Get To Know BtoB’s Korean-American Rapper, Peniel: Profile, Become Bald, and More

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Learn More About Rapper Peniel, Hair Problem and Solo Career

Peniel is a Chicago-born, Korean-American rapper. At a very young age, he left his family and the United States, and pursued a career in the Korean music industry as an idol. After passing a JYP Entertainment audition, he flew to Korea and started his new life as an idol trainee all by himself. Peniel became a JYP trainee for two years, only to quit and choose to debut with Cube Entertainment as a BtoB member.

He suffered from a serious hair-loss problem, allegedly because of the stress related to delivering a good performance as an idol and BtoB member. Courageously, he revealed his problem during his appearance as a guest on a popular variety show. It turned out to be a good choice, as he cast out his worry and started growing his hair again. Recently, he’s actively promoting his solo career and releasing series of new singles. In this article, Channel-Korea will explain a summary of his debut, solo career, and problematic hair loss. So stay tuned!

Full Profile and Facts

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Name: Shin Dong-geun

Stage name: Peniel Shin

Date of Birth: March 10, 1993

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Height: 175 cm

Weight: 63 kg

Blood type: B

Management: Cube Entertainment

Position: BTOB Lead Rapper, Vocalist

College: Hanyang University International Studies

Zodiac: Pisces

Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Chicken

Instagram: btobpeniel

Twitter: PenielShin

Facts

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  • Peniel was the latest member to join BTOB
  • He can play guitar well
  • He has an older sister, Jennifer
  • He is allergic to watermelon and cats
  • He takes pictures of food before eating
  • He was a former trainee of JYP Entertainment
  • Peniel hold his first photography exhibition, titled “Penography,” in Seoul
  • Peniel has his own official vlog channel, POV
  • He hates wearing underwear, but is forced to wear them in the dormitory.
  • He is close friends with f(x)’s Amber and Erik Nam
  • He has a pet, a female terrier called Pennie
  • Both Peniel and Pennie appeared as cover models for the pet magazine Life and Dogue.

Pre-Debut Story

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Before debuting as an idol member of BTOB, Peniel enrolled in a JYP Entertainment audition in the United States and passed the test. He came to the audition with his friend. At first, he auditioned for modeling because he thought that modeling was the easiest, compared to being an idol. He wasn’t satisfied because the audition panelists only asked him to walk like a model. Another panelist asked him to dance and sing. He sang and danced for about an hour and had his profile picture taken, as well. Several months later, he received a phone call from JYP Entertainment.

He left the US and became a trainee in Korea in 2010. He was accepted to study at Chungdam High School. During his trainee days, he appeared on rapper San E’s music video titled Tasty San in 2010, and became friends with JJ Project’s JB and JR. Peniel was a JYP trainee for two years before quitting and joining BTOB only months before their debut performance.

Debut With BtoB

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BtoB held a showcase performance at the JW Marriot Hotel, Seoul, and released their first single, titled Insane, on March 21st, 2012. The showcase was also streamed on their YouTube channel. BtoB performed Insane and Imagine on M Countdown on the same day. The single Insane was produced by So Jae-woo, who wrote songs for 4minute and Beast. Peniel debuted as sub-rapper and sub-vocal of BtoB. BtoB then released their debut album, titled Born to Beat on April 3rd, 2012.

During an interview with Ize Magazine, it was revealed that BtoB planned to debut as a music band. Their members all specialized in different music instruments during their school days. Eunkwang, Changsub, and Hyunsik played guitar, drum, and piano. In the USA, Peniel used to play guitar well. As the number of members increased, they debuted as he idol group BtoB

Reason Behind His Hair Loss

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In November 2016, Peniel appeared on the popular variety show, KBS2’s Hello Counselor, where viewers share their worries and concerns to the panelists. Appearing as a celebrity guest, he voiced a concern that troubled him in recent years. Peniel was criticized by people because he always wore a hat anytime and anywhere. He confronted the people, and said that he also hated wearing a hat all the time. On the show, he revealed that he suffered serious hair loss, even at the young age of 24, due to alopecia. It was an autoimmune disease that caused his hair to fall out.

He noticed this disease starting five years ago, when his hair stylist told him about bald patches on his head. The patches grew bigger and occupied his head. New bald patches appeared every week. His doctor informed him that he lost almost 70% of his hair due to the disease. The loss could be permanent and irreversible. To overcome the disease, he should cut all of his hair and wear hats. It was not a genetic disease, and stress was assumed to be the main cause of his hair loss.

After knowing about the disease, he told his parents and they asked him to forget his idol activity and return to United States. However, he was determined to continue his idol activity. He had to cut his hair completely before every performance, and wear hats to cover his head. It was very troublesome and tiring because the hat caused him to sweat even more during performances. Before appearing on the show, he asked for permission from the head of his label company.

Peniel eagerly showed his bald head, and he couldn’t hide his happiness. The panelists and audiences on the show quickly praised his appearance. It turned out that he looked more manly and handsome without the hair. He wished that by showing his hair loss problem, the stress would be relieved and he could re-grow his hair.

About 19 months after appearing on Hello Counselor, Peniel reappeared again on the show on June 11th, 2018. He said that his hair had gotten better and recovered. He said that appearing on this show and revealing his hair loss problem seemed to reduce his stress and improve his condition. He even skipped going back to the hospital after appearing on the show.

Solo Debut

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On March 23rd, 2016, Peniel announced the first track of his mixtape, titled Homesick Mixtape Volume 1. The first track was named Repeat, and featured rapper Legaci. The mixtape was released in collaboration with Kairos Music Group and was available to stream on Soundcloud. BtoB fans were excited following the release of Peniel’s mixtape. The favorite tracks from the mixtape were Homesick and Body Roll.

Peniel released his first solo track titled That Girl as part of BtoB’s solo project. The single track was released in Piece of BtoB Vol.3 on June 27th, 2017. The track was made with sounds from a synthesizer and was filled with an energetic vibe. The album cover was made by Peniel from his photo collections while working on the track in the United States.

In 2019, Peniel produced three digital single tracks: BOD, Fly23 and Flip.

Discography

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Singles

Title Year Album
“That Girl” 2017 Piece of BTOB Volume 3
“B.O.D” 2019 Digital single
Fly23
Flip (featuring Beenzino)

 

Mixtapes

Year Title Track listing
2016 HOMESICK MIXTAPE VOL.1 Repeat (ft. Legaci)

Body Roll

Homesick

1Up On Milhouse (ft. Typoh)

Farewell (ft. KO)

 

Other Songs

Year Title Format Notes
2019 “Valentine” Digital download, streaming