The Billboard Music Awards Aftermath aka ‘Did y’all read that Rolling Stone article’?

First of all, cheers and congratulations to BTS and ARMYs for their social media award at this year’s BBMAs!!! The members were well received and it was a special moment for them and their fans. Vogue crowning V as Best Dressed for the evening? Win!!!!

Vogue direct quote “The seven-member boy band is a global K-pop sensation, boasting an enormous and devoted international following; in fact, Billboard extended the invitation after an online fan campaign. For their first U.S. awards show, the members smartly stepped out in a suite of sleek black suits from Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, each one slightly tweaked to showcase their individual personality. Perhaps the most fashion-forward dresser was V, who paired a cropped pinstripe jacket and polka-dot dress shirt with loose-fit pants—a bold choice that he pulled off with ease.”

Rolling Stone direct quote “….K-pop boy band BTS humbly and excitedly accepted the award. The Korean septet made up of Rap Monster, Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V and Jungkook made their American red-carpet debut last night”

Story is done right? Let’s all toast with our tea cups and have some mocha bread?

Maybe…until we and the rest of the KPop stans out there read the rest of the Rolling Stone article written by Jeff Benjamin.

The first of the five points that Rolling Stone claims are the reasons why BTS was deserving of their award (and they are deserving, period) has been one of the most alienating.

1. BTS write and produce socially conscious K-pop.
One look at Psy is proof enough that K-pop acts tend to focus on crafting crazy-catchy tracks with an eye toward the Western mainstream, but BTS (an acronym for the Korean term “Bangtan Songyeondan” or “bulletproof boy scouts” in English) stand out as an anomaly among their peers. While the formal K-pop scene tends to focus on singles about common topics like heartbreak and partying, BTS have connected with audiences by touching on topics like mental health (2015 album track “Whalien 52” tackles loneliness), politics (see member Rap Monster’s collaboration with Wale titled “Change”) and even female empowerment (“21st Century Girl” has been performed on Korean television). All the while, the members have writing credits on nearly all their songs and are taking on more production roles with later releases – also a rarity in K-pop. The 2016 single “Save Me” has members Rap Monster, Suga and J-Hope all credited as lyricists and producers.

First of all, take one look at Psy? One? So you’re not even going to look at everything that PSY has accomplished? You’re not going to look at anything past the song that brought him attention from the Western world (and a cover on an episode of Glee) Gangnam Style?

“All the while, the members have writing credits on nearly all their songs and are taking on more production roles with later releases – also a rarity in K-pop.”

Yes, this is something to applaud BTS for. Absolutely. They are blessed in that they are in a company which encourages their artistry and provides them opportunities for artistic license. This is something that other artists do not always have the luxury of having. But this is also something other KPop artists have been able to do, though perhaps not as often.

“While the formal K-pop scene tends to focus on singles about common topics like heartbreak and partying…”

This was the comment that infuriated many KPop fans as well…and it is something your admins talked about in detail.

Aqua: I live for the comments on the actual link

Pisces: I think what pisses me off is the superiority the American writer had in the original article. Many of mainstream American artists also talk about partying and heartbreak. Not very many American artists talk about socially conscious concepts. Some but not many. Look at how they treated Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance…and they want to knock other KPop groups for not covering socially conscious topics? America isn’t ready for it either

Pisces: Agreed!! (Especially since they didn’t perform….I was really looking forward to BTS showing up and showing out!)
Pisces: People were excited for them and to be around them perhaps because of the novelty of it. This cute little group who surprisingly speaks English (I didn’t like the look on some people’s faces…some people did seem to be genuinely excited for BTS and some people were like “oh wow….how interesting…”)
Pisces: And they thought no one was going to read that article?

Pisces: Again Westerners, don’t act like you ALWAYS support socially conscious music…the tides have risen and fallen on that time and again

Pisces: Y’all like your party songs/heartbreak songs too

Pisces: Please

Pisces: I agree that BTS was kinda used to slander the rest of KPop in a way. (What does “One look at Psy is proof enough that K-pop acts tend to focus on crafting crazy-catchy tracks with an eye toward the Western mainstream” even mean? What does “crazy-catchy” mean?)

Pisces: Like they were invalidating them and saying no other KPop artist deserved the social media award because they’re the “only” ones who talk about socially conscious topics

Pisces: (Since we are an EXO specific blog I’ve got to mention them y’all) Yea EXO doesn’t have very many. Not even going to front. But I believe fully that there are other artists out there who cover socially conscious topics.

Pisces: Just because you don’t think KPop is worth the time doesn’t mean other people feel the same…
Pisces: High key that’s what it sounded like…like they don’t think KPop is really that special anyway (why couldn’t the article have honored BTS and what they have done, because this was THEIR moment, without trying to make it sound like they’re the only ones out here with socially conscious songs because that isn’t necessarily true and the tone of the article made it sound as if KPop artists have nothing else to offer except “crazy-catchy” heartbreak love songs….?)

Aqua: Like someone mentioned in the contents B. A.P. has plenty of socially conscious songs and some of their concepts were emulated by BTS

Pisces: EXACTLY!!!!!!!

Aqua: A part of me feels that the reason EXO doesn’t have many is because the reception MAMA and History received. People didn’t really like them (Again we’re going to go there y’all because we are an EXO specific blog)
Pisces: Exactly!!!!! G.O.D “To My Mother”
Pisces: Yes their reception initially was pretty poor. That’s probably why they were out there on the street trying to gain interest the way that they were. That says a hell of a lot more about society than it does about the artists. If the world was ready for more socially conscious music then those artists wouldn’t be on the fringe. People want music that takes them away from reality. And so here we are. I remember on Tumblr there being an article about k hip hop and talking about the social issues facing South Korea. And one k hip hop artist saying that it wasn’t their job to talk about what was happening. That the point of hip hop isn’t to do that. Hip hop did begin as party music but hip hop evolved into a genre where people could voice their pain and frustration too

Aqua: Ummm that’s whole origin of hip hop. Hip hop began as an expression of what was happening around them

Pisces: After partying and disco yea it did. Which is what confused me about the k hip hop artist saying that that wasn’t the point. I was confused with his purpose in doing hip hop then

Aqua: That tells me he didn’t do his research

Pisces: But there again is the issue with the history and evolution of music not being linked with information.  So again to Rolling Stone…did you look into the history of KPop? Did you learn about the legends? Not just going back to PSY? Before PSY?

Pisces: Exactly, Aqua. Exactly. And then people who already didn’t like KPop and were pissed because non Americans non westerners won would look at the rest of KPop like “ohhh…so it ain’t really all that anyway…” That’s what that first comment accomplished. Apparently and unfortunately there were some racist comments made too (which is unacceptable and inappropriate!) because of BTS’ win as well. (Which is again why I say I didn’t like the look on some people’s faces in the room…and then the comments online…)

Pisces: Correct! (We should be able to congratulate and lift BTS up because this was their moment…but also be able to point out where things could have been better.)

Pisces: But people want something easy to swallow. They’re not trying to research or learn more. That’s ok if that’s what they want but it’s not based on information. It’s off topic but relatable. If people wanted to take care of the Earth and heal themselves. They would do it. They would read for more information and educate themselves so that they’re making informed decisions. But people want to live easy. People like plastic lives. (This isn’t a dig at BTS at all. This is saying that if you’re a new fan because of the hoopla of the BBMAs, please really look into the members and read about who they are as people. Give them a real chance. They have written, produced and created some great work. Don’t just join the bandwagon because it’s the “trendy” thing to do.)

Aqua: True

Aqua: Honestly I was intrigued by CMB but stayed for all their B Side tracks

Aqua: And you know what even heartbreak/love songs and party songs can be socially conscious

Pisces: Agreed about heartbreak and love songs serving another purpose at the same time

Aqua: I mean just look at all the stuff we extract from their lyrics

Pisces: Exactly. But again people aren’t reading for something deeper

Aqua: MID is one of the most beautiful songs about growth, realizing your mistakes and appreciating the lesson all while missing the reason you learned that lesson

Pisces: Exactly. “Gift of hindsight”

Aqua: Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” is a heartbreak song but it talks about the double standards faced in relationships in regards to cheating

Pisces: Same with Lemonade

Aqua: That’s a part of the reason why we started doing what we do on the blog. Someone’s gotta talk about it. Someone’s gotta put out the analysis to start the discussion

Aqua: Tunesday and Woke Wednesday is so much more than just music and current events. It’s a look inside the minds and hearts and questioning and picking apart what’s there. The “who, what, when, where, why and how” the music we love is the way it is and what’s going on in and around it and the members

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