According to the monthly Korean music chart, the first BTS album, “2 COOL 4 SKOOL,” garnered favourable reviews and peaked at number 10 less than a month after its release. The title track, “No More Dream”, might reflect the pressures of growing up as an adolescent in South Korea. So who is my BTS bias? Let us tell you about it.
A significant part of the band’s musical identity is based on socially aware topics in their songs
The K-Pop EXPO in Asia was hosted in the North Incheon Bokhap-danji in Incheon, South Korea, on September 21, 2014. BTS performed onstage.
When the South Korean boy band BTS played in 2014, they went to Incheon, Korea. Creative Commons Images and Getty Images
Many of BTS’s songs address issues that are important to the group’s fans
As K-pop writer Tamar Herman puts it, “the entire company’s philosophy is to make music that matters.” Since BTS’s music is steeped in the early foundations of K-pop, Herman believes the group’s music is influenced by the struggles idol groups like HOT faced when they first started in their native Korea.
At the time of BTS’ debut, it was “scarce,” according to Herman, for groups to use their songs to voice explicit societal critique. It was a fan’s opinion that the group’s music had an “overarching story” that tracked the group’s evolution and her own, according to an Insider who talked with the fan.
With their songs, BTS expresses a deep pride in their Korean roots
According to an insider, young Dae Kim believes that BTS’s music emphasises the group’s status as Korean artists, something that hasn’t been done before in the music industry.
To represent the nation, the group incorporates social criticism into their music (their song “Paldogangsan” is literally a rap on regional Korean dialects, titled “Saturn”), and they wear traditional Korean Hanbok clothing.
According to Insider Youngdae Kim, “BTS embraced their Korean identity in the beginning because they wanted to portray stories that were authentic to them, as Korean citizens.” They have a responsibility now since they are the most popular K-pop group at the moment, and they aren’t going to hide their Korean roots. Despite the group’s Korean origin, Jiye Kim tells Insider that it has been an “uphill battle” for fans to see coverage from people who understand Asian and Korean culture in general.
At work, Jiye Kim teaches high school English in Sydney, Australia, but devotes her free time—up to 15 hours a day around an album release, to translating BTS content into English for fans worldwide. Since meeting other fans via social media, she’s made many friends and believes that helping them out with translations is her way of saying thank you for the relationships she’s made. There has been significant growth in the number of BTS fans since the advent of social media.
It’s safe to say that the BTS and K-pop fandoms have become movements unto themselves
It has been widely reported that BTS supporters have recently acquired national acclaim for their viral digital activism by matching the K-pop group’s $1 million donations to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Thousands of Korean pop lovers claimed to have purchased tickets to see President Donald Trump in Oklahoma but never showed up, according to reports (rows of seats were vacant during the rally, however it is unclear whether this was due to the viral effort by K-pop fans).