The BTS was the first Korean singer to keep chart for three consecutive weeks at US Billboard main chart ‘Hot 100’ and ‘Billboard 200’ for the first time. A variety of interpretations and evaluations of the success of the BTS in the US market are pouring in from home and abroad. In particular, local media in the United States explains the secret to the success of the BTS in the United States, including the Beatles and Psy, and the popular song Despacito. However, the phenomena and records that the BTS makes in K-pop and American mainstream culture are quite different from them. Bulletproof Boy Scouts are writing a new history that has never been seen before.
Invasion of a strange culture? It’s different from the Beatles
The worldwide popularity of the BTS is often compared to the Beatles by local media in the US, including Rolling Stone. As well as the image impact of the number of fans at the airport, the immediate and simultaneous reaction from the global iTunes charts immediately following the release of ‘LOVE YOURSELF 承 ‘Her’ and the results of the Billboard charts, reappear the Beatles and the British Invasion. It is true that it gives the impression that it is like. The way the bandits interpreted the Beatles and American hip-hop and EDM as K-pops that interpreted American rock-and-roll as an English style musically was a point of comparing them in terms of ‘familiar but strange new sound’.
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But it is hard to compare the Beatles and the BTS to the phenomenon alone. The success of the Beatles in America is hard to explain and explain the historical relationship between Britain and the United States, which share linguistic and cultural roots. It is estimated that the admiration for the European culture of the ‘New World’ in the United States has also had a considerable impact. Except for musical sympathy, it is a description that does not apply to the BTS. Ironically, the crucial difference in this background is attributed to local media as a “Beatles Shock”. The only thing the BTS had was music and performance.
Global Syndrome? It is different from ‘Gangnam style’
Psy’s ‘Gangnam style’ was a syndrome not only in the United States but also in the whole world. The BTS also released ‘LOVE YOURSELF 承 ‘Her’, followed by the first in the iTunes album charts in 73 countries around the world, the first in the Billboard single chart ‘Hot 100’ and the album chart ‘Billboard 200’. Since Korean singers are well received abroad and loved by the masses around the world, it is natural to compare the two in domestic and foreign media. Both are songs that are written in Korean, and songs and performances are at the same time.
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But in the US market, the success of Psy and the success of the BTS are completely different. The world has paid attention to the ‘Gangnam style’, and if it is a cyber uniqueness and humorous, the evaluation of the BTS is a genre-specific style of story and K-pop. The same goes for non-mainstream to the mainstream. If the ‘Gangnam style’ started with a universal B-class emotion that everyone can easily access and enjoy, the BTS started from the bottom based on powerful fandom distributed all over the world. It is not immediately possible to expect Cyber-class destructive power that puts the name on the top of Billboard, but the expectation for sustainability is evaluated more than Psy.
Presentation of diversity? It’s different from Despastito
Despastito is the most talked about with the BTS in the United States recently. The popularity of “Despastito”, which contains the graceful Latin pop charm, and the popularity of the K-pop genre, which is a mixture of music, story, visual, and performance. It is quite possible to compare them, not to English, but to sing in their native language, to have a unique style of their own, and to the resulting interpretation that the new music they are present naturally fused into the diversity of American culture.
However, Latin music such as Julio Iglesias and his son Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are already in the mainstream in the American pop market. Singing in their native language also makes the simple comparison negligible considering that the percentage of Latinos in the United States is 17.1% of the total population (as of 2015), considering that it is the second after white people, it simply makes a meaningless comparison. Indeed, if the assessment focuses on diversity, the process of the BTS entering the US mainstream culture will have a more decisive historical significance. This is because the BTS clearly marks one genre of K-Pop in the US market, which is a cultural standard of the world with one content without any background.
The Beatles, the Gangnam style, the Despastito frenzy and the BTS are pouring out many different phenomena each day. The BTS has been writing a new history every day in the American market in a way that no one has ever created. That is why the BTS is coming out more amazingly.
Meanwhile, the BTS will perform at the ‘2017 American Music Awards’ held in Los Angeles on November 19 for the first time as a K-pop group.
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