THE POWER OF BTS AND ARMY
By JULIE LEE ‘22
“Kim Nam Joon! Kim Seok Jin! Min Yoongi! Jung Hoseok! Park Jimin! Kim Taehyung! Jeon Jungkook! BTS!” This is the fanchant of BTS that ARMY, the BTS fanclub, chants before the title songs of BTS start. The people who chant them are not only Koreans but all the ARMYs around the world.
BTS is a South Korean boy group consisting of seven member: three rappers (J-Hope, RM, and Suga) and four singers (V, Jin, Jungkook, and Jimin). The group debuted on June 13th, 2013, with their song, “No More Dream” — a hip hop infused track encouraging fans to follow their dreams instead of society’s expectations. In 2015, BTS gained popularity in South Korea with their song, “I Need U,” but soon became one of the most internationally acclaimed K-pop groups. They officially became popular in the USA and other western countries with their title track “DNA” of the album Love Yourself: Her. BTS has come a long way since their debut and the boys believe that this is all because of ARMY. To thank their fans, BTS released “Map of the Soul: Persona” on April 12, 2019.
Their newly released album is based off the book “Map of the Soul”—a psychology book written by Murray Stein detailing the philosophies of Carl Jung. The title track, “Boy with Luv” featuring Halsey, sends a message to ARMY about how the seven members of BTS are in love with their fans. It is a song that sends happiness and love. It not only shows BTS’ love towards ARMY, but also their long journey to become one of the most popular groups in the world. They put in similar choreography from their other performances as a sign of remembrance of their past. Other songs included in the album are “Make It Right,” “Mikrosomosis,” “Home,” and “Dionysus.” After releasing their new album, BTS has been very busy with their world tour, Love Yourself: Speak Yourself. They started off at Los Angeles, California and visited Chicago, Illinois and East Rutherford, New Jersey as well; currently, they are in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On June 1st and 2nd, they also performed in London’s Wembley Stadium which is a stadium only the most famous celebrities perform at.
From the Grammys to the Ellen Show to Saturday Night Live, BTS has been setting amazing records that no other K-pop groups have been able to accomplish. The Empire State Building even historically changed its color to purple, a color that symbolizes the love between BTS and ARMY. People predict that BTS will continue to do these record-breaking things. RM, the leader of BTS, said that “these things are only possible because of the little things ARMY and BTS share together”— an admission that made fans very proud.
The biggest reasons for BTS’ popularity are their positive messages, modesty, and gratefulness. They continuously tell ARMY to love and accept themselves, as seen with the lyrics, “You've shown me I have reasons, I should love myself,” from the track “Answer: Love Myself.” Their modesty is also one of the huge factors as to why fans connect with them so well. Although they are one of the world’s most popular boy bands, they always say that they are still the same seven boys as they were six years ago when they first met. They never brag or think of themselves as different people. They continuously do kind deeds—like how J-Hope donated 250 million won (approximately $222,000) to ChildFund Korea—and they try to never forget their original resolution. The thankfulness BTS shows toward their fans is amazing as well. They truly believe ARMY is the only reason they were able to become so successful. V said during an interview that “ARMY is [his] life” and none of the members ever forget to mention ARMY when they have achieved something.
The BTS and ARMY power is very strong. They have achieved so much together, and many followers wonder what they will achieve next.