BTS: The Biggest Name in K-Pop


Courtesy of Media Cater

Smera Arun

BTS, also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, has been rapidly rising up the charts in popularity ever since they released “Butter” and “Dynamite,” two of their three English songs. 

There are seven members, Kim Namjoon (RM), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Min Yoongi (Suga), Jung Hoseok (J-Hope), Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung (V), and Jeon Jungkook (sometimes known as Kookie). 

RM is the leader of the band, and used to be known as Rap Monster or Rapmon when he was a solo rapper. After he released a few more solo tapes, he was invited to a hip-hop agency. One of the judges there was impressed by his rapping and connected him to the producer of Big Hit Entertainment. Finally in 2010, he became the leader of BTS. 

Min Yoongi, known as Suga, began as a rapper under the title of Gloss in high school. He began to compose and produce for local artists, but soon started making tracks for more well-known artists such as Reflow, who actually worked with Suga on his song, “Who Am I.” When he saw a flyer for Big Hit’s rap competition, “Hit It,” he decided to audition. He didn’t win first place, but second was enough for Big Hit to sign him as a trainee, and Suga planned on becoming a producer. He was later convinced to join BTS in 2010 as one of the band’s rappers. He often jokes that the founder of Big Hit tricked him into becoming a member of BTS. 

Jung Hoseok, also known as J-Hope and Hobi, was best known as a dancer before BTS. He began in Neuron, a dance crew in his hometown, before he auditioned for JYP Entertainment. Although he passed the first few rounds, he was eventually cut from the agency, which led to him auditioning for Big Hit Entertainment instead. Big Hit saw his talent and sense of rhythm, so they signed him as a rapper. However, while he was a trainee, Big Hit and J-Hope almost parted ways before RM convinced them both that their band needed a member like J-Hope. He stayed with the band and became one of the rappers, along with Suga and RM. (Little fact that fans probably know, he likes to introduce himself as, “I’m your hope, your my hope, I’m J-Hope.”) 

The fourth member of BTS was Kim Seokjin, Jin, or as he likes to call himself, “Worldwide Handsome.” He was first scouted by SM Entertainment while in his hometown, but since he thought it was a scam he never followed up with the company. He was later scouted by Big Hit Entertainment while in college, and was convinced to audition for the company. Jin had a theatre major, so he was originally trying to become an actor. Big Hit had other plans, and eventually he became one of the vocalists for BTS. 

Jungkook is one of the main vocalists for the band, and also the youngest, earning the title of “Golden Maknae.” He was first discovered when he auditioned for Superstar K in Busan, his hometown. Although he was eliminated, it gave him enough exposure to be noticed and scouted by several agencies. In the end, he chose Big Hit Entertainment because he was impressed by RM’s rapping and wanted to work with him. 

Kim Taehyung, also known as V is from a family of farmers and had a dream of becoming a musician. After a recommendation from his father, he began to play saxophone in high school and later went with his friend to an audition for Big Hit Entertainment in Daegu. V didn’t intend to try out, but a staff member at Big Hit encouraged him to. That day, he was the only person from Daegu to make it to the next round, and eventually became one of BTS’s vocalists. 

Jimin started as a student at the High School of Arts in Busan, where he studied in the Department of Dance. A dance teacher there was awed by his talent and encouraged him to audition for Big Hit Entertainment. Jimin passed the audition and flew to Seoul, where he became the final member of the band. He debuted with the rest of BTS in 2013. 

Courtesy of K Drama Planet

Now, although BTS is arguably the most popular k-pop group in the world, their success wasn’t exactly served to them on a silver platter. Their first few performances were on a free stage, and they had to personally invite people to their concerts. The band members stated in an interview that they had to walk around and hand out fliers for their shows to people passing by. They were barely able to book shows, and if they were, they were sometimes pulled out of it last minute. BTS also had to deal with a lot of hate from various TV shows because they were from a small company, and because they weren’t very popular at the time. On Weekly Idol, Suga wrote a self-produced song for Dony and Cony, the hosts of the TV show whom he idolized. They cut him off in the middle of the song, repeating that it was, “not their style.” The hosts still didn’t accept when Suga offered them the song for promotional purposes. That wasn’t the only time where one of the members was shown disrespect because of their low popularity. When Jungkook was on the show Flower Crew, he bought burgers and sodas for the hosts. The show’s cast harshly declined, stating that the food looked like leftovers, and asked him to take it away. Although Jungkook told them that he “sincerely bought them” they still didn’t accept the food. Many fans noticed that on the broadcast, Jungkook looked on the verge of tears. BTS not only received hate from variety shows, but from people online as well. Many stated that their band “won’t make it.” RM responded to this type of comment on his live, saying, “I will prove it to you all, someday” and he did! BTS is now known worldwide and has millions of fans all over the world, who are called, A.R.M.Y or Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth. This just goes to show that although you may be criticized, you can still push forward and you will make it. Just look at BTS. 

Finally, here are some words from fans at Rio Norte. When asked what their favorite song is, an anonymous 7th grader says, “Boy With Luv.” We went on to ask about their opinions on whether BTS’s success is overrated. “No, I don’t think their success is overrated. I do think other bands deserve credit too, but BTS worked for their success and are super talented and deserving of all their success.” 

As BTS said, “Dream, though your beginnings may be humble, may the end be prosperous.”