4:55 pm - 02/15/2018

BTS Get Their First US Cover Story on Billboard Magazine

BTS Speaks Out In Seoul: The K-Pop Megastars Get Candid About Representing a New Generation

by E. Alex Jung

No sound on the planet inspires as obsessive a fandom as K-pop. The “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” of BTS have (finally, for real) imported that mania to America -- all in Korean, as they rally dissatisfied millennials around the globe.

Built in 1957 as a reception hall for South Korea’s fledgling postwar government to entertain foreign dignitaries, the Korea House is a quiet oasis amid the tumult of Seoul, with a photogenic courtyard and collection of old-school Korean houses known as hanoks. Normally it’s the setting for historical TV dramas or weddings, but on this bright, cold mid-January morning, it’s a hideaway for the seven-man Korean pop group BTS, whose celebrity has expanded past K-pop’s traditional sphere of influence and, especially during the last six months, moved into the United States as well.

When I arrive, the band is sequestered in a room within a room, behind paper doors manned by a security detail. In the outer room, over 20 groomers, publicists and other handlers from the group’s management agency, BigHit Entertainment, mill about, grazing on the provided snacks and drinks. Everyone speaks in low tones. The members of BTS need an extra 15 minutes before the scheduled photo shoot, I’m told. They are, understandably, exhausted: Their schedule has been packed since New Year’s Eve with performances, TV appearances, commercials and meet-and-greets. I flew into Seoul expressly to meet them for this rare opening in their calendar.

I highly recommend checking the rest of the article at the source (there are also a few pictures and a video interview you should watch). This is their first US cover story. They discuss many issues and I love how outspoken Yoongi is on various topics compared to Namjoon's carefulness lol but that box set? Ain't nobody got time for that.

Source: Billboard
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bethmai 15th-Feb-2018 03:21 pm (UTC)
when will your faves etc

I swear tho every international interview fails to mention how tired/exhausted/busy they are, it makes me glad they're taking at least a semi-break. surprised they're not burnt out.
swegkitten 15th-Feb-2018 03:28 pm (UTC)
i completely get why namjoon had to be more cautious like he's still the leader of a kpop boyband and korea is still mothereffing korea but damn

yoongi made me tear up. i hope korean translations of this article come out asap and that every lgbt k-army/korean person who might happen to read it, can sleep at night feeling a little more safe and a little more at peace than they could before.

which sounds dramatic for what seems like just one sentence from an interview but god, as someone who has never even been directly discriminated against for being bi, yoongi just outright saying there's nothing wrong with it is gonna have me emotional for the rest of the week.

Anyway, ilyall love yourself love myself peace 💖
jyusou 15th-Feb-2018 03:36 pm (UTC)
Dude, Yoongi’s response to that legit just made my night. I’m so proud of him.
ironicmustache 15th-Feb-2018 03:32 pm (UTC)
smh they set up rapmon to knock it out the park and he couldn't even do it.

the pictures are really great (but v is looking dangerously close to having a mullet on his cover lol)
thebloomroom 15th-Feb-2018 03:32 pm (UTC)
Omg wow proud of them. Jimin and JK lookin like snacks as usual. Im crying at them having EIGHT covers tho, way to scam army lmaoooo. They know what they are doing
rainstormraider 15th-Feb-2018 08:21 pm (UTC)

Its almost too mercenary now. Like tone it down everyone.

jyusou 15th-Feb-2018 03:33 pm (UTC)
I really liked this article, was even contemplating learning the posting rules of this comm to post it myself lmao.

All I have to say is, I’m proud of Min Yoongi. It’s so refreshing to see someone know when to take a stand on something and speak his mind. He’s where the truth lies behind Bangtan’s current branding. If it weren’t for the things he’s said in here that branding would have been disingenuous and superficial at best. Rapmon plays it safe here, but I don’t know if that’s good or bad, because when he doesn’t he tends to put his foot in his mouth. That being said, he showcases himself best when he is reflective, and not trying to push for something.
swegkitten 15th-Feb-2018 03:41 pm (UTC)
ia re: the reflective part

i feel like anything he could've said re lgbt would've been overshadowed because yoongi is so much better at the whole "this is where we stand, take it or leave it" thing just owing to who he is as a person

his bit about the future on the other hand, is gonna stick to me for quite some time
broadcities 15th-Feb-2018 03:49 pm (UTC)
i loved this interview! i always really appreciate in-depth questions like these instead of the standard 'what's your ideal type' etc.

like others have said, i appreciate yoongi speaking out for lgbtq+ people. i hope a lot of fans and nonfans find strength in his support. namjoon seems more cautious in the interview, as the writer mentions, which i personally think it's because he feels the pressures of public opinion the most in the group - partially because of his position as leader i think, being their 'spokesperson' for the group. he kind of contradicts himself in saying that they're agents of change in that sense, but i also have to remind myself that kpop is grounded in a different industry and culture/society than for example the u.s. entertainment industry.

also loved!! the question whether they could still be considered underdogs, because a lot of fans still frame them that way.

the styling is wonderful!! actual models, hoseok is a star etc.

nekobot 15th-Feb-2018 03:52 pm (UTC)
Resident BTS negative nancy here can they please just get an endorsement deal or activity in the US that they actually get a cut from already? A magazine "box set"?? After that whole patch and pop up card thing I'm not here for all these American outlets majorly cashing in on them in exchange for nothing but exposure that they don't even need anymore at this point by selling stuff with their names and faces on them, they should get a piece of the profits as well. There should be more options to buy official BTS merch or special items outside of Korea instead so that what fans spend actually gets back to them, they're spending so much time and effort on this stuff.
vintage_boom 15th-Feb-2018 04:01 pm (UTC)
it's because their US roll out plan mostly involved hiring really great PR. That's why they're everyone on digital/talk shows but nowhere in stores. They make more money at their concerts in the US than they would from pairing up with a brand or doing a hot topic deal

they should be pushing their online store more tbh
millie10468 15th-Feb-2018 03:52 pm (UTC)
How so typical.

Namjoon makes his support of LGBT known for many years and after being dragged for literally breathing is understandably cautious about how he says what he says but is literally saying the exact same thing Yoongi's saying, and all of a sudden he's a "disappointment" and is "tonally shifting from what he's said previously" when most of it is the writer's own color and his words are not different from Yoongi's.

Yoongi says one sentence and he's idolized and all of a sudden, Namjoon has never been bravely outspoken.

And people still wonder why Namjoon is the one who has to be cautious about what he says.

I'd like to say I'm surprised but I'm really not lol
aquariuslover 15th-Feb-2018 03:56 pm (UTC)
sayuai 15th-Feb-2018 03:52 pm (UTC)
These articles always kind of crack me up with their descriptions. Thinking about that one writer describing their staff taking care of them still cracks me up sometimes.

I think there's a lot of pressure on Namjoon to say the right things all the time. I can understand why he tends to be more cautious lately. Though it's really interesting how different he and Yoongi are when they express themselves. I feel like they have a lot of the same opinions, but Namjoon is someone who has to think about things a lot before he feels comfortable to speak on it even a little and Yoongi just tends to say whatever it is he's thinking. You can also see it reflected in their rap styles. Namjoon tends to articulate his thoughts in a more flowery, symbolic way and Yoongi tends to be more straightforward.

Slight thought-vomit aside. I'm glad Yoongi and Namjoon went there and actually said there's nothing wrong with it.

Also their English keeps improving so much! Hobi and Jin had me shook!

Edited at 2018-02-15 03:54 pm (UTC)
slobfemme 15th-Feb-2018 03:59 pm (UTC)
lmao i agree so much about namjoon and yoongi. namjoon is a lot more philosophical and abstract with what he says, like he leaves a lot unsaid and ur left like what??? whereas yoongi is a lot more direct, i love it.
melonsalad 15th-Feb-2018 03:54 pm (UTC)

i can't word it properly but there's something in yoongi's way of speaking and attitude that really resonates me on a deeper level than i thought would be possible

Edited at 2018-02-15 03:56 pm (UTC)
vintage_boom 15th-Feb-2018 03:54 pm (UTC)
you know...for a music industry magazine they sure love to sensationalize the fuck out of kpop instead of breaking down why the industry is able to build such strong and dedicated fanbases.

not even touching on the mass migration of directioners and 5sos fans to kpop because of the void in the industry? but that would require work instead of the bare minimum for clicks.

this whole "teenage girls be crazy" angle is so tired.

and doing this the day the visited JJong's memorial is fucked. BigHit wtf.
mc1a 15th-Feb-2018 04:00 pm (UTC)
and doing this the day the visited JJong's memorial is fucked. BigHit wtf.

?? The interview is from this year.
slobfemme 15th-Feb-2018 03:58 pm (UTC)
this was a really well written and good interview, and i love the styling of the photoshoot and the pink outfits, and the backgrounds are all really pretty. i also love yoongi in this interview, he's so forthcoming with his opinions. he's such an interesting and passionate person, you can tell he's really committed to making the world better and i love that.
violoncelliste 15th-Feb-2018 04:09 pm (UTC)
i'm honestly usually the first in line to kinda cringe at bts being praised for things they didn't say or do, but this is the first time they didn't say that much but i don't mind it. rm might not have given a speech about equal rights, but i won't believe for one second that, considering how close he is with suga and how long they've known each other, he doesn't share his views on the subject.

tbh i have so many feelings about this entire thing but i don't even know when to start and there's no conclusion to those feelings either
yixingsforehead 15th-Feb-2018 04:40 pm (UTC)
i mean, i was expecting something more groundbreaking cause of all the covers, etc. but it's nice regardless.

i know rm has to be pc because of reasons, but sugaaa!!

idk what to think of the oh-so-korean backgrounds there... they're korean, and proud to be korean, but if i was doing pr for them in the usa i would mix in something more contemporary/futuristic korean there, too? anyway, if this is not a one-off, then the issue is going to solve itself, i'm sure they'll have some more diverse shoots later, something more bts.

what i like is how their songwriting got a little praise, however i'm still pressed no one ever brings up the most genius part of their hits (how they address fame). idk i wrote something on my blog about that, i hope someone from some big paper steals it at one point lol
jazzygyu 15th-Feb-2018 05:04 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to be less critical of RM. I feel like I always understand what he means but I also get annoyed when he isn't more direct. I realize my fustration is usually misplaced and that he probably feels like he can't say everything he wants to. So I try not to be so hard on him...even though it can be frustrating cuz they are viewed as group who takes risk and are willing to talk about what others are not but even then they still are very careful. With RM you almost have to guess sometimes where he stands on certain issues.

I'm glad Suga spoke so much during this interview cuz I enjoy hearing his thoughts as much as I enjoy listening to RM. I also really like what RM said about the future. I love how he words things. People can mock him all they want for being "philosophical" but he's always really sincere in what he says. He always has a really interesting way of connecting words and meaning. Like I remember he did a vlive where he connected the Korean words for "person,love,live" "사람,사랑,살다" "saram,sarang,sarda" and how he felt those words were made that way for a reason because we were born us humans to live and love people. That may sound cheesy to some people but it's one of the reasons I really like RM and the way he speaks. With that being said lmao at them shading Jimin's rapping. I really enjoyed this interview!

Edited at 2018-02-16 04:31 am (UTC)
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