Meet South Korea’s 7-member boy group called Bulletproof Boy Scouts (also known as the Bangtan Boys or “BTS” for short). They’re fun, charming and so talented, they’re taking the K-pop world by storm. Here’s why:
Their songs talk about real issues facing teenagers all over the world
Ever since their debut in 2013, the Bangtan Boys have made it a priority to expose the harsh expectations South Korean society has for its teenagers (i.e. all the pressure put on youngsters to work non-stop and have outstanding academic records). Their songs like “No More Dream” and “N.O.” encourage young adults to take charge of their own lives and do what makes them happy––no matter where they live in the world.
They have openly supported same-sex rights in a largely conservative country
The leader of the group, Kim Namjoon (also known as Rap Monster), has always supported equal rights. But just three days after South Korea fails to legally recognize gay marriage, Namjoon and BTS’s youngest Jeon Jungkook released a song they wrote called “So That I Love You,” which features both male and female pronouns in an effort to reach out to fans of other genders and sexualities. See for yourself!
They write their own music
Everyone loves a good songwriter-turned-star, but these boys are taking it to the next level. By writing their own lyrics, the lovable Bangtan Boys can communicate with their fans on a deeper level. They talk about everything under the sun, making their lyrics some of the most relatable.
They’ve overcome adversity and judgement from other artists
Members Min Yoongi (“Suga”) and Kim Namjoon (“Rap Monster”) worked in the underground rap industry before joining BTS. In fact, Rap Monster almost didn’t join because it would mean dancing on stage and “being an idol,” something Korean underground rap culture has fought against as it deems becoming an idol “selling out.” Watch B-Free, a rapper, criticize Rap Monster and Suga for this.
Their “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life” music video story arc
Also known as “HYYH,” or “Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa,” this series of music videos creates a story rich in subtext and symbolism. The fandom, known as Armies, has created hundreds of theories about these videos and what they could mean. In their recent promotions for their upcoming album WINGS, BTS reveals that it is all inspired by Herman Hesse’s novel Demian.
Their dancing skills are out of this world
Experienced and talented dancers, Park Jimin, Jeon Jungkook and Jung Hoseok (also known as J-Hope) are what’s called the “dance line,” or the best dancers in the group–but that doesn’t mean each member isn’t talented in his own right. Despite not having any lessons in dance, BTS’s Kim Seokjin (“Jin”) and Kim Namjoon have both come a long way with their dancing ability. It’s even a running joke in the fandom how poor their dancing abilities really are (although, we love them anyway!).
Even when some members branch out on their own, the other members support them
When Rap Monster released his mixtape and filmed his music video for his song “Do You,” the rest of the gang showed up to cheer him on. Then, when Jung Hoseok, or J-Hope, released his song “1 Verse,” BTS’s leader made sure to draw attention to his fellow member’s accomplishment.
They go above and beyond for their fans
Not only do members release song covers as gifts for their fans (most recently, Jungkook covered Justin Bieber’s “Purpose”), but Suga, for his birthday one year, made each fan who attended a meet-up a personalized gift. The gift included a snack and a handwritten note. He also made sure no two notes were the same and packaged them all by hand!
They have their own emoji
BTS is the first ever Kpop group to have their own Twitter emoji! If you tweet using the #BTS or #방탄소년단, their logo should appear right next to it. Cool!
…And, of course, their music is amazing
The lyrics are beautiful, and the melodies are addicting, but that’s not just my (and fellow Armies’) opinions. Check out all the awards they’ve won!