The spotlight on BTS

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Photo Courtesy of Koreaboo.

BTS on the 2017 Billboard Music Awards stage for the first time.

Evelyn Govern, Staff Writer

The time had come; the moment the Adorable Representative Music Commentators, or M.C.) for Youth (A.R.M.Y.) was waiting for has arrived, on Monday, September 18, 2017. South Korean pop boy band Bangtan Sonyeondan, or BTS, has dropped their #1 album that broke even more records, such as over a million stock pre-orders. Some of you may remember this is the same K-pop boy band that earned the Top Social Artist Award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and broke Justin Bieber’s winning streak that had gone on for 6 years previously. Also recall that BTS have been covered by prestigious publications such as Vogue, Time, People and Billboard among others. They are among the few top-notch K-pop idols that tour globally, along with Super Junior, SHINee, BIGBANG, and Girls’ Generation.

This is a huge deal since BTS is one of the few groups outside of the U.S. that has proven the saying, “Music is a universal language.” Four years, going on five, in the making, BTS has been building up their fandom in multiple ways. They’re on a variety of social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Weibo, and V Live. They were also on variety shows with subtitles in many languages—English, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and French, to name a few. They also flood those accounts with behind-the-scenes footage, allowing their fan-base to make a more intimate, personal connection with band members. Many say that this is one of the reasons why many fans love BTS and how they became a fan in the first place. Thus, they earned the fact the six million followers they gained on both Twitter since May 2017 and the South Korean broadcasting app V Live since September 2017.

BTS wasn’t formed with all seven members at once. The three rappers that were recruited by BigHit Entertainment, a small, lesser-known South Korean as trainees were Kim Namjoon, Min Yoongi and Jung Hoseok. The three of them were underground rappers in 2008 then worked their way up with brilliant lyrics that conveyed raw emotions and personal hardships, which caught BigHit Entertainment’s attention because such personal content is rare. Kim Seokjin, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung, and Jeon Jungkook were vocalists who became members later by auditioning. BTS made a groundbreaking debut in 2012 with their album “O!RUL8,2?” that topped South Korean charts within very few days.

Notable tracks to listen and watch on YouTube or iTunes would be “No More Dream,” one of the songs that BTS debuted with, “I Need U,” which made a lot of people join A.R.M.Y., “FIRE,” the song that got onto the Top 100 Billboard Chart (a first for BTS), “Blood, Sweat, & Tears,” the song that dove more into abstract thoughts or contemplations that connected symbolic items such as wings and various colors to each other along with the rest of the “Wings” album, and “Not Today,” the  song of strength, encouragement, and strengthened their bond with their fandom.

Tracks to listen to for fans leaning towards a pop vibe would be “Go Go,” “DNA,” “Save Me,” “21st Century Girl,” and “24/7=Heaven” just to name a few. For those looking for more of a rap/hip-hop vibe, I’d recommend “BTS Cypher Pt.3 Killer (feat. Supreme Boi),” “MIC Drop,” “Not Today,” “Dope,” and “No More Dream.” Ballads like “Intro: Serendipity,” “Run,” “I Need U,” “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone,” and “Butterfly” are also worth listening to. A personal favorite of mine would be “Fire” because it’s a song that I can play over and over again since it’s encouraging and powerful.

Thus BTS earned the spotlight because they started out from a small South Korean entertainment company and became a worldwide sensation by daring to be intimate and addressing controversial conflicts that many people of various ages can relate to.