Kim Young Dae tried his best to explain how and why someone is a fan of a group, more specifically, the K-Pop group BTS. Working as a music critic, he published a book in 2019 called “BTS: The review: A comprehensive look at the music of BTS”. He studied the fascinating phenomenon that is BTS to do his best to answer that question. He even created a twitter account dedicated to your book!

To become popular on the international music scene, you have to work hard, and BTS is a good example of that. The group stood out from other K-Pop groups with the power of their lyrics with meaningful messages and the help of their dazzling and charismatic performances. Kim YoungDae offers us an analysis of the success of this group, unique for their exceptional journey. To do this, he surrounded himself with music professionals in order to have a broader view of the phenomenon that is BTS.

Let’s take a look at BTS’ career together!

“BTS: The Review” (2019)

Kpopmap's Best K-Lit: An Analytical Look at BTS' Career with "BTS: The Review"


book review

Author: Kim Young Dae

Editor: South Korea

Length: 286 pages


hip hop idols

Before BTS became what it is today, i.e. a group with millions of records sold, artists like BoA and PSY managed to find their audience beyond Korean borders, paving the way for the famous group. Now, the seven singers that make up BTS; RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, JiMin, V and Jungkook are number one on US, UK and Japanese music charts and more. Its success is undeniable, even if the path taken has been full of obstacles, each one more difficult than the other to overcome.

Such glory is such that thousands of people sit in stadiums around the world to see the group break all records. That was proven once again this weekend when the group held a free concert in the city of Busan, South Korea. However, BTS sees the birth of their ARMY fanbase in the United States after suffering disparaging comments in Korea following their debut in 2013. The group breaks the codes by claiming to be a hip-hop group, that Koreans consider too much. effeminate and unworthy of attention, especially since BTS was not from a major production agency like YG, JYP or SM.

Kpopmap's Best K-Lit: An Analytical Look at BTS' Career with "BTS: The Review"

bts twitter

Since their debut, however, the boys managed to stand out from the K-Pop music scene at the time with their denunciations against society, pushing young teenagers away from their dreams of hope for a better world. With hip-hop and R&B sounds, the group debuts, ready to respond to those who denigrate their productions.

RM, Suga, and J-Hope, the group’s rappers, lead the way through the first few albums of BTS’ career, highlighting the cruelty of society, while vocalists Jin, JiMin, V, and Jungkook sing of the ideal future they want to have. The boys’ messages are raw, aggressive and moving, but there are always hints of hope here and there. It is with this authenticity in their music that BTS has found its fans around the world to build a career as impressive as it is today, directly drawing inspiration from the members’ experiences.

Stop telling me to change paths, hey, mind your own business” – ‘No More Dreams’

The new model of kpop

BTS’s success is not surprising, as it follows the path already laid out by its elders, that is, Good, WARM, big BangSuper Junior, Psy, and many others. However, BTS’s success is unprecedented, as day after day, the group is breaking records, receiving awards and gaining fans at an impressive rate like no K-Pop group or artist has done before. Furthermore, it is common for Korean entertainment agencies to recruit members of foreign origin to form their groups in order to reach a wider audience; which is not the case with BTS. The seven members are all Korean and proud to represent their country wherever they go.

One of the other peculiarities of the group is its origin: a small agency little known to the public, which with the help of a single group manages to become, in a few years, the first agency in the country in revenue. That agency is Big Hit Entertainment [now Big Hit Music, under HYBE Label], which encourages its artists to develop their skills by allowing them to write and compose their music. BTS has slowly managed to win the hearts of Koreans, and so many others around the world, with the sincerity that emanates from the touching words of seven boys simply wishing to live “the most beautiful time of their lives”.

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They point the finger at me, but I don’t care one bit. Whatever the reason for your criticism – idol

The most popular pop group in the world

With the rise in popularity of BTS on the international music scene, a new phenomenon has emerged: that of “BTS fans”. Typically, it is common to self-proclaim as a “K-Pop fan” by liking one or more K-Pop groups. However, more and more people claim to be fans only of BTS (the phenomenon even sees the fun term “BTS-Pop” being born on social media). This applies particularly to the United States, where the group’s success is more than assured, being the only Korean group to have been nominated at major award ceremonies such as the BBMA, AMA or, more recently, the Grammy.

After winning the “Top Social Artist” award at the Billboard Music Awards several years in a row, BTS asserts its position as the most popular group in the world. However, the seven artists don’t forget their roots, as they frequently allude to Korea in their lyrics or music videos. Despite their rich activities mainly in Japan and the United States, they assert this: they are first and foremost Koreans and nothing will change, as their song ‘Idol’ demonstrates.

Kpopmap's Best K-Lit: An Analytical Look at BTS' Career with "BTS: The Review"

BTS Instagram

BTS’s music, although Korean (with the exception of three English titles), manages to reach people of all ages, genders and races. The authenticity of their titles goes a long way toward explaining how this Korean group knew how to gain a very diverse fan base while raising awareness for the right causes. In fact, BTS members are leveraging their popularity to lend their voices to campaigns for UNICEF, and have even given speeches at the United Nations, a first for a K-Pop group.

The story of her success has yet to be written, and Kim Youngdae is well aware of it. BTS represents a source of fascination for many, and who knows when an artist will take the same path. If you want to understand the origin of the BTS phenomenon, your book will find analyzes of the group’s discography, as well as a series of interviews with journalists, critics and songwriters that dissect the path that BTS has taken.

Yep, the past was honestly the best. But my best is what comes next” – Yet to come

Kpopmap Rating: 9/10

If you’re a fan or just curious about BTS, this book is for you! Let us know in the comment below what you think of the BTS group!

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