It is always interesting when ARMY starts discussing topics that are related to BTS, whether it be to vent, hype up or write how proud they are of the members or how much the lyrics and music has changed or influenced them. It always happens, with every comeback or new single release, those who will be disgruntled with BTS’ output of the day. After “Permission to Dance” was released there was talk of some fans “unstanning BTS” because they did not like the song. Others did not like the fact the BTS has produced another English song. Talk of them not being the “old BTS” or being too commercialized or they have changed too much…
It is expected as artists that one develops and grows, just as the saying goes “20 kids cannot play together for 20 years” an artist who does not grow will simply dissipate as the fans will cease expecting anything interesting. As much as an artist can stick to his style that he/she is known for, they do eventually grow and try new things which sometimes are even better than their original starting point.
It is true that BTS have changed. But why do some individuals regard it as a negative change? After all BTS was originally a hip hop group before debuting as idols. As much as they did not debut as a hip-hop group, they still maintained hip hop in their discography. Their musical style has evolved to include a wide range of genres over the years.
BTS’ Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, co-writes and co-produces much of their own music for their singles and albums. Their lyrics, often focused on personal and social commentary, touch on the themes of mental health, troubles of school-age youth and coming-of-age, loss, the journey towards loving oneself, and individualism.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in recognized their sincerity and inclusion of diversity as key to their success, writing, “Each of the seven members sings in a way that is true to himself and the life he wants to live. Their melody and lyrics transcend regional borders, language, culture, and institutions.”
Rather than adhering to a specific genre, BTS have introduced new elements into their sound and musical repertoire with each successive release. Beginning with old-school hip hop on 2 Cool 4 Skool and O!RUL8,2? in 2013, BTS first experimented with R&B and rock on Skool Luv Affair and Dark and Wild in 2014; orchestral strings and EDM in their The Most Beautiful Moment in Life album series (2015–16); moombahton, neo soul, and gospel on Wings (2016) and You Never Walk Alone (2017); future bass, Latin pop, and jazz hip hop in their Love Yourself album series (2017–18); and emo rap, rap rock, Afro pop, nu-disco, funk, trap, pop rock and pop rap in their Map of the Soul album series (2019–20)
A conversation started on what it means for BTS to have “changed” so what are your opinions on the same? Read on to find out if you accept or disprove of these fans’ opinions
A perfect depiction of BTS’ discography and how much they have ‘changed’
“Changes are good. You can’t eat kimchi strew for the whole of your life, there’s should be some jjajangmyeon, bibimpab Hoeddeok, Bulgogi, Samgyeopsal, Japchae too” jyo⁷ (comment of the day)
“BTS never changed, the public just decided to ignore their korean songs.” triangle kimbap⁷
“changing is good, stuck is not good, humans develop. over time our mindset changes. if you think something has changed in them, it means you are not growing. they have delivered good music, and being commercial is not a mistake, it’s an industry.” rie
“They’ve gotten too commercial” welp, I think they’re perfectly fine. I would never call Black Swan or Life Goes On commercial…. BTS don’t have the fault that you only know those songs” BTSBAGS
“srsly, we’re talking abt BTS here. I’ve been a fan since 2014 and let me tell you they never stick to one genre or concept. wdym they changed? no they didn’t. what they are is being creative & actually using their talent yk.” DK•TNJR⁷
“Well yes they have changed, everyone changes. What they wanted to do in the beginning is different to now. At the start they wanted to be a hip hop group who impressed people with their talents and now they want to inspire many people with more uplifting music.” yuki_army24
“Well yes they have changed, everyone changes. What they wanted to do in the beginning is different to now. At the start they wanted to be a hip hop group who impressed people with their talents and now they want to inspire many people with more uplifting music. Well yes they have changed, everyone changes. What they wanted to do in the beginning is different to now. At the start they wanted to be a hip hop group who impressed people with their talents and now they want to inspire many people with more uplifting music. they did started as hiphop. but what I mean here is even back then they always include 1 or 2 songs in a whole different genre in their albums. they didn’t change; in a way that they had always been exploring new things, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore. they didn’t changed that creativeness and willing to expand their talents that they have, is what mean here.” DK•TNJR⁷
“i mean what’s so bad about the change anyway? that’s what’s bothering me about the disrespect lately. It’s not change its called growth n as a true artist they r trying new things n that’s what musicians r supposed to do. But some of them don’t have brains to understand.” Kris⁷
“True tho, it should be called versatility bec that’s what it is. It’s okay if ppl have different preferences but telling the boys that they’re not the same in a negative way like they know the 875 more than the boys themselves is just not it.” Shane⁷
“Army’s trust the boys n I’m happy for them growing. I’m stanning them since 2018 , n whenever they have cb I get excited cause their music is always new n fresh. That’s the reason they keep growing bigger every day” Kris⁷
“Same. been here since 2018 and never been disappointed in any cb. They bless us with great and amazing music every time” Babie_mochi
“Also the “I miss BTS” word when in fact that half of us just stan them during 2019 until now. They only target songs that’s currently trending but ignoring their past songs even albums as well. I started to stan them during 2019 but I listened to their old songs when I was a baby fan in that year to know more about themselves also their albums during debut & I observed that my classmates told me they know BTS only 2015 but they didn’t know their songs from 2013-14. Same! My old bestfriends knew them since 2016 & thanks to them I already knew them & since I was introvert back then I searched all the infos about the group until I met those 7 angels who changed my life” 𝕊𝕠𝕣𝕒 𝕂𝕚𝕞¹²
“changing is good, stuck is not good, humans develop … over time our mindset changes If you think something has changed in them, it means you are not growing…they have delivered good music, and being commercial is not a mistake, it’s an industry” listenboy
“MY LUNGS! the BWL only is so funny but sadly it’s so true, BTS english songs are amazing as they put double efforts for the lyrics and english studies but I guess it’s never enough for some people,but I’m glad now this fandom gonna be cleansed from toxicity and haters , ty ptd” BUTTER LOVER
“Idk why when they produce a japanese album, like full with three new japanese songs it’s okey, but if it’s English, like three songs for the first time they say they changed and they’ve become commercial. Like they should all be normalised according to the same standard -_- now, they have a huge English speaking audience, they want to cater for it sometimes! What’s wrong with that -_-” Purple heartkirsty.CM⁷⟭⟬전 정국
“Even if they change,start singing in any other lang,what would be the prob? Singers, evolve. They constantly change their style as they should. Are they sayin bts should always make the same music which they had never done? They have always made different music.Changed?Now? In Eng?” minhoney⁷Cat
“I’m just thinking that it’s like BTS is presenting us a beautiful poem that is not anymore born from pain, insecurity or sadness but love, hope and growth but we tell them it’s not good enough and they should just write poems when they feel the pain, insecurity and sadness again.” MsLovelyButter
“Some people are never happy with anything, they say “omg BTS is always the same” then we get something new and suddenly it’s a problem. The boys are making content for us even with the situation going on rn we should be greatfull with what we’re getting.” ͫboomᥴhιᥴkᥱnsoᥙρ✩❼•ᴵᴰ࿇
“This is exactly why i stanned bts. Their wide range of discography speaks for itself. Exploring every genres,Never the same, always trying smthn new, consistent work flow, always giving their best & ever evolving. That’s just how they have always been” Noir⁷
“I even fought with my sister she’s a soft stan since she stans other groups. She said “English song again? I miss the old bts” im like wtf? So you listened to dynamite and skipped the whole BE album and SoundCloud songs then proceed to butter and ptd? They didn’t change they GREW” anaً⁷
“I stan artists who dives into different genres and the boys are doing great in getting into these changes. They’re not just a “pop” group and I love it.” kat Rainbow #LArcnoMIRAI
“Actually they didn’t get change they just don’t make one type of songs that’s why we can’t call them A K-POP GROUP coz they make more than pop songs they’re talented and want to make all of ARMYs fav. type of songs” RoqaiaHossam
“Wht’s wrong with change? They are discovering new genres and r making music on it for a highly diverse audience. Evn their 1 album has a whole diversity of genres. Ppl hv just listened to a few songs, nd r acting like they hv been their since 2013 nd know their whole discography.” In The Galaxy Of Seven Woman dancingᴾᵀᴰ ⁷
“I saw many twts saying they miss old bangtan when they litteraly asked ‘is this a new song’ while wishing on a star was playing on muster” 𝓐𝓷𝓪𝓼𝔀𝓪𝓻𝓪 ⁷ᴾᵀᴰ
“honestly the only reason I’m not utterly in love with these last songs is because it’s not the genre I usually go for. But I’ll still support lol I mean they reinvent themselves everytime, I’m sure they’ll switch it up again. As long as these are songs they want to do go off yk” 𝓦𝓦𝓗
“that’s the point tho, they’re trying things and experimenting with different genres and concepts. there’s literally something for everyone in their discography, like my grandma HATES new music but she likes singularity, life goes on and airplane pt.2 those ppl don’t make sense” ~𝐋
“Of course, they’ve changed but they’ve surely progressed. They won’t be the same person with the same musicality from 8 years ago. C’mon, who would expect you to be the same person from 8 years ago? I can’t with these people going bananas over 3 English songs. Getting ridiculous” GlobalSuperstarsBTS
“But people need to change.. its 2021 not 2013. you cannot wear the same clothes for 8yrs. Every human being wants to try something new and theres nothing wrong.” Bangtan-OT⁷
On November 7, 2019, BTS became the first K-Pop act to remain on the Billboard 200 for a whole year. As of June 2021, “Love Yourself: Answer” has remained on the Billboard’s main albums chart for 100 non-consecutive weeks, making it the first and currently only Korean album to do so. BTS hold the record for the most weeks—16 non-consecutive—at number one on Billboard’s Artist 100 chart among all duos and groups, while its 2020 single “Dynamite” holds the record for most weeks—18 non-consecutive—at number one on the Digital Song Sales chart.
BTS might not have achieved all these records if they stuck to only one genre or style in music. An artist’s sign of growth and impact is to show that they are able to blend the old with the new to create something amazing. And BTS does that effortlessly. So, have BTS changed, of course they have, because they have grown.