What will K-pop be left with if BTS disappears?

"You can call me an artist, you can call me an idol. I don't care what you call me", RM sang the opening line of the BTS song IDOL a few years ago. But it seems that now, BTS has taken care of that.

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The world’s most famous group has just announced that it will temporarily separate so that each member can pursue their own careers.

RM says he feels like he’s turning into a rap machine, the band is losing its way, they don’t know what message they want to send to the world anymore, and the K-pop industry doesn’t give them time to grow up.

Maybe they don’t want to be just an idol or an industrial product. Maybe they want to be artists.

What will K-pop be left with if BTS disappears? For the past 5 years or so, to many Western audiences, BTS is K-pop and K-pop is BTS.

Perhaps that’s why the president of the Korea Singers Association asked BTS to consider it, saying that without “the second Beatles”, Korea’s soft power would also quickly fade.

The president did not think that if BTS was truly “the second The Beatles” as he said, then their pause was inevitable.

56 years ago, while drunk at the height of the Beatlemania craze, the British band also decided to stop touring continuously, stop playing cute guys with similar hairstyles and faces, stop doing things rock ‘n’ roll song with a simple rhythm that drives the kids crazy.

They hide themselves in the studio and make real artists.

In the MV Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment) released two weeks ago, the band stood in front of a bus in the middle of the arid desert, with the words “Emergency Exit” on it.

 

The fact that the top group finds themselves in an emergency also seems to imply that K-pop itself is in a state of emergency.

It’s not urgent because without BTS, K-pop runs out of capital. Again, if BTS were the “second Beatles” they wouldn’t be famous just to be famous, they would have to be pioneers of something bigger than themselves, as The Beatles led “Invasion” mausoleum of England” paved the way for “a cyclo in” the great band.

And while Hallyu is on the rise like a tsunami in all aspects of entertainment, if they already have “The Korean Beatles” then why don’t they have “The Korean Rolling Stones” and more.

What’s in a state of emergency is K-pop’s operating system, a system that breeds idols but destroys artists. K-pop is perhaps the desert in Yet To Come, a land that is vast but also increasingly barren and musically monotonous.

The group’s member Suga is honest that in the past he had something to say but lacked skills, and now he has skills but doesn’t know what to say. Once mastered, one can live well in the desert, but why live in the desert?

A few years ago, BTS appeared at the United Nations General Assembly and in his speech, leader RM recounted his childhood in Ilsan, when he used to try to mold himself like everyone else and shrink like shadows. ghost. BTS got through it but again, they must be going through it, only they have become famous ghosts.

RM encourages people to love themselves and tell their stories: “I want to ask you this question. What’s your name? What excites you and what makes your heart flutter?”. It’s possible that right now, BTS themselves are asking themselves that question and don’t have the answer yet. But that’s okay, the important thing is that they asked out.

According to the annual report of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, BTS leads the global recording artist rankings for 2021, surpassing Adele, surpassing Taylor Swift. BTS knows they have reached the top as idols.

So for now, the only thing they need to prove is that they’re ready to do something that will be left to time…