Boy band 82Major touts tougher hip-hop sound in new EP 'Beat by 82'


Laid-back, easy-listening pop songs seem to have become a trend in 2024's K-pop releases, but boy band 82Major has gone against the grain, releasing all-out hip-hop music that intends to “Choke” the listeners into submission with its pure power.

“Beat by 82” was released last Monday as the band’s first EP. It is 82Major's second release since debuting on Oct. 11, 2023, with the single “ON.”

82Major is the first boy band to debut under Great M Entertainment, a K-pop agency founded in 2020 by Kim Young-sun, also one of the founders of FNC Entertainment. Kim took part in producing groups like FTIsland, CNBlue, AOA, N.Flying, SF9 and Cherry Bullet. Former AOA member Choa signed an exclusive contract with Great M Entertainment in 2020.

The name 82Major comes from the number 82, Korea's international calling code, and the word "major," reflecting the group's aspiration to be a pop act that becomes a major player in the K-pop scene.

And for the latest album, “Beat by 82,” 82Major wanted to highlight those very two things through unique hip-hop beats and the band's Koreanness.


“It’s an album that carries our confident ambition to show the world what 82Major’s beats and music are,” Dogyun said in an email interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily.

“Beat by 82” is an EP that oozes a powerful hip-hop essence throughout its four tracks, starting with lead track “Choke” and followed by B-side tracks “Birthday,” “Illegal” and “82.” Members took part in writing lyrics for all of the tracks, as they did in their debut release.

“We can feel ourselves having grown through this album, especially because all the members took part in making the album's songs,” Seokjoon said. “What’s great is that even outside of the album itself, we got to become closer with each other and learned to take everything more seriously through the album.”

Going against the dominant easygoing vibe of current K-pop was a conscious and intentional choice, but it doesn’t mean that the band can't make those types of songs. In fact, its previous single release included the casual dance track “Sure Thing” (2023), a well-made, easy-pop — as the genre is being called in Korea — song showing the band is perfectly capable of making such music.

And should they ever need to tone down their vibe with more laid-back music, they would be willing to do so, 82Major said.


“We want to be able to present music that’s ‘only 82Major,’ here and there, when the timing presents itself,” Sungmo said. “We think that people who liked ‘Sure Thing’ from our debut will like ‘Birthday’ from this album. We want to keep on challenging ourselves with all genres of music. We know that we can do it, so we hope you stay tuned for what we have to show.”

Versatility is an important part of 82Major that the band aims to continue throughout its career. During its debut showcase held on Oct. 11, 2023, the band said that it wanted to become a group “that’s like a toilet roll.”

Yes — a toilet roll. And today, the members are still sticking to this aim.

“We still want to be a group that’s like a toilet roll,” Dogyun said. “What we mean by this is that we want people to want us, to need us, just like they need the toilet roll. We especially hope to be like toilet rolls for our fans.”


“And also like a chameleon — so, a chameleon toilet roll?” Yechan said with a laugh.

Another thing the bandmates mentioned during their debut was that they were excited to meet fans for the first time through their meet and greets and concerts. The band held its first meet and greet with fans in November, a month after debut.

“We got to talk so much with fans, more than we expected,” Sungmo said. “We talked so much, and while answering their questions, we felt like we became so much closer than before.”

“I remember that a fan told me, ‘You are my everyday energy,’” Sungbin said. “That made me think, ‘Wow, this is why I became an idol.’ I never realized how fulfilling and honorable it is to be able to give someone else energy. It has really stuck in my heart.”


The band is adamant on remaining the unique group it is, with a goal of spreading the “82” spirit around the world. When asked what the band members thought was the essence of their music's “Korean” vibe, they had a clear answer.

“First of all, I feel so proud that K-pop is being loved so much around the world,” Sungbin said.

“The ‘most’ Korean form of music would be traditional gugak music, but we believe that every variation of music made in Korea that presents itself at different times and contexts is all Korean music. We ourselves have been influenced by the pop music of our parents’ generation right up to the songs that K-pop groups are releasing these days.”

“What we aim to do is take all that and build our own musical challenges upon such foundations, not just hip-hop,” he continued. “If we get to express the things that 82Major feels and thinks, then that will be the most ‘Korean’ to all of us. That’s why we want to be as sincere as we can with every detail of our activities.”


The band’s next moves haven’t been decided yet, but the members have their hopes of doing something different.

“We’ve shown you our powerful side, so we want to come back with a sexy concept next time,” Seongil said.

“I want to go with a gentleman-style concept — something refined but also powerful,” Yechan said.

Find out more about 82Major at Celeb Confirmed