BTS dropped an album yesterday. BTS: The Best, a Japanese compilation album, has already broken chart records in Japan to go along with “Butter” staying at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a third week in a row, which represents their longest #1 streak so far. There have also been rumours that the band may drop another full album some time in July and if that’s true, it will mean their summer reign will be extended likely well into the fall….perhaps to the chagrin of certain music industry experts who don’t necessarily feel like their success with “Butter” and so many of their hits is legit since it’s their many millions of fans who are putting in so much of the effort by streaming and buying their music. So is that how we’re moving the goalposts now? That what qualifies as authentic success should be an “organic” movement?
It’s an ideal that has been romanticised over time by entertainment culture. You know this movie, right? Struggling musician dreams for a shot to play at the club, finally gets a break, someone finally hears the song, gets signed, they’re put into the system, but then it doesn’t feel like they’re singing their truth, so they go back to their roots, magic happens, changes the world, the end. Or they keep dropping their tape off at the radio station and it gets ignored, but one night the DJ is sick and the intern plays it by mistake, everyone hears it, changes the world. That’s the purest path of a #1 song, and sure, it happens every now and again – Lil Nas X would be a modern social media equivalent but you’ll recall, there was a lot of resistance to “Old Town Road” when he first disrupted the scene so you would think, if this is indeed the dream, the way it “should” be, the insiders would be a lot more invested off the top instead of fighting it almost every step of the way until they’re forced by the moment to capitulate.
BTS may have a lot of marketing influence now, but that doesn’t mean their origins weren’t “organic” and if western music industry insiders had better knowledge of how they got started, they’d actually see the “purity” in how they actually came to be the biggest band in the world. RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook came from what was at the time a ragtag label. They were not initially embraced in South Korea. They were rejected by many of the music shows and the usual music promotion outlets that are considered star-makers in their home country. But for whatever reason, local fans who did respond to their music and fans from around the world somehow found their sound even though they weren’t at the time specifically targeting audiences internationally. The fact that their songs and their lyrics resonated with people who are not Korean was as much of a surprise to them, then, as it was to everyone else. I’m not here to do a lecture on the History of BTS but that’s pretty much a three line synopsis of their beginning. And doesn’t that meet, in every way, the definition of “organic”? There was never a path for seven Korean artists rapping and harmonising and dancing before to take over music around the world. If invention isn’t organic, then, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, to be honest, when I initially decided to open the site today, it really wasn’t intended to be a Ted Talk on why BTS still isn’t taken seriously. My motivation was much more selfish. So let’s get back to that.
I still haven’t had the BTS Meal at McDonald’s yet. Which probably makes me a delinquent ARMY. I thought about it yesterday though, because I wanted to celebrate getting my second shot, but the reason I’ve been holding off to begin with is that I’ve been prepping for a shoot on June 28 and these pictures have to last for a while so my whole plan was to basically hit up the drive-thru as soon as we wrap that day. The problem is, according to my research, the BTS Meal ends on June 20 which means I only have three days left to do it, if I’m going to do it.
So, basically, I’m wondering if McDonald’s might extend it by another week. McDonald’s if you’re reading this, please make this possible.
Yours in gossip,