How Global Phenomenon BTS Has Grown in Popularity
By: Brooke Price
K-pop sensation BTS has been gaining popularity after winning the top social artist award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and released DNA in September of last year.
They even attended the AMA’s and performed their hit song “DNA”. They were also guests on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Late Late Show With James Corden”.
The seven member South-Korean pop band consisting of: Jungkook, Suga, Jimin, V, RM, Jin, and J-Hope, has been dominating the music charts across the globe. BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan, which roughly translates to Bulletproof Boyscouts. BTS can also mean “Beyond the Scenes.”
Their current album Love Yourself: Her ranked #7 On Billboard’s top 200 in September 2017. BTS’ album was the first ever top 10 for a K-pop act.
“MIC Drop” was ranked at #28 when it first came out on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and “DNA” ranked #67 on the Billboard Hot 100 song chart dated Oct. 14.
The album Love Yourself: Her sold 1.61 million copies sold as of March 2018. Two of BTS’ songs, “Mic Drop” and “DNA”, are certified gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America)
BTS is divided into a vocal line and a rap line. The vocal line consists of Jungkook, V, Jimin and Jin, while the rap line consists of Suga, RM and J-Hope.
BTS co-writes and produces many of their songs. Their lyrics have meaning and tap into societal struggles, depression and other emotions; such as loss that not many artists address in their songs.
Their songs have resonated with their fans all around the globe. They tell their stories through their music; they are storytellers for the listeners. They come up with the concepts for their albums and make their album revolve around those concepts.
They are proof that music transcends language and people don’t need to know what they’re saying, even if it’s another language. The listeners hear the emotions in their voices and see their performance on stage to get a sense of what the song is about.
In their song “Baepsae” from the album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2, the group express their frustrations between how the current generation has it more difficult than the older generations.
Baepsae, or crow-tit, is a small bird that has short, small legs. In the song, BTS is comparing the current generation to small birds who try their hardest to keep up with the older generation, who are as depicted as storks. However, the current generation doesn’t have everything as easy as the older generation had.
Some of the lyrics from the song “Baepsae” depict BTS’ societal struggles:
“They call me a try-hard, our generation has had it hard
Hurry, chase ‘em thanks to those that came before us, I’m spread too thin…
Change the rules, change change, the ones who came before us want to, want to maintain
But we can’t do that, bang bang, this ain’t normal, this ain’t normal…
I’ve got a crow-tit’s [Baepsae’s] legs, and you have a stork’s legs, they all say their legs are worth a million bucks
My legs are shorter, so how do you expect me to keep up?
Then say it shouldn’t matter since we’re coming from the same place…”
They debuted in June 12th 2013 with the song “No More Dream”. They started out as a hip hop group, but have expanded their genre of music and incorporate all different types of styles and sounds into their music.
They are part of Big Hit Entertainment, which was a small entertainment company and has since grown due to BTS’s popularity. Big Hit was not a well-known entertainment company, and people thought that BTS wouldn’t be successful since they came from such a small company.
They have a passion for what they do and put their emotions into their music when they sing and dance. They practice choreography for 10-12 hours a day and have a rigorous schedule. Their schedules are planned in advance and they have to follow them thoroughly.
Their upcoming album titled Face Yourself will be in Japanese and will include 2 new tracks and go on sale April 4th.