In just 2020 alone, South Korean boy-group BTS have taken over the music industry, most recently with their single, “Dynamite”, which landed a No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after its release in August. They are most known for their diverse discography, spanning from hip-hop tracks to power ballads, all written and produced by many of the members themselves.
Because they sing almost all of their songs in Korean, it can be hard for potential new listeners to figure out where to start. Language shouldn’t hold you back from listening to some good music, so I’ve compiled a list of BTS songs for every genre of music that can be a good starting point if you want to get into them.
BTS is no stranger to some classic, addictive pop music. Here are some of their most popular songs below!
“Dream Glow” (ft. Charli XCX): This song was released in 2019 in collaboration with Charlie XCX as a part of their soundtrack for their new mobile game, BTS World. It only features three vocalists (Jin, Jungkook, and Jimin), so the song has no rap features, making it stand out in their discography.
“Boy With Luv” (ft. Halsey): An iconic collaboration between BTS and pop singer Halsey, this song will make you happy after listening to just the first minute of it. Defined by its catchy chorus and sweet lyrics, it was a relatively new style of music for Halsey to join in on. Still, she enjoyed performing it with the boys and talked highly of their collaboration. You can watch the music video here.
“Airplane pt. 2“: This was BTS’s first attempt at latin-inspired pop, and they pulled it off flawlessly. The song talks about their achievements, but the constant feeling of not being good enough that came along with it. Jungkook sings, “You’re a singing star, but I see no star…) referencing that no matter how successful they get, there will always be those telling them they are not good enough.
Having worked with some pretty big names in the world of EDM, such as Steve Aoki and the Chainsmokers, BTS has released electronic dance music that is perfect for their live concerts. They would also do well in your work-out playlists!
“So What”: Apart of their 2018 album, “Love Yourself: Tear”, “So What” was an amazing EDM song to jam to when BTS performed it on their Love Yourself world tour, filled with a strong EDM drop and phenomenal high notes. You can watch them perform it live here.
“Blood Sweat & Tears”: This was considered one of their break-out songs in the K-pop industry when it was released in 2016, as it was a perfect combination of EDM with a visually pleasing concept shown in their music video. It still remains one of the most iconic BTS songs today.
“Best of Me“: BTS and the Chainsmokers collaborated for the first time with “Best of Me”, a song from their EP, “Love Yourself: Her”. This love song is catchy, upbeat, and a staple in their discography.
R&B is a favorite amongst the BTS members when it comes to their music preferences; they have openly shown support and even covered some of their favorite R&B artists, like Gallant, Daniel Caesar, and Khalid.
“Singularity”: Leader RM actually wrote this song in about 30 minutes, just after he had gotten released from surgery. It was definitely something new for BTS, especially V, who sings the song by himself; still, it suited his voice perfectly. I definitely recommend you check out the music video, linked here.
“Rain“: A song off of their very first full-length album, “Rain” is simply iconic. It combines soft piano, lo-fi beats, and smooth vocals to create a perfect song to listen to while studying or just getting a cup of coffee.
“HOME”: Maybe I’m biased, but this is one of BTS’s best songs. With the catchy beats and chorus, this will get stuck in your head for days (but in the good way). They recently performed it as a part of BTSWeek on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; you can find the performance here.
With a vocal line as diverse and talented as BTS’s, it comes as no surprise that the group has a collection of powerful, meaningful ballads that showcase the group’s vocal abilities.
“Epiphany”: Sung solely by Jin, “Epiphany” was the first song released off BTS’s long awaited comeback with their album, “Love Yourself: Answer”. He sings about finally learning to love himself and delivered a stunning performance at every concert; honestly, it still makes me tear up everytime.
“The Truth Untold“: This ballad has a surprising Steve Aoki feature, but his input doesn’t give the EDM-feel that his music usually gives off. Instead, the vocal line (Jin, Jimin, Jungkook, and V) collaborated with Aoki and provided a sad, heartfelt song about fake love and how it can affect you. Definitely a must-listen!
“Jamais Vu“: This will probably make you cry; I am warning you now. J-Hope’s rap with Jin and Jungkook’s vocals pair beautifully together in this ballad, titled after the French psychological term that means to have experienced something before, yet have it feel strange and unfamiliar (or simply, the opposite of deja vu).
- Rap/Emo Rock
For those who are into something more fast-paced and rock-inspired, these next songs are for you.
“Dionysus”: This song will have you pumped up after just the first 30 seconds. Filled with heavy instruments, a fast-paced chorus, and an infamous G5 note made by Jin, “Dionysus” stands out in BTS’s discography. You can watch their special performance of it at the 2019 MMA here.
“Danger“: The title song off of their full-length album, “Dark and Wild”, “Danger,” is heavily rock and hip-hop influenced, filled with the skilled rapping of RM, Suga, and J-Hope.
This is BTS’s most popular song genre, as the entire band was heavily inspired by American hip-hop music when they formed as a band in 2013 and continue to create music from this genre to this day. BTS’s rap line, which consists of RM, Suga, and J-Hope, write and produce their own raps in each of their songs. They all have their own solo mixtapes, too, that are mainly rap-based.
“UGH!“: In my opinion, this is hands-down BTS’s best rap-line song. The rappers put a lot of time and effort into producing and writing this song, which covers a relatively interesting topic: the misuse of anger.
“Tear”: With the classical instruments fading in at the beginning to the amount of emotion in their voices, rap-line yet again did not hold back with this masterpiece. It is simply so much more powerful live in concert.
“Persona“: This is the intro song off of their album, “Map of the Soul: Persona”. Performed only by RM, this track was heavily inspired by old-school hip-hop, which is evident in the beginning of the song. He borrowed a sample from their older song, “Intro: Skool Luv Affair.”