BTS: Taking the music world by storm

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BTS: Taking the music world by storm

Sophie Bironas, Editor

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BTS (also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts) is currently one of the most popular boy bands. They are signed to BigHit Entertainment in South Korea and have over 18 million followers on Twitter and over 15 million subscribers on YouTube. The seven members all have different roles in the group that makes them unique. BTS consists of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. These names were created for the stage to put an emphasis on the personas they represent.

Kim Namjoon, who goes by the stage name RM, is known as the leader of the group. He was born on September 12, 1994 in Seoul, South Korea. He produces and writes the songs and often raps the lyrics. He has produced over 140 of their hits  and wrote over 190 songs. He used to go by the name “Rap Monster” but changed it in 2017. In 2015, RM released his first mixtape without the rest of the band, naming it after his fist alias. This mixtape had a very dark, rap influenced vibe, which he later explained as a way to show his hidden anger about himself. In 2018, he released his second mixtape “Mono” that represented his self-loathing and anxiety. RM is very devoted to the group and when asked if he would prefer to go “solo or Bangtan” he chose Bangtan. 

Kim Seokjin, who goes by Jin, is one of the visuals of the group, meaning he is known for being very good-looking, often called Worldwide Handsome He was born on December 4, 1992 in Gwacheon, South Korea. Although Jin has yet to release a solo album, he and RM made a song called “Trouble” before BTS debuted. He is known for creating  some of the biggest inside jokes among the fandom, like his windshield wiper laugh and his dad jokes. 

Min Yoongi, also known as Suga or Agust D, is the second rapper in the group. He was born in Daegu, South Korea on March 9, 1993. Along with the other members of rap line (this including J-Hope and RM), he helps produce and write songs. He wrote over 120 songs and produced over 45. Before joining  BTS, Yoongi wanted to be a producer. In 2016, he released his mixtape “Agust D” which showed A.R.M.Y. (the name for BTS fans) a darker version of himself. Throughout his career, Yoongi battled with anxiety and depression and channeled those feelings into his music. His nicknames include“Lil Meow Meow,” “Yoongles,” and “Grandpa.”  

The final  rapper of the group is Jung Hoseok also known as J-Hope. He is also the lead dancer and a choreographer for many of their dances. He was born on February 18, 1994 in Gwangju, South Korea. In 2015, Hoseok dropped a single under his own name, called “1st Verse.” Later in 2018, he released his mixtape “Hope World” with the song “Daydream” as the title track. He has been a dancer since 2008 and danced competitively. He is known for his cheerful personality and incredible talent as a dancer. Like the other rappers, he helps compose music with 79 songs crediting his name. 

The next member is Park Jimin who goes by his name, Jimin. He is one of the vocalists for the band. He was born on October 13, 1995 in Busan, South Korea. At the end of 2018, Jimin released his single “Promise” with over 138 million streams on Soundcloud. Jimin was a contemporary dancer and was the top student at his school in the modern dance department. Jimin has only written five songs for the band. Because off his lack of height against his fellow members, he is often teased. 

Second to last in the band is Kim Taehyung, who goes by his stage name V. He wasn’t revealed as an official member before they debuted.He was born on December 30, 1995 in Daegu, South Korea. He is a vocalist as well as another visual. In 2019, he released his first self written single, “Scenery.” He has written 10 songs for BTS. In 2016, he was cast in a Korean drama called “Hwarang” as the character Seok Han-Sung, where fans were upset when his character was killed off  In 2017 he got a puppy named Yeontan, and fans were immediately obsessed.  

The last member of the band is Jeon Jungkook, who goes by Jungkook. He is the youngest member of the band, and the lead vocalist and a dancer. He was born on September 1, 1997 in Busan, South Korea. The rest of the members call him the “Golden Maknae” (maknae means being the youngest) because according to them, Jungkook is good at everything. In the early days, Jungkook helped with rapping and did the same in BTS’s recent song “DNA.” Jungkook has music and writing credit under a little less than ten songs. One of his favorite pastimes is to film and edit videos. In many interviews, the group has expressed how dedicated and hardworking Jungkook is toward their music.  

BTS debuted in 2013 on June 12 with their first album, “2 Cool 4 Skool”. This collection of songs had a rap influence and a gangster vibe. The album consists of their debut song, “No More Dream,” “Intro: 2 Cool 4 School,” “We Are Bulletproof pt.2,” “Skit: Circle Room Talk,” “Interlude,” “Like,” and “Outro: Circle Room Cypher.” The album also included two hidden tracks called “Skit: On The Start Line” and “Road/Path.”

They then released another small album called “O!RUL8,2?” (Pronounced Oh Are You Late Too?). In this album, the rap influence was still heard, but had a more playful take on the style.The album had the songs “Intro: O!RUL8,2?,” “N.O.,” “We On,” “Skit: R U Happy Now?,” “If I Ruled The World,” “Coffee,” “BTS Cypher Pt.1,” “Attack on Bangtan,” “Paldogangsan,” and “Outro: Luv in Skool.”

On February 12, 2014 they released “Skool Luv Affair” that had a much more sophisticated sound, but the music was still heavily rap influenced and included more aspects off the rock genre.This album included“Intro; Skool Luv Affair,” “Boy In Luv,” “Skit; Soulmate,” “Where You From,” “Just One Day,” “Tomorrow,” “BTS Cypher Pt.2: Triptych,” “Spine Breaker,” “Jump,” and “Outro: Purpose.”

Later in 2014, they released their first full album called “Dark & Wild.” With a tone darker than past albums, the hip-hop style continued to be noticed in their newer music. The songs on the album were “Intro: What am I to you,” “Danger,” “War of Hormone,” “Hip Hop Lover,” “Let Me Know,” “Rain,” “BTS Cypher pt.3: Killer,” “What Are You Doing,” “Can You Turn Off Your Phone,” “Blanket Kick,” “24/7 =heaven,” “Look Here,” “2nd Grade,” and “Does That Make Sense.”

In 2015 “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt.1” was released. This album was noticeably more light hearted, however the title track, “I Need U,”  had darker and sadder lyrics and meanings. The songs were “Intro: The Most Beautiful Moment in Life,” “Hold Me Tight,” “Skit: Expectation!,” “Dope,” “Boyz with Fun,” “Converse High,” “Moving On,” and “Outro: Love Is Not Over.” This album was then followed up with “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt.2.” The music style was similar to part 1, but even  more light hearted. The songs released were, “Intro: Nevermind,” “Run,” “Butterfly,” “Whalien 52,” “Ma City,” “Silver Spoon,” “Skit: One Night in a Strange City,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Outro: House of Cards.” In 2016, they released “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever,” which had all of the songs from part one and two, some remixes and a new song called “Epilogue: Young Forever.”

On October 10, 2016, BTS released their album “Wings.” This album did not have a specific style because each song was created  by each member individulay. The album consists of “Intro: Boy Meets Evil,” “Blood Sweat & Tears,” “Begin,” “Lie,” “Stigma,” “First Love,” “Reflection,” “MAMA,” “Awake,” “Lost,” “BTS Cypher 4,” “Am I Wrong,” “21st Century Girl,” “2! 3!,” and “Interlude: Wings.” In early 2017, they released the repackaged album called “You Never Walk Alone.” Like Young Forever, this album had all of the songs from “Wings,” and some new songs like “Spring Day,” “Not Today,” a slightly more electric version of “Interlude Wings,” now by the name of “Outro: Wings,” and “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone.”

In 2017, BTS started the Speak Yourself campaign with “Love Yourself: Her.” This album definitely embraced the pop influence, and still stuck with the solo songs like in the “Wings” album. The songs are, “Intro: Serendipity,” “DNA,” “Best Of Me,” “dimple,” “Pied Piper,” “Skit: Billboard Music Awards Speech,” “MIC Drop,” “Go Go,” and “Outro: Her.” In early 2018, they released the next Love Yourself album, “Love Yourself: Tear.” The released songs were, “Intro: Singularity,” “FAKE LOVE,” “The Truth Untold (feat. Steve Aoki),” “134340,” “Paradise,” “Love Maze,” “Magic Shop,” “Airplane pt.2,” “Anpanman,” “So What,” and “Outro: Tear.” Lastly from the Love Yourself trilogy, “Love Yourself: Answer.” This album had the songs from the other two Love Yourself albums, plus the songs called, “Idol,” “Euphoria,” “Trivia: Just Dance,” “Trivia: Seesaw,” “Trivia: Love,” “Epiphany,” “Answer: Love Myself,” “I’m Fine,” and then some remixes. BTS released the japanese version of their songs in an album called “Face Yourself” with versions of “Best Of Me,” “Blood Sweat & Tears,” “DNA,” “Not Today,” “MIC Drop,” “Go Go,” and “Spring Day.” They also released a couple of songs completely in Japanese called, “INTRO: Ringwanderung,” “Don’t Leave Me,” “Crystal Snow,” “Let Go,” and “OUTRO: Crack.”

On April 12, 2019 at 2:00 AM pacific time (6:00 pm Standard Korean Time), BTS released their anticipated album “Persona.” This album was very pop influenced, with the exception of their song, “Dionysus,” which was very heavily rock inspired.  The album still included, “Intro: Persona,” “Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey),” “Mikrokosmos,” “Make It Right,” “HOME,” and “Jamais Vu.”

BTS has accomplished so much with over 190 awards and over 290 nominations. They have sold over 10 million albums and have completed over 51 stadium tours, with 21 in Asia, 18 in the U.S., nine in Europe and one in South America, and over 1 million attendees. During their most recent tour, BTS  Sold out Wembley Stadium in the U.K. within 90 minutes. They were also the first K-Pop group to perform on Saturday Night Live, debuting “Boy With Luv.” They also spoke at the UN about their Speak Yourself campaign about loving and accepting yourself.