BTS: K-pop’s Number One Boy Band

Photo Credit: Big Hit Entertainment

BTS, short for Bangtan Boys, is a boy band consisted of seven members who formed together in 2010 and made their debut to the public in 2013. Members of the band are J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, RM, V and Suga. The band began as a hip-hop group but has expanded their range of genre to include a lot of variety. From great marketing, to great looks and high-end collaborations, BTS has made an undeniable mark on music history.

2 Cool 4 Skool was the debut release for the band on June 12, 2013. The album has 9-tracks with two singles. Lead single “No More Dream” reached the Billboard singles charts. There are heavy influences of hip-hop merged with the group’s K-pop style. O!RUL8,2? was an EP released  on September 11, 2013. The album’s lead single “N.O” was accompanied by a video of the band resisting their chaotic environment. Several months later in February, the EP Skool Luv Affair came out. Much like the previous EP, the project had ten songs of which two were standout singles.

BTS released their third EP, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Pt. 1 in April 2015. The official video for “I Need U” explores each member’s life experiences as a troubled person growing up. “Dope (쩔어)” gathered a huge amount of attention across the globe amassing of millions of views; to date the video has over 590 million views. Several other songs made music charts as well. BTS released a 9-track follow up titled, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2 in November 2015. The EP deals with emotions young people experience. Fans get a good sense of the album’s feel through the lead single “Run.” BTS brings more of a pop feel to their arsenal with this EP. On May 2, 2016, BTS released The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever. The compilation album pulls together The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1 and 2 with a couple new songs.  

In September 2016, the band released the album Youth. Youth is thirteen popular BTS tracks sung in Japanese. The following month, BTS released the studio album Wings. Throughout the 15-tracks, BTS discusses concepts of growth through temptation. Wings was highly received by fans and resulted in gaining the title of best-selling album of 2016 in South Korea. Music videos were released for singles, “Blood Sweat & Tears”, “Spring Day”, and “Not Today.” The group released their next EP in September 2017. Love Yourself: Her has 9-tracks on it with one lead single, “DNA.” Within the first day, the music video amassed over 20 million views. The album explores the boy band’s fun, electro-pop side before unveiling its hip-hop side. Even with its upbeat melodies, the album is a humbled version of the usual activity that happens in K-pop music.  

Love Yourself: Tear was released on May 18, 2018. Conceptually the album sings messages about the growing pains of breakups. This album charted high on South Korean, Japanese, and American music charts. With 11-tracks composed of K-pop and hip-hop, BTS opened a huge niche for Asian artists in America. In August, the group released their second compilation album, Love Yourself: Answer. The album combined Love Yourself: Her and Love Yourself: Tear with several new songs to create a solid concept album that millions of fans adored and streamed.

BTS released the EP Map of the Soul: Persona in April 2019. “Boy with Luv” featuring Halsey set the stage for listeners to gravitate to the pop flow of the band. Map of the Soul: Persona made Billboard charts and gained record-breaking ranks by having three top albums in one year. The trials and tribulations previously built upon by the group are explored again on this album. Map of the Soul: 7 is the follow up release to Persona. The album merges pop, hip-hop, and EDM together to create a variety of sounds for listeners. Songs on the album talk about reflecting on the past and growing from the lessons. After a week of sales, the album made South Korean history in Gaon Album Chart by becoming the best-selling record ever.

BTS has made strides in music stardom that many artists have only dreamt about. The ability for the group to create music that connects people from all over the world, while being creatively upbeat and conscious makes BTS standout even more. The seven-member group has changed the way the world views South Korean and Asian musicians. Listeners can definitely expect to hear more news from the band in the near future, as this K-pop meets hip-hop boy band isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Written by: Carlton Rolle

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