Time to move on to my #2 group – first equal with GOT7 – and that is of course the genius that is the boys of BTS!
Although I’m calling them first equal, they’re my favourite for different reasons than GOT7. While GOT7 was the first group I got to know – so they hold a special place in my heart – BTS is a group that I went out of my way to get to know and in turn am now obsessed.
I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that it’s impossible to like a groups entire back catalogue but BTS is the only group where I love the majority of their songs.
So to repeat the similar formula, this post will be about their back catalogue, albums and released singles. They have quite a big back catalogue so get ready for another long ass post 🙂
BTS are a lot of peoples favs. With me, I joined them after debut. The first ever MV I ever saw was Boy In Luv at the end of 2015. This song has become one of my favs but I naturally backtracked to check out their earlier songs. I think the first comeback I remember being part of was Run.
What they sing/rap about is one of the reasons why I continue to love their music more and more. They signify the youth, not just in Korea but also around the world. They sing about the tough times that young people have to endure, not only easy the pain of those that feel like they have no voice but also letting their fans know that they’re never alone.
Another thing that separates them from the rest of the groups around was the fact that they’re able to contribute to every song they do – from writing their own raps, to contributing to the producing of songs. They are more hands-on now, but I know Rap Monster and Suga have been deep into the production and writing since the start.
Debut: 2 Cool 4 School Ep, No More Dream 2013
BTS or Bangtan Boyscouts (방탄소년단) debuted on June 13, 2013 under a small company called BigHit Entertainment. They were highlighted and debuted as a hiphop group which was very evident with their first single No More Dream. The song showed a great showcase of their identity both as a unit and individually. This is also the first time we were introduced to the wonder that was Jimin’s abs. I still lose my shit every time he decides to bring them out for this choreography.
Their debut album 2 Cool 4 School – EP also showcased a lot of rarities in not only a K-Pop album but also recent western hiphop albums – the use of intro’s, outro’s and skits. Artists like Eminem and Kanye West use all three of these different formats on their albums, and it was also popular back in the 90s/00s, so it’s cool to see that a Korean boy group was also doing it as well – yet another way that BTS were showing their individuality and paid homage to the genre of hiphop in general. BTS’ intros and outros play a huge part of their discography, something I didn’t notice until later albums. These little additions appear on almost every single BTS album.
There are a lot of great bangers on this EP, my favourites being We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2 and I Like You. As I said above, they were heavy into their rapping with this first album. This album was also their first instalment of their School Trilogy concept – a trilogy that represents the younger age groups of youth.
We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2 was also released as an official MV which again showed their ties with hiphop but also more of their dancing skills.
Other Albums and Singles: 2013 – 2014
After No More Dream the boys quickly came back in September of 2013 with their next single N.O and their newest album O!RUL8,2?. This new album was their second album towards their School Trilogy concept.
This album feature a few more songs than their debut EP, still heavily focusing on hiphop. While No More Dream was more about being young and careless and always having a dream, N.O was the first single that talked more about fighting back against those in power – though it wasn’t the last. I’m sure the MV itself tended to be a little bit rebellious as it showcased going against the higher powers but showing it in a school setting.
This album also featured the very first instalment of one of my favourite running themes with BTS – Cypher Part 1. Their cyphers ended up being massive crowd favourites and a lot of people, including myself, are anxious and excited every time they release a new album just in case their new cypher will be a part of it.
My favourite songs on this album are Coffee and The Attack of Bangtan. Coffee showcases more of their vocals than any of their other songs and The Attack of Bangtan showcases their ability to have fun and pump up a crowd.
They released the third part of their School Triolgy in Feb 2014, School Luv Affair which features a lot of my favourite songs.
As I said above, Boy In Luv was the first song I ever heard from BTS, so naturally I would be overly attached to this album. They were still very focused on their hiphop style mixed with nice harmonies and solo voices given from all the boys.
My favourite songs on this album are Boy In Luv, Just One Day and my absolute favourite being Cypher Part 2: Triptych. After I’d gone back and listened to their earlier albums, I heard this album and I was sold. I think this is the album that they really started to show what they could do. Their vocal line was impressive but nothing could compete with their rapper line. And I still think that – there’s no other K-Pop group out there that showcase such a range and such highly-skilled rappers. You can argue with me on this if you want, I’ll be ready to argue back 🙂
This album was a great way to end their School Trilogy.
In August 2015, they came back with their first full album Dark And Wild and their new single Danger.
This album showcased a different concept for them. Although N.O was a dark concept, the overall theme of Danger and Dark and Wild was a lot more focused on hiphop and a more grungy concept.
My favourite songs on this album are Let Me Know, Embarrassed and their massive crowd pleaser Cypher Part 3: Killer.
As I just mentioned, this album focused more around hiphop, and the intro to this album in particular was breathtaking. Rap Monsters thick voice, his pacing/tempo and his ability to rap with such raw power is astounding.
By this point, the boys had received a few Rookie Awards plus had also had a couple of variety shows. This was also the year that they had their first ever solo concert – The Red Bullet. This was also the year that members J-Hope and Jimin tore the dance floor up in a collaboration stage with sunbaes Block B at the MAMA Awards.
The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Trilogy: 2015 – 2016
Now is the time when BTS’ popularity started to grow, mostly because of their next single I Need U and their album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt 1 (HYYH Pt 1) which was their most popular selling album so far. They’ve sold over 200,000 copies of this album so far.
This album is where the boys moved away from hiphop a little bit and dipped more into electronic/dance beat. They did still keep true to their hiphop roots with other songs on the album but their released songs I Need U and Dope showcased a different genre, ultimately leading to BTS getting their first win on awards shows for I Need U and also gave the boys their first MV to reach over 100 million views with Dope.
I Need U was also the first MV where they started to give us hints into the clusterfuck that would slowly lead into one of the most confusing and messed up stories I’ve ever experienced. I don’t plan on going over these theories or what I think the story is about, it’s just too much for me, I just wanted to point out that this was where the boys started to give us more than singles, MVs and albums. They gave us a story, totally open to interpretation.
My favourite songs on this album are Hold Me Tight and Outro: Love is Not Over, both of them ballads. Another song I wanted to mention was Boyz With Fun. They had made a song based off a name that their fans had given to them which I thought was super cute.
On November 20 2015, they released their second HYYH album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 2 and their newest single Run.
Although I’m not a huge fan of Run, this album was my favourite out of all their past albums. It was also my very first physical BTS album I’d ever bought, without even hearing any of the songs. But when I did…. Let’s just say I was happy… (Yea, I cried when I first heard it shh)
This album has so many great songs on it and it was still close to the same concept as I Need U and even a similar sounding album to Part 1. My favourite songs on this album are Butterfly, Bapsae, Autumn Leaves and Outro: House of Cards. Another song that is equally impressive is the Intro: Never Mind. This was the first time rapper Suga got to talk about personal issues and personal problems by himself. It gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it and I continue to shake my head in awe of his amazing rapping and emotional story.
Their last instalment to their Most Beautiful Moment in Life was with their special edition album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever which included their most important songs from the 2 previous albums. They also featured remixes and full versions of previous outros. Their two title tracks from this album were Fire and Save Me.
This album was really great as it had all the most important songs to the boys, but it also showcased how great the songs all sounded as a collection. They album is massive and I’m lucky to have both versions of it. Although it’s a little annoying for me to have like 3 different copies of some songs, I can’t help but sing along every time I put this album on.
The songs I liked the most were Save Me and Butterfly (Prologue Mix). The prologue mix in particular messed me up. It showcased how sweet the vocal lines voices could me as the song was a lot slower and emotional than the original version.
Now we move on to my favourite era for the boys. At the end of 2016, BTS was doing a lot. Before the album was even released, there were solo short film for each of the boys, each with different names. All these short films related in some way back to the story I briefly talked about before. Again, not going in to it – way too much to talk about and way too confusing to me to even remotely gather information in an orderly fashion.
On October 10 2016, they released their second full album Wings and their single Blood, Sweat and Tears. This album received 500,000 preorders in the first week and BS&T was the first K-Pop MV to reach 6 million views in the first 24 hours, breaking a record.
Blood, Sweat and Tears was another genre change for BTS. Although they still focus heavily on their usual genres, this song in particular was much more different than their other official singles. It featured a moombahton backing track which was very rare for K-Pop but it pushed them to a higher place, both musically and popularity-wise. Everything about this comeback was amazing. From the beautiful MV and location, to their fashion, to the way they sang. It was sexy as well, a concept we’d never seen before and it suits each and every one of them.
As I mentioned, this was my favourite era. Not only conceptually but the album was so amazing! It is, without a doubt, the best album I have ever heard. Not just in K-Pop but the best album of all time.
Prior to release they let out short films for each member. Usually this can happen in K-Pop groups, but the music in each one was different. This was a kind of foreshadowing for their album as it featured solo songs from every one of the members – they all contributed to the writing and producing of their own songs. I vividly remember hearing this album for the first time, I remember the first time I heard every one of these songs for the first time. I’ve never been so excited for an album before.
This album represents such a wide range of music genres. Because I love this album so much there are a lot of favourite songs. Jungkook’s Begin, V’s Stigma, Jin’s Awake, Cypher Part 4 and 2! 3! were the front runners though. The last song I mentioned is BTS’ official fan song which is great to see in concert.
At the end of 2016, the boys had won an award at Melon Music Awards for best album with The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever.
On December 2 2016, BTS won their first ever daesung for Artist of the Year at the MAMAs, making history again as the first group to ever win a daesung who wasn’t a part of The Big 3 (JYP, SM & YG).
Wings-You Never Walk Alone: 2017
In February 2017, BTS brought out a repackage version of Wings called Wings: You Never Walk Alone This album featured the same 14 songs from Wings plus four new songs (including the full version of their Outro: Wings.) Their title tracks for this comeback were Spring Day and Not Today. This reissue of Wings earned the boys over 700,000 pre-orders and getting them an all-kill on Korean music streaming sites.
Their title tracks were total opposites. Not Today was their typical high-energy, crowd-pleasing dance tracks where as Spring Day was a lot more mellow. I also feel like Spring Day was a genre we haven’t heard from BTS before. Maybe genre’s not the best word for it, but Spring Day definitely showed a different side to them.
When Spring Day was released, it beat the previous record of views in 24 hours (a title that they’d obtained with Blood, Sweat and Tears) and got over 9 million views. A week later when Not Today was released, they again beat that record by scoring 10 million views in 24 hours.
The other two new songs on this album are the full version of Outro: Wings and A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone. I’m not the biggest fan of the outro, though there are a lot of people who love it. I wasn’t a fan of the original version as I thought it didn’t fit being at the end of Wings due to it being quite fast paced and energy filled, although I can admit that J-Hope’s verse in this song is the best part of the song. But You Never Walk Alone (and Spring Day) are my favourites off this repackage.
And on May 21st 2017, BTS won the Best Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards. Yet another record breaking moment as not only were they the first K-Pop group to be nominated for a Billboard Award, they were the first K-Pop group to WIN a Billboard Award.
The amount and pride I have for these boys is out of this world, there are no words I can say, no amount of money I can give them that would get anywhere close to how much I love them. The effort it’s taken for them to get where they are right now blows my mind. I would never compare their efforts to another group but I can’t ignore the fact that they’ve been able to do all these amazing things from a smaller company – with the help of their fans.
I admit it, some of their fans are a little crazy which drives me insane to no end. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones who shove BTS down peoples throats, the ones who go out of their way to mention BTS on every single social media outlet (whether BTS is related to the situation or not) or – my least favourite – when they say that BTS are the best at everything.
They’re wrong: the boys are not the best at everything. They work hard to become better and better every time they bring out new albums and new songs. And what more could we want as fans. Their ability to be imperfect is what makes them human. It’s what makes them addictive. And it’s what makes me love them.