penning tracks for The Chaos Chapter: FIGHT OR ESCAPE without letting them know that their songs may not be used in the final album—and thus, may not be compensated.
Soon after, another producer named Kevin Brim revealed that he, too, was one of the producers Big Hit Music approached. Brim says that his team was asked to write six songs for TXT, and it seems that none of them were selected for the final album.
In response, Gupi replied that “giant industry machine” Big Hit Music used up-and-coming producers such as themselves as “pretty much free labor.”
Yet another producer, Umru, indicated that he too may have been led into Big Hit Music’s proposal. So far, the songwriter whose demo was ultimately chosen for TXT is yet to speak up or reveal their identity.
Some K-Pop fans are arguing that the team at Big Hit Music aren’t in the wrong for their actions, stating that the producers involved shouldn’t expect compensation if their songs weren’t good enough.
If they didn’t use your stuff then they didn’t benefit at all from your free labor. You on the other hand, were able to realize your bare minimum isn’t going to be accepted and learned to work on your craft more. They aren’t just going to use your stuff just bc YoU wOrKeD hArD+
— ⟬⟭ ᴮᴱ BTS_Genre⁷ ⟭⟬ (@BTS_ARMYFANACC_) July 22, 2021
Many also claim that this is how the music industry typically works.
my dude, thats how the industry works. this has happened to every producer in this industry💀💀
— STREAM 0X1 ❆ (@txt4thgenleadz) July 22, 2021
While it’s true that producers frequently produce demos that may or may not get accepted by the agency involved, these demos are typically unsolicited. When an agency reaches out to producers with direct requests, many say it’s customary for those songwriters to receive payment.
do the quotes and the replies realise they didn't send beats to the company, they were REQUESTED to send beats, then UNKNOWINGLY pitted against other producers and then not compensated? https://t.co/m6wthdD6fK
— lilith is TRYING to be ia-ish (@loveis4wols) July 22, 2021
On this opposing side, many fans believe that Big Hit Music was wrong by withholding the reality of the situation from the producers when hiring their creative services, with some condemning others for defending the company.
it's beyond me how kpop stans will listen to music and praise a group for their "perfect discography" and never once think abt the producers behind it. and once it is revealed how the people who work behind the scenes are treated they will go as far as defend the company
— sharls🍀 (@skzxsttay) July 22, 2021
ppl are trying to defend this by saying this is how songwriting camps go but iirc producers get compensated in some way for camps + theyre AWARE theres gonna be multiple ppl writing for the same thing. this is going behind a bunch of producers' backs which is awful of them https://t.co/iLV6mmqhHr
— 🐱 i have a bfa i can clock creative exploitation (@luckywavingcat) July 22, 2021
Big Hit Music is yet to comment on the allegations.