BTS’s “Map of the Soul: 7” Rises to the Top of International Charts

The Korean Boy Band Gains Worldwide Popularity With the Release of New Music


BTS, also known as the Bangtang Boys, poses at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

Katerina Gebhardt, Entertainment Editor

For the past few years, a new phenomenon has been taking over the music industry: Korean Pop, or K-Pop. K-Pop has become increasingly popular in the United States and around the world, and boy band BTS is at the forefront of the movement. The seven-member band has risen to fame worldwide and on Feb. 21, BTS released its fourth studio album, titled “Map of the Soul: 7.”

BTS—made up of members Jungkook, V, Jimin, SUGA, Jin, RM, and J-Hope—got their start in 2013 and have steadily gained popularity worldwide, appearing on countless talk shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” Additionally, the band’s list of awards and nominations is constantly growing, even making their way to European and American awards shows. For example, BTS performed at the 2020 Grammy Awards alongside Lil Nas X in a new version of his hit song “Old Town Road.” Their fans, dubbed the ARMY, have been growing their ranks worldwide since BTS’s debut, and the band will soon be launching a world tour to perform for their fans across the globe.

“Map of the Soul: 7” is comprised of 20 songs, five of which appeared on their 2019 extended play “Map of the Soul: Persona.” The album blends rap and traditional pop styles, taking inspiration from different genres and styles of music. Additionally, the album features collaborations with popular American artists, such as their song “Boy With Luv,” which features American singer Halsey, and a remix of “ON” with artist Sia. The variation of styles, combined with the mix of American pop and K-Pop, gives the album a fresh, modern feel. 

BTS has been incredibly open when it comes to the struggles of pressure from their fame, and “Map of the Soul: 7” reflects many of these insecurities. In their hit song “Black Swan,” for example, the boy band sings about losing love for what they do and feeling overwhelmed by shadows and dark thoughts.

However, as the album progresses, the reflective and serious mood of the album changes, as in “Moon,” where they sing about shining bright for all their fans. “Map of the Soul: 7” is a brilliant journey of self-reflection and self-empowerment, something which is apparent even to those who do not understand the Korean lyrics. 

Since its release, “Map of the Soul: 7” has gained critical acclaim, even making its way onto the top of Rolling Stone’s Album Chart and reached number four on Billboard’s 200 Chart. BTS has shown the world that K-Pop deserves a place in the modern pop world, and their newest album’s success and message will shine in the hearts of listeners worldwide.