I have several posts planned out for this topic but the latest BTS FESTA dinner on June 14th came… and everything almost turned blurry all of a sudden. Like, no one saw this coming…
OUR FIRST EVER K-POP ALBUM PURCHASE
We posted on our IG stories on May 5th that we have pre-ordered the latest album of BTS the moment BigHit Music shared that “PROOF will be an anthology album to enter their “new chapter” and will comprise three CDs spanning BTS’ career, plus three new songs. Slated for release on 10 June, pre-orders for the new record began on 5 May, 11 AM KST (10 AM SGT/PHT)”.
This is the first-ever album that I’ve decided to really purchase after Eraserheads (i think). This came after several months of “stan-ning” the group on what started out from curiosity (inspired by this vlog by Benedict Cua in November 2021, and also the “lingering/LSS effect” of the repetitive chorus during their Permission to Dance L.A. concert series), which eventually turned out to be my “escape” from Philippine politics during the campaign season up to middle part of 2022… and eventually an inspiration to become better, excellent, and to move with purpose.
I totally agree with what Suga (one of the main rappers of the group) mentioned on one of their previous content (not sure if it’s on one of their Festa episodes also) that when you start liking BTS, you will never be able to go out (in a good way). The curiosity will come piling up and you will surely come back looking for more.
GETTING TO KNOW BTS
I remember watching some of their old videos and documentaries a few years back: THE HISTORY OF BTS, THE HISTORY OF BTS, BTS HARDSHIPS – Heartbreaking Stories Of BTS When They Were Trainees, BTS // FROM NOBODIES TO LEGENDS , BTS // FROM NOBODIES TO LEGENDS . If you will go through some of these videos, you can’t help but be emotional, inspired, and motivated. But that was it then… I never thought I will go this far.
After sorting more information (i mean.. a lot of it) about the group in the latter part of 2021, I realized why they are considered the best in the world – actually the next best thing after THE BEATLES, at least for the global music industry in this generation. Their superpowers are simply their talent and skills, their dedication to their craft, and their comic and oftentimes childish antics which makes them human after all.
RM (BTS’ leader, official spokesperson, and art lover), Jin (the persistent and eldest member who often disguises his limitations with his outspoken personality), Suga (talented rapper and in-demand producer rolled into one), JHope (who used to pitty himself for lack of fans but has now captured the admiration of many due to his sun-shining personality and genuine concern for the members esp the maknae line), Jimin (who is iconic and awesome on his dance moves), V (who used to be bubbly, now turned quite serious and loves to be always fashionable), Jungkook (his amazing vocals and visuals, on top of being athletic and competitive – that’s why he is called The Golden Maknae, watch his fierce and admirable looks during performances but childish and “bunny”-like persona on other videos)… they are the 7 wonders of the world of ARMY and BTS.
In such a short span, I can say I’ve practically watched almost all episodes of RUN BTS (the band’s own series broadcasted weekly on their V LIVE channel since 2015, until episode 156 in Oct. 12, 2021 when they also announced their indefinite break); four seasons of BON VOYAGE (from Season 1 in Europe – featuring lost passports and many of their first-time travel jitters, Season 2 in Hawaii (wait, why can’t I remember any highlights – except they were grouped in pairs in order to bond closer), Season 3 in Malta where the car chase scenes in the 2022 movie Jurrasic World Dominion reminded me of BTS’ tour around those alleys, I think even their hotel where they stayed and the first restaurant they went to were also shown, up to Season 4 in New Zealand); and two seasons of IN THE SOOP – their mini-vacation series where they can freely schedule their hobbies and activities in a camping-getaway setup. And when I almost run out of content to watch, some of the ARMY in Qatar also suggested watching BTS American Hustle Life, their Dance Practices, and even reaction videos from popular dance choreographers and vocal coaches – which made me admire them more, on a technical sense.
They’ve been a trailblazer in creating video content for their fans (they call ARMY) which made them very relatable and well-loved by millions. They were also successful with their numerous original merchandise and NFTs which according to PD Bang (the founder of Big Hit Music and Hybe Corporation) were some of their many ingenious innovations (read more of his feature on TIME MAGAZINE here). Their games/app, webtoon, and many more are the new directions that we’ve never seen in any other bands. Their sold-out worldwide concerts are proof of their effectiveness as performers, even as individual persons (while they are a group, many fans stan them individually).
BTS “PROOF” CAME AT A BETTER TIME
Some may say newbie ARMY (the PTD era) may have barely scratched the surface (of knowing the band) and have to literally RUN to keep up with the fast-paced activities of Bangtan boys. I even have to burn CDs of their setlist from PTD LA, Seoul, and Las Vegas just to familiarize the songs, and to have the “feeling of” virtually attending the concert while inside the car (driving time is always the best time to listen to them).
And that is the reason why purchasing PROOF ALBUM would give new ones a concise collection of their best hits, unreleased mix tapes, and even their latest singles (without having to purchase old albums).
This is their 9th anniversary offering to their millions of fans globally.
BUT THEN THIS HAPPENED…
The announcement came as a surprise. And when I started to (try to) understand it all… the group may have been preparing for this announcement (maybe) even prior to their LAS VEGAS concert in April 2022 where they shot all the “PROOF” album release specials and tried to hold all information… all emotions until now. I wonder what they’re thinking during the Grammys (which also happened during the same time). Remember that prior to this, they even have to do the WHITE HOUSE visit and other music show promotions in Seoul after the album launch?
It could not have been easy for them… and for that, we should just simply appreciate them for “packaging” it as nice as they could. In the last 9 years, I never read or heard them say negative things about each other publicly and they have maintained the highest level of professionalism I’ve never seen anywhere else.
YET TO COME…
Since the release of their latest single YET TO COME… which I literally made sure to watch when it premiered on the early morning of 10th June, 2022 (my son’s birthday too), I knew then that something was off (I just couldn’t figure it out). The video left you wanting… or asking for more. There’s a feeling of nostalgia, even sadder than SPRING TIME and LIFE GOES ON. It just hits differently that I couldn’t explain…
While some experts and long-time followers of the band may have easily recognized the resemblance and connection of the new music video to old BTS MTVs, it was indeed a collection of their popular eras as they close the 1st chapter and move on to the next. The last clip showing the group inside the bus left me wondering what it means. Are they going to the military as a group? Are they going somewhere?
UNTIL THE BOMD WAS DROPPED… and BOOM! It was first mentioned as a “hiatus”. BTS, while we will not see them perform as a group “will be focusing more on solo projects at this time” – as they find their own identity and try to showcase their individual talents. However it was also mentioned that RUN BTS may also continue… So, they’re definitely not disbanding, thank goodness!
But when you came to love them as a group, it still feels odd when you don’t see them together (even though we might still be seeing them a lot, individually… most especially on social media).
Of course, seven grown-up men can’t live together that long, all (if not some) of them may get married sooner or later, and they will finally have to live their own lives. And as Suga has mentioned before (not verbatim), he really hopes that as he lives his best life as SUGA of BTS, he will also not forget living his best life as Min Yoon-gi (as himself).
Jungkook puts it out nicely when he asked the ARMY (although he doesn’t have to) for blessing and for everyone to understand their decision (that’s very Korean): “we’re each going to take some time to have fun and experience lots of things. We promise we will return someday even more mature than we are now”.
So now goes the line from YET TO COME… “Promise that we’ll keep on coming back for more!”
I realized that at the back of their many successes (as Jimin also mentioned in the last video that they also fight and were able to fix it too) are struggles that they can’t say or show easily to the public. And I couldn’t imagine how difficult it can be for young men like them to keep so many things in private. And I like it when he said that ARMY should never forget how valuable they are to the group and ARMY was considered in this decision.
Chapter 2 of BTS now unfolds… albeit individually… yet they will be forever a group of 7 men in the hearts of many. For BTS and for ARMY, the experience will never be the same until they regroup soon. But it is all for the better… all for the future…
As in our own lives… things will not always go our way or what others want it to be… we may have to go one step back to move two steps forward soon… what matters is that we always have to focus on our goal and try to live our best life as much as we can. For sure, for
You and I, best moment is yet to come…