Did CUBE steal trainees from JYP?

Many people suffer from the misconception that Cube Entertainment is merely a subsidiary of JYP Entertainment. This conjecture may stem from the fact that current CEO of Cube Entertainment, Hong Seung-Sung also happened to be the previous CEO of JYP Entertainment. Cube was founded in 2008 and since then, has debuted a number of notable artists including: 4 minute (2009), B2ST (2009), G.NA (2010), A-Pink (2011) and BTOB (2012).

Now there have been many notable artists who were trained by JYP, but have since debuted with Cube Entertainment. So did Cube Entertainment pinch them away? Or were the idols transferred amicably through agreement with JYP?

Idols who were previous JYP trainees include:


Was originally set to debut as the leader of ‘Five Girls‘ under Good Entertainment. Her hit song ‘Black and White‘ won all three music program awards (Music Bank, Mnet & Inkigayo) in 2011.


Originally a member of Wonder Girls but left due to chronic gastroenteritis. She transferred to Cube in 2008 and debuted as a member of 4 Minute. Hyuna’s been the subject of a number of controversies with her solo album ‘Change‘ being hit with a 19+ age rating in 2010. She released her mini-album ‘Bubble-Pop‘ in 2011 but the dance component was partially banned due to “racy content“. As well as solo activities, Hyuna is part of the sub-unit ‘Troublemaker’ with B2ST’s Hyunseung.

Ji Hyun (Leader of 4 Minute):

4minute debuted with “Hot Issue’ in 2009 and since then have delivered a number of hit songs up to “Mirror Mirror” in 2011. The Group won the 2010 Billboard Japan Music Awards for “Kpop New Artist Award”. They also received the Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards in 2011. 4minute is scheduled to make their comeback mid-April this year.

Yang Yo-Seob, Lee Gi-Kwang, Yoon Doo-Joon (Leader of B2ST)

Yang Yo-Seob – after transferring to Cube, he was almost fired from B2ST because he did not fit their masculine image. However, Rain saw his potential and asked ‘not to drop him’.

Lee Gi-Kwang – was a successful trainee at JYP but apparently he was marked as being “over-confident and too satisfied with his own abilities to improve”. He debuted as a solo before becoming a member of B2ST.

Yoon Doo-Joon – was a JYP trainee and set to debut with 2AM and 2PM but he was cut just before debut.

Park Chorong (Leader of A-Pink)

Not much information about why she left JYP as a trainee.

Some interesting trends:

  • Firstly it can be seen that a large number of JYP trainees go on to become the leaders of groups in Cube, or solo artists. Is this to induce them to transfer agencies or did Cube see potential where JYP didn’t?
  • Secondly, I suspect that entertainment agencies often ‘trade idols‘ or perhaps facilitate their transfer for money. Hence, it seems unlikely that JYP would let trainees go without some form of monetary reimbursement. As Cube was a relatively new company, a trade doesn’t seem feasible nor would it have had enough funds to  ‘purchase’ trainees from JYP. However, it also seems unlikely that the trainees left on negative terms (i.e by breaking their contracts or engaging in law suits). My hypothesis is that there may be a contract between JYP and Cube, whereby a proportion revenue from previous JYP trainees are paid back to JYP.

What do you guys think?



6 thoughts on “Did CUBE steal trainees from JYP?

  1. Oh wow nice article. I’ve been asking around about this myself. Dongwoon was a JYP trainee too. He didn’t make the cut for Hot Blood. I believe Chorong was never accepted, she just auditioned. Not sure about that though. Minhyuk of BtoB was in the 5th JYP auditions with JB from JJ Project. Sungjae of BtoB was in the 6th JYP auditions with Youngjae from B.A.P. I don’t think they were actually accepted though. Peniel of BtoB was but he joined Cube in 2012 and replaced Lee Minwoo. I have no clue how it works. Cube actually has a fair amount of money from Beast now so maybe they pay for trainees?

    • I seriously want some insider gossip on this topic. Although I heard that the CEO of Cube and JYP are still good friends so maybe JYP transferred the trainees from the goodness of his heart (or not haha). I think JYP is a bit infamous in the industry for letting go of some decent talent :S But whatever the system I’m glad that a lot of the idols who couldn’t make it in JYP got a second chance (and I say this while humming Beast’s “fiction” :D)

  2. Cube is right down the street from JYP. I heard that the trainees sometimes have lunch together, that’s how close the buildings are. When JYP drops a trainee, Cube usually just picks them up.

  3. i still don’t understand the relationship between Cube and JYPE but all i know is when 2AM debuted, it’s true that JYPE was responsible for the song but the artist management was under Cube. Jokwon said that himself in 5th anniversary of 2AM (you can look into it on bighit’s youtube channel, fyi 2AM is under bighit now – a subsidiary company of JYPE)
    Maybe there’s a business connection between JYPE and Cube aside from sister company?

    • I remember, during the book release of Hong Appa’s book, JoKwon and the rest of 2AM was there. He said that they are the first sons of Hong Appa 🙂 I love how the cube artist call CEO Hong “Father” instead of Father, even 2AM calls him Father. I’ve read an interview where Hong Appa said that JYPE wants 2AM back but Hong Appa decided to bring 2AM to bighit ent. Also, during his book release, he said that he’s really sorry towards JoKwon because he trained for so long and he even tell 2am that he’ll make them big..

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