YG Entertainment is a record label and talent agency founded by Korean band Seo Taiji & Boys member Yang Hyun Suk and based in Seoul , South Korea .
It specializes in producing R&B and hip hop music. YG stands for Yang Goon and are also the initials of the chief executive officer, Yang Hyun Suk.
Its current roster ofrecording artists include Big Bang , 2NE1 , Seven , Psy, Tablo and Gummy .
The label is one of the “big three” record companies of Korea along with SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment because of strong market share and international operations. Records release through YG Entertainment’s distributor, Mnet Media.
Avex Entertainment and YG Entertainment have recently formed a new project in Japan called YGEX.
In March 1996, Yang Hyun Suk , a former member of Seo Taiji and Boys , founded YG Entertainment. The first group to debut on the label was Keep Six, with their only album Six in tha Chamber released in May the same year. Jinusean was the next artist to debut on the label and was the first to achieve main stream success.
Group 1TYM followed along with CEO Yang Hyun Suk’s album release. 1TYM and Jinusean are often credited with bringing hip hop to the mainstream Korean audience. In 1999, the company’s artists created a collaboration album under the name YG Family.
The label soon released albums byartists Perry, Swi.T, Wheesung , and a second YG Family collaboration in the following years. In 2003, Big Mama debuted as the first group famed for their voices as opposed to appearance.
Se7en debuted after, along with Lexy and Gummy . In 2005, the YG Underground label was created and grew to contain the artists 45RPM and Stony Skunk. In addition, Se7en began to go abroad to sell records in Japan in a joint effort between YG Entertainment and Nexstar Records. Big Bang debuted in 2006 and was the company’s firstidol group.
Big Bang skyrocketed in popularity from the time of their debut to the release of their second Korean album, Remember . 2008 was also marked by new releases from Gummy and Uhm Jung Hwa . In 2009, 2NE1 debutedand also quickly became one of the K-pop industry leaders. Big Bang branched out into Japan during this time and released their first Japanese language album, Big Bang . G-Dragon , leader of Big Bang, released his solo album in Korea and it became the highest selling album of 2009.
Psy , an already renowned rap artist, signed onto the label in 2010 and released the album Psy Five . In addition, the company applied to the stock exchange butwas rejected. It is suspected that the reason was because YG Entertainment had too few music groups and an unstable cash flow, despite increasing earnings in Korea and Japan in 2009. YG Entertainment eventually passed the Stock Exchange Commission’s screening to go public on the KOSDAQ.