Since their debut in 2013, the K-pop kings BTS, also known as the “Bangtan Boys”, are the best things that have happened to the world since Jollof rice. Of course, none of their success would have been possible if their art — the songs and their accompanying music videos — weren’t any good, E.g. “Permission to Dance” earned 152 million plays in its first seven days of release on YouTube in July 2021. The septet comprising Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, V, Jungkook and Jimin, use their lyrics and visuals to express their love for their “ARMY” (Adorable Representative MC for Youth) They sing to remind this “ARMY” about taking care of their mental health while asking them to rebel against bullying and governmental corruption. Most of all, they teach their fans that they never walk alone and also how to love themselves. In no particular order, here are 7 of our favourite BTS music videos, one for each member of the band:
1.“Blood, Sweat & Tears”
This is by far BTS’s best music video, as well as one of their best songs. “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is the title track for their 2016 album “Wings” and falls into the Bangtan Universe created by Big Hit Entertainment, which contains all the concepts and eras surrounding the group’s fictional universe. The video’s themes are based on a dream state which revolves around friendship, love, temptation and the transition from youth into adulthood.
One thing BTS will do is to break away from the standard expectations of K-pop videos to give us the most aesthetically pleasing visuals and plots.
From their outfits to the choreography, RM’s short rap bit, and that last scene with V. Omo! Of course, this song earned them their first nomination for a Billboard Music Award.
2. “FAKE LOVE”
Jungkook starts the intro with, “I grew a flower that can’t be bloomed in a dream that can’t come true.” And immediately, I knew that heartbreak was waiting for me in the lyrics.
“FAKE LOVE” is the lead single in “Love Yourself: Tear”, the group’s third album. The video broke the record for the most-watched music video on YouTube within 24 hours, hitting 35.9 million views on its first day. In “FAKE LOVE,” BTS calls us out for not appreciating ourselves, being afraid and desperately trying to hide our insecurities. The video gave me early 2000s vibes, with scenes of BTS trying to run away from this fake love they sing about. Throughout the video, each member has to confront a representation of their darkest fears until they learn to be true to themselves.
3. “Black Swan”
This video is an artistic masterpiece, and every scene is breathtaking. This is one of the best songs in their 2020 album “Map of the Soul:7.” RM sings, “If this can no longer resonate, no longer make my heart vibrate, then this might be how I die my first death,” affirming that their passion for music does not burn as it used to, especially since the band’s oldest member Jin was up for mandatory service enlistment. While fans were sad about this, they also appreciated how much Jimin’s knowledge of contemporary dance was used to create a daunting version of a black swan. We stan hard.
This was the group’s first single recorded fully in English. They released it in summer 2020 to give their fans hope and happiness at the start of the pandemic. It shattered so many records and won them a Grammy nomination.
The visuals were charming with their retro funk-influenced outfits; just think of V’s baby blue Kangol hat and the chore in a record shop. The video was a shot in beautiful pastel colours as BTS attempted to encourage their fans. We were well encouraged, thank you.
Idol is a Korean word for pop stars. They live for their fans and the public always has opinions on how they should live their lives.
BTS used “IDOL” to show us they are Koreans and extremely proud of it, and that they do not intend to live for the public eye. They basically said, “I be Idol no mean say I go die.” The visuals were fun and silly, unlike most of their videos, and this song is also part of BTS’s love yourself series.
For this video, BTS set some of their props on fire and sources have said that it’s the perfect workout song — if you do that kind of evil thing.
Several K-Dramas have used this song for their workout scenes, and I do not blame them. The choreography is enough work as it is. The energy in this song is unmatched, and it is literally fire. If someone mentions “Fire” by BTS and you do not immediately hear SUGA’s “Bultaoreune” in your head, are you even a fan?
I mean, I had to add an old song for the culture. BTS does not just sing about loving yourself and hope, they also sing about social justice. “No” was a protest against the harsh academic standards and expectations of Korean kids. They sang about being turned into study machines and losing friends just to be at the top. BTS used this song to encourage people to go after their dreams and be free. Of course, they have an army at their back supporting them when they constantly speak up for the youth.