BTS: A Year in Review

BTS. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is familiar with this name.

We have been reviewing memories our favourite artists have created and in this article, our artist will be BTS, the chart topping South Korean boy band.

This year, BTS released two albums, an EP, a mixtape and a playlist.

Love Yourself is the fourth era of BTS’ career, and it started back in 2017, with Love Yourself: Her. It starts off with an intro sung by Jimin, titled “Serendipity”. New tracks including “DNA”, “Best of Me”, “Dimple”, “Pied Piper”, “Mic Drop”, “Go Go”, and a hidden track named “Sea” can be heard throughout the album. This first part of Love Yourself ends with an outro by the rap line, titled “Her”. A skit of the Billboard Music Awards speech is also included in the album, in which Namjoon, or RM, thanks the Army for everything they’ve helped the band achieve.

“Ocean, desert and the world. Everything, same thing, different night. I see ocean, l see desert, I see the world. Everything, same thing, different night. It’s life again.”  Namjoon was caught almost tearing up while introducing the emotional track, “Sea”, during a V Live.

Singularity” is Taehyung (V)’s intro to Love Yourself: Tear, the second part of the series. The new tracks included the famous “Fake Love“, as well as “The Truth Untold”, “134340”, “Paradise”, “Love Maze”, “Magic Shop”, “Airplane Pt.2”, “Anpanman”, “So What”, and another outro by the rap line, “Tear”.

“Magic Shop” was a song BTS dedicated to the fans:

Lyrics from Namjoon’s rap, “Don’t forget that I found you anyways, at the end of my despair. You’re the last reason, for me who was standing at the edge of the cliff, live,” hints that the fans are the ones who give the members hope when they feel like giving up.

From Hoseok (J-Hope)’s rap and Jungkook’s and Taehyung’s lines in the first verse, “I’m not going to say anything blatant like “find strength”, I will let you hear my story, let you hear it,” and “I wanted to become your comfort and move your heart. I want to take away your sadness, and pain,” it also means that in return, they also want to give back comfort and strength to the fans, the people who have helped them through dark times, but it’s impossible for a boy band who made it internationally to give comfort to each and every fan. So, as an alternative, they want to create more lyrics, and let the fans know that even they themselves who are idols, are hurting too, and all we need to do is listen to their music and know that they will be by our side just like we were for them, and that they want us to stay strong, too.

The third and final part of Love Yourself was Love Yourself: Answer. This album featured a new intro by Seokjin, “Epiphany“, and three releases from the rap line, which were “Trivia: Just Dance”, “Trivia: Love”, and “Trivia: Seesaw”. A full version of Jimin’s “Serendipity” was also released, which surprised many fans who have been waiting for it. Other tracks were “I’m Fine”, “Idol”, “Answer: Love Myself”, and new versions of both “DNA” and “Fake Love”. 

Idol” became the single for this album, and a version featuring Nicki Minaj was also released. It’s a song with a lot of traditional Korean references, in which BTS explained in this interview:

Bonus: Love Yourself: Wonder was an ongoing project by BTS that lasted from 2017 to 2018. “Euphoria” by Jungkook was the song that came out with Love Yourself: Wonder.

Face Yourself, which was a Japanese EP, was released back in April. It featured Japanese versions of their popular tracks like “Blood Sweat and Tears”, “Go Go”, “Spring Day” etc, and new songs like “Let Go” and “Crystal Snow”, which was so beautifully written and composed that it brought many people to tears.

Japanese versions of “Fake Love” and “Airplane Pt.2”, which were newer releases, were also released officially on music platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.

“The Truth Untold” and “Mic Drop” were not the only Steve Aoki collaborations, as “Waste it on Me” was later released as a single. Jungkook and Namjoon were featured on the track, and though not officially confirmed by the boys or BigHit themselves, Jimin can also be heard as the background vocals.

Yoongi (SUGA), who is known as one of the best producers in BTS, also remixed his own version of “I Need U” and “Seesaw” and released it on Soundcloud.

Hoseok has had an amazing year. He released his mixtape, Hope World, and it entered the Billboard 200, which was the highest entry for a solo K-pop act so far.

John Cena also admitted that his favourite BTS member was Hoseok, and mentioned “Base Line” and “Hangsang” as his favourite Hixtape tracks.

Hobi also made an unexpected appearance in Drake’s “In My Feelings” video, which he himself was surprised of. He uploaded a video of himself dancing to the song on Twitter and never expected himself to be in a Drake video.

Namjoon gave the Army only two days to prepare for the release of Mono, the playlist, or mixtape, he’s been working on for years. Namjoon only announced the release of it on Twitter with just a cover featuring the titles of the tracks written in messy handwriting, in which fans say belongs to Yoongi.

Mono released and all seven tracks were beautiful in their own way. For example, “Moonchild”, a song Namjoon said was dedicated to people who have a hard time living in the day and likes the night time to themselves, can be played while you’re having a tough time and need comfort.

In “Seoul”, Namjoon expresses his love-hate relationship with the city, and also talks about his own experience with the city. Namjoon plays with the concept of love and hate and shows how two things are related to one another, showing us both the dark side and bright side of Seoul. Namjoon also raps about how Seoul has changed him as a person, and that his childhood is distant now. Being born in Ilsan but living in Seoul as both a trainee and an idol for so long, he now sees Seoul as his home. Seoul is the track I listen to when getting into a carefree mood. 

(Stream Mono!)

Run BTS! is a free BTS variety show offered on the V Live app. It began in 2015 and was on hiatus as the members completed their Love Yourself World Tour. In each episode the boys get a mission to complete which can earn them prizes or punishments, but on an expected afternoon on December 24, a new trailer / teaser was released for the variety show, which excited many fans.

Not only did BTS released variety shows like Run BTS!, they also released “Burn The Stage”, a documentary series, in which they released on YouTube Red. Months later, “Burn The Stage: The Movie” was released worldwide in cinemas. A new BTS movie, “Love Yourself in Seoul“, is now set to release on the 26th of January and will only be in the cinemas for one day. 

BTS 4th Muster, in which the band would prepare some special stage and performance for the members of the BTS official fan cafe, happened in January. The BTS comeback show was also released this year. It featured skits and performances from the boys. 

This year, BTS also got the order of cultural merit from the Korean government. Besides that, they were also praised by the South Korea President Moon.

BTS were also on the front cover of Time Magazine, labelled as the Next Generation Leaders.

BTS also got the once in a lifetime opportunity to speak at the UNICEF, and Namjoon’s speech inspired millions of people. Namjoon told a story of his childhood, on who he is, and asked questions including “Who are you?”, “What excites you?”, “What makes your heart beat?” and ended his speech beautifully with “Speak Yourself.”

The speech was simple but beautiful. BANGTANTV, the group’s official YouTube channel, also released a behind the scenes video of Namjoon rehearsing his speech over and over, which touched the Army’s heart, seeing how hard the leader works and how the members will constantly be by his side encouraging him, like Jimin giving him a massage. BTS’ bond really is beautiful and I reckon that we all hope that we have a friendship like that.

To think that Namjoon self taught himself English by watching “Friends”, and now he’s speaking so confidently at the UNICEF.

BTS also got the opportunity to collaborate with Charlie Puth on the Genie Music Awards, where they sang “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “Fake Love” beautifully.

Jungkook has always been a fan of Charlie Puth’s music, and the collaboration was really a dream come true for Jungkook, his band and the fans.

Speaking of collaborations, Namjoon has stated that he’d like to collaborate with Ed Sheeran, in which the members agreed to. Well, it seems like it might happen soon.

Ed Sheeran was answering questions the internet never expected him to answer, and @moonchildontcry’s (me) Tweet came up.

“i want bts x ed sheeran but when will they ever” was read out by Ed himself. He smiled at the camera and teased fans of both Ed Sheeran and BTS, saying that he has sent a song to the South Korean boy group and that he heard that they were “messing with it.” 

Yoongi, or Suga from BTS, Tweeted an update on the collaboration and #BTSXEDSHEERAN went trending worldwide number one just four minutes after.

We are so, so looking forward to the collaboration. What do you think it’ll sound like? “Spring Day”, “I Need U”, or “Spine Breaker”? We don’t know what to expect, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to be amazing and topping charts when it releases.

Michael Jackson’s former boss also invited BTS and Luhan to participate in the legend’s 60th Birthday Tribute, but unfortunately, BTS couldn’t attend due to the then upcoming world tour and album release.

Among hundreds of interviews, BTS did one with Buzzfeed in which they took a quiz to see which member they were similar to, and Yoongi stated how he’s “not sure how reliable the quizzes are”.

I mean, it’s Yoongi we’re talking about.

On the Noisey Qustionarre interview, the boys of BTS were very enthusiastic and expressed their love for a certain Pokemon character named Mangnanyong, and Namjoon even Tweeted a picture of said Pokemon at midnight, worried over how the fans wouldn’t know which one it was as he said it’s name in Korean during the interview.

How cute can they get? :(

BTS also went on Jimmy Fallon’s show, and both Jimmy and Jimin created a close bond quickly. Jimmy even wore Jimin’s BT21 character, Chimmy’s headband, which made the members laugh so hard. They also did a Fortnite Dance Challenge, which was also very adorable.

BTS attended many award shows like the AMAs, and the BBMAs, in which they won Top Social Artist for the second time in two years and made their debut with “Fake Love”, and Korean ones like the Golden Disk Awards, in which they won a Daesang.

BTS also got their first Grammy nomination attached with their own name, for Best Recording Package. It was an award for best album cover art, which is done by the art director HuskyFox, for “Love Yourself: Tear”.

BTS also is the first Kpop group to win a Daesang at the KMA. The KMA’s results is based only on music quality and judges, which is like a Korean Grammys. They also won Musician of the Year, which was an award never given to a K=pop group, which was very amazing as they produced and composed their own songs, with help from other producers from BigHit.

Plus, “DNA” and “Mic Drop” were songs that were certified gold by the RIAA.

BTS made an appearance on America’s Got Talent, and performed “Idol”. They met Tyra Banks and were called the world’s biggest boy band by Simon Cowell himself.

BTS recently attended the SBS Gayo Daejun 2018, and performed six songs, one from each year since their debut. They also attended the KBS Gayo Daechukje 2018, in which they performed for an hour.

BTS also attended all three nights of the MAMAs 2018, in South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. They performed on both the Japan night and the Hong Kong night, with tracks including “Fake Love”, “Anpanman” and “Airplane Pt.2” and “Idol”, respectively. Their performances on both nights were so amazing that it trended worldwide.

BTS also won the main awards, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year, on the Hong Kong night, and there were no dry eyes for both the band and the fans. Seokjin opened up that the members were having a hard time mentally to the extent that they thought about disbanding, but they stayed strong, for both the fans and themselves, and even renewed their contract, which was coming to an end, but is now extended for another seven years. The Army were so proud of them but also felt like the cause of Bangtan’s stress, and #ThankYouBTS became trending on Twitter, thanking all seven members for staying so strong.

On a lighter note, BTS collaborated and worked on projects with the LG ThinQ smartphones, Reebok, Converse and Coca Cola. They also became ambassadors for VT Cosmetics, Hyundai’s new SUV: Hyundai Pallisade, Puma, and for Seoul tourism.

BTS’ BT21 merch and shirts also became available in Hot Topic, the store we used to buy our rock band merch from, and Anti Social Social Club.

BTS also visited the Line Store in LA, and left hand prints and signatures for their BT21 characters. Facebook’s Messenger also launched BT21 stickers with their partnership back in July.

Tata is the BT21 character Taehyung created, and “Tata Language” became a thing within the Army after BT21 released a Christmas video featuring it.

It is also a known fact that no matter how busy the boys of BTS get, they’re still the idiots everyone loves. For April Fool’s this year, BTS changed their Twitter layout to the face of the founder and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, Bang PD. In return, the Army changed their icons to pictures of BTS with beards.

It happened again for Jin’s birthday. It was called the “Jin cult”. What happened was the Army changed their icons to the same picture, or similar pictures of Jin, in which he jokingly asked for to become his ‘birthday picture’, during a video early this year. It happened, and everyone on Twitter were Jin, and BTS joined in.

It was wild, with fans doing “Jin cult follow party” and more fan projects.

All in all, BTS has had an amazing 2018, and we hope that you did too!

Will BTS drop more songs and albums next year, or will they finally get the rest they deserve?

We hope that Namjoon, Seokjin, Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook will have a beautiful and happy new year, along with everyone reading this! We purple you. :)

Written by Ariana Khoo

@moonchildontcry on twitter | malaysian student who loves ed sheeran, bts, got7 and ateez.