BTS has been busy.
This South Korean boyband which you may have heard by now (their streams are in the billions across platforms) has officially broken through in the USA. And break through they did – in the White House, no less.
The 7-member pop group, whose name Bangtan Sonyeondan literally means “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”, met with the commander chief to bring attention to a recent surge in anti-Asian crime in America. They spoke up about art being the Great Unifier – and though their press release was brief, it was impactful.
The Biggest Band in the World might seem like a bold claim, but some are even calling BTS bigger than The Beatles. Though they’ve only been around for a decade, they’ve amassed a following of millions of adoring fans that call themselves A.R.M.Y (try not to worry, they’re probably harmless). These fans have taken up BTS causes right alongside their idols, having raised a million dollars within 24 hours to match a contribution the band made to Black Lives Matter in 2020.
These heartthrobs dropped their new album Proof just this week, so prepare yourself for the surge. You’ll be seeing TikToks, hearing the same familiar loops nonstop, and learning a few words of Korean if you’re lucky.
This rise in Korean Pop (Or KPop) is not new, but it’s picked up in recent years to punch its way into the mainstream. In years past, Eastern media had a niche and special place in the fringes of pop culture – corners of the internet were dedicated to fanzines (fan-run magazines) that showcased styles of dress, makeup, and hair. Fandom online was rabid and devoted as they are today.
Now that the superstars have entered the public eye in America, time will tell if they’ll maintain an upward trajectory like their superfamous counterparts. Even NSync and the Backstreet Boys ended up fizzling out after a relatively short period of time. In the meantime, learn the hand signal, watch the videos, and prepare yourself for some catchy tunes!