The BTS team, which includes the band members themselves, and their managers, and their social media marketing experts, are taking western artists to school right now because, Jesus, the amount of content that they’ve been dropping with the release of their new album, Map of the Soul: 7, is staggering. And impressively effective.
First, let’s catch up. MOTS: 7 is now BTS’s fourth consecutive No 1 album on the Billboard 200 with 422,000 album units earned, making it the biggest album of 2020 so far. And remember, both Eminem and Justin Bieber have released albums this year. Their album unit sales didn’t crack the 300K mark. And their albums are in English whereas MOTS: 7 is in Korean. The last group to achieve this was The Beatles, just to put it in perspective. BTS fans, aka ARMY, would want me to tell you that they accomplished this without bundles, which is how many other artists stack their numbers these days.
On top of that, BTS’s lead single, “ON”, came in at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band’s highest singles ranking so far. And they did this without much western radio play. North American stations do not have “ON” in heavy rotation. For more on why this is such a big deal, read Aja Romano’s piece for Vox on their “unprecedented” flex.
Every day for the last couple of weeks, BTS has been dropping bombs. They’ve been all over South Korean music countdown shows doing live performances. When they’re not doing that, they’ve been releasing more exclusive content on their channels, like behind the scenes footage of rehearsals or candid moments from backstage or dance practice videos (my personal favourite) or actual music videos. And whenever this happens, ARMY responds by tweeting and meme-ing and screaming and driving more and more traffic and momentum builds yet again, not that it ever had a chance to slow.
They are trying to kill me. At this rate, seriously, I can’t live.
This morning, yet another video, the official music video for “Black Swan”. An “art film” for “Black Swan” came out in January featuring MN Dance Company, a modern dance group from Slovenia. But since BTS is extra as f-ck, they decided they had to follow that up WITHOUT NOTICE with their own dark angels in a theatre version and give and take all our energy at the same time because, f-ck me, in addition to the fact that they’re already so beautiful, it’s breathtaking and excruciating at the same time, they’re also showing us our future beauty trends. BTS is the reason I don’t wear matte lipstick anymore. It’s lip stain with a light gloss on top – and I f-cking swore seven years ago that it was matte or life. F-ck them. Seriously.
And f-ck Jimin (he’s the one who’s doing the most solo dancing in the video) and his gorgeous moves. As you know, I’ve always been partial to Jungkook, and a lot of this is because I love the way Jungkook hits his marks. But Jimin has a fluidity and a litheness to him that they’ve correctly put in the spotlight in this video since his vibe and these visuals go together perfectly. He and JK in corsets though…
I’m not sure how I will ever recover.