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How South Korean boy band BTS became a K-pop hit by fighting for social rights

Nissen, Aleydis 2018. How South Korean boy band BTS became a K-pop hit by fighting for social rights. The Irish Examiner

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Since bursting onto the music scene five years ago, South Korean boy band BTS (“Bangtan Sonyeondan”, “Bulletproof Boys Scouts”) has become an incredible force for good. This year alone, the collective – which consists of members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook – has won several awards for their fan engagement, while tickets for their world tour sold out in minutes. Their third full length album, Love Yourself: Tear, became the first non-English language album to top the Billboard 200 in 12 years. Though some global critics may still be baffled by the band – The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis has ignorantly called the “actual contents” of BTS’s third album “almost beside the point” while branding BTS fans as hollow minded saying that, “perhaps a group whose lyrics you don’t understand represent an appealingly blank screen” – BTS’s impact cannot be denied. Love Yourself: Tear is a maximiser’s dream. The dreamy dark tunes dip into multiple genres, from neo-soul, through Latin to scream rap. But dig deeper into the messages of the song, and you will find precisely why the K-pop band is unparalleled. BTS has never obeyed social conventions or taboos. Every lyric strikes a chord with South Korean youth, and resonates all over the globe.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: The Irish Times
Funders: Cardiff University, Seoul National University, Fund Pascal Decroos
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Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:28

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