Editor’s Note: Before you dig into Ana Clara Ribeiro’s enlightening list below, a reminder to tune in to BTS’s MTV Unplugged performance, airing for the first time tonight, February 23rd (check your local listings for time). After the show, head back over to Consequence where our own Mary Siroky will have a special review of the performance. And if you’re as big of a BTS fan as all of us here, be sure to pick up our new K-Pop t-shirt in our store.
BTS is one of those rare phenomena capable of uniting people of all places and ages. The fandom, called ARMY, have much to look forward to lately, as the band will be featured tonight in a groundbreaking MTV Unplugged episode full of firsts for both MTV and the band. However, for ARMY members whose teenage or young-adult years were impacted by artists like Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, and Pearl Jam, who not only performed on the venerated MTV franchise in the 1990s but also recorded some of their best music there, BTS’s performance will definitely have a special feel.
And that’s not the only link connecting the Korean band to this generation. BTS is, after all, mostly made of Millennials, too, born between 1992 and 1997. While many of their self-written songs contain universal truths and dilemmas that anyone can relate to, some sound more like a Millennial chronicle book, filled with social commentary, self-reflection, and intersections of both. That the lyrics are in Korean is no problem — the fandom has plenty of translators and constantly engages in online discussions to interpret the lyrics and share their thoughts and feelings about them. Academic research has shown that while 89% of BTS fans credit the music as their reason to like the band, 63% also credit the band’s overall message. It’s only natural, then, that such music and message will connect with fans from the same age as the group. What is surprising, however, is just how many BTS songs could actually serve as Millennial anthems.
Looking at the 10 songs on this list, you’ll understand a bit why Millennials feel so connected to these K-Pop superstars.