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In 2017, the rapper was charged with marijuana use by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. He was later found guilty and received a 10-month jail sentence, with a two-year probation. At the time of the controversy, he was serving his mandatory military service as a conscripted police officer.
In a recent interview with Prestige Hong Kong, T.O.P described the incident as the “worst moment” of his life and how it took a toll on his mental health. “This is the first time I’ve spoken this publicly, but I did try to commit suicide about five years ago,” the rapper explained.
“I realised later how much hurt and painful memories I gave to the people around me, my family and fans out there,” he added.
T.O.P. also revealed that during his time away from public eye, he briefly considered quitting the music industry altogether. “Actually, I was going to seriously stop making music and stop being a musician. But during the bad times, the rough times, my motivation to keep going was the music,” he said.
He added that ended up writing “more than 100 songs” over the past few years. “It’s been my motivation, like wanting to fill up a bookshelf with my work,” he elaborated. “It’s been my passion. I realised how precious it is to pay back what I’ve received.”
Last month, YG Entertainment announced that the rapper decided to part ways with the agency after 16 years. At the time, the company said that T.O.P. had discussed his decision to end his contract with the group’s members and that the K-pop idol “wants to expand his horizons beyond Big Bang”.
For help and advice on mental health:
- “Am I depressed?” – help and advice on mental health and what to do next
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians (CALL MUSIC MINDS MATTER ON: 0808 802 8008)
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues (CALL: 0800 030 6789)
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day