What happens when you bring together the female artist with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits and the first Korean boy group to have multiple hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in America?
BTS is a 7 member Korean boy group consisting of members; RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V, Jimin and Jungkook. They made their music debut in Korea on June 12ᵗʰ, 2013 with their hip-hop inspired song “No More Dream”. In February 2014 BTS came back with their third album, Skool Luv Affair, which peaked at #3 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart, their first time being seen on Billboard. BTS would eventually enter the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in September 2017 with their song “DNA”, making them the first Korean boy group to do so. On August 24ᵗʰ, 2018 BTS released their album Love Yourself: Answer, with the title track “IDOL”.
Hours before BTS released their new album, Love Yourself: Answer their label BigHit Entertainment announced that BTS will be releasing a special digital version of their title song featuring the rap Queen herself, Nicki Minaj. The song is an EDM style track influenced by South African dance music layered with traditional Korean music. “IDOL” takes multiple traditional Korean instruments, such as the gakgung, and combines them with African rhythms and trap rap styles to make a unique sounding song that expresses cultural diversity.
Throughout BTS’s career they have shown an interest in black American music and the culture that surrounds it. Their songs since debut have been known to have hip-hop influences. In July 2014, a year after their debut, BTS came to America to work with American hip hop artists, Coolio and Warren G to help learn more about hip-hop culture. Since then, they continue to show their interest in hip-hop and African cultures through their music and their dances. As their popularity worldwide grows, they have gotten the chance to collaborate with many hip-hop artists, such as Wale, Desiigner and Nicki Minaj. With these collabs, BTS are building a bridge that will help bring together two cultures and help spread them across the world. As producer Automatic, who has worked with K-Pop idols in the past, said at the Black American Music & K-Pop panel at KCON 2018, BTS working with these American hip-hop artists will give each artist the ability to spread awareness of each other’s cultures respectively while also showing that multiple cultures can come together and make art. You can read more about the panel in the LA Times article here!
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Watch the record breaking music video here: