If you forgot about this, you’re not alone: Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon once feuded with Wiz Khalifa. But why?

If you’ve ever followed K-pop, you know that stars feuding with each other is not exactly a common phenomenon. Unlike its Western counterpart where stars usually go off on each other on social media, feuds in K-pop rarely (but not always) go farther than diss tracks or statements published by companies dispelling rumours. 

So, when fans heard Wiz Khalifa and Taeyeon were feuding a few years ago, heads were definitely scratched. 

In 2016, Taeyeon and Wiz Khalifa were reportedly set to perform the latter’s track ‘See You Again’ at the Mnet Asian Music Awards or MAMA, one of the biggest South Korean year-end award ceremonies there is. At a press conference ahead of the collaboration, Khalifa revealed he would be performing the song with a K-pop star, but did not reveal their name. 

It was only when rehearsal footage from the award show leaked that people realised the star in question would be Taeyeon – member of Girls’ Generation, one of the most iconic girl-groups to ever come out of South Korea. Shortly after, however, Wiz Khalifa tweeted that Taeyeon had ‘backed out’ of the performance. He also ruffled quite a few feathers when he misspelled her name, but dismissed it when fans pointed it out. 

“The fact that Teyeon backed out of our performance caught me off guard too but never accept rejection as failure.” Wiz tweeted at the time. 

DJ Bonics, Khalifa’s official DJ and music director, claimed that Taeyeon had backed out of the collaboration ‘only minutes before [Khalifa] went on stage’. Bonics also released multiple snippets of the duo’s rehearsal performance on his Instagram, alleging that the refusal to perform had shocked the team.

Shortly after the allegations, Taeyeon posted a statement and clarified that the performance had been canceled due to equipment issues and because key components in the rehearsal track were missing. Taeyeon claimed she had greeted Wiz when she ‘heard that the audio for the performance had a problem.’ 

“We couldn’t even check the audio and the performance was dismissed,” she wrote. “To do the performance live, you need the MR, not just the AR, but that wasn’t prepared. It was kind of weird that there was no MR but they wanted me to do a live [performance].” 

Taeyeon then clarified that she had come back to her hotel to wait for updates – contrary to Wiz’s claims that she’d gone to the hospital but then requested to be on a different stage than him – but the performance ended up being canceled anyway. 

Turns out, however, not only had Wiz’s team been unprepared for the performance, but a ‘misunderstanding’ had also led them to believe that it was Taeyeon who had refused to perform. 

Different cultural and industrial practices led to a flurry of miscommunications between Wiz and Taeyeon’s teams. Apparently, MAMA representatives had already informed Wiz’s that they had been rehearsing with the wrong track. By the time the error was recognized, Taeyeon’s agency – SM Entertainment – deemed it too late and pulled Taeyeon out of the performance. 

Unaware that SM Entertainment had the final say in Taeyeon’s activities, Wiz and his team had assumed that the star had pulled out of the performance on a whim. 

“We didn’t know that Taeyeon couldn’t perform without her agency’s approval and that they had the final decision in all matters.” said a representative for Wiz. 

DJ Bonics, who apparently wasn’t aware of Korean industry practices, said: “Tay is smart enough to make her own decisions. If she wanted to do it, she would of [sic]… Again, I am not blaming Tay. It was emotional that we came all the way and the collab didn’t happen. Now they trying to blame our equipment.” 

Later, however, Bonics retracted his words, saying: “We are in charge of our own artistry. If Wiz wants to do something, he’s going to do it. We didn’t know that K-Pop artists don’t manage themselves 100%.”

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