Hey! Hallie here!
BTS is constantly breaking records. From individual mixtapes hitting unseen highs for Korean artists, to new songs topping the charts immediately after release, there’s always some sort of congratulatory hashtag trending on Twitter. To many people, the constant onslaught of BTS’s successes has become background noise. But BTS deserves the high praise no matter how many times they start trending on Twitter. A Korean group dominating worldwide, including in markets that still have major issues honoring non-white and non-English-speaking artists, is insane. Even putting that aside, “Dynamite” hitting the 1 billion mark is one of the biggest record-breaking acts to celebrate right now. And it’s not just because the song is catchy.
ARMYs know that the Grammys was, as usual, absolutely awful to BTS. They nominated them for only one Grammy after all the records they broke, announced the winner of the Grammy in a pre-show rather than during the actual awards, and still shoved BTS’s performance until the end of the show in an attempt to profit off of the views ARMY would give them. All of that and BTS didn’t win despite the fact that they were clearly the best suited to win the award. When all of this happened, the majority of ARMYs decided to turn their attention to something far more productive than trolling the winners of the Grammy BTS was up for. Instead, in order to demonstrate how well loved and appreciated BTS and “Dynamite” are, ARMYs decided to get “Dynamite” to 1 billion views on Youtube. The music video was already in the 900 millions, but there was still a long road to getting the video to the 1 billion mark, especially with the strange discrepancies in Youtube’s view counting. And here we are, less than a month after the Grammys aired. This milestone proves to the industry and those willing to brush off BTS that they can’t be ignored. Even without winning a highly controversial award that has somehow received the reputation of being a sign that an artist has “made it” in the music industry, BTS is more popular than ever. Their exceptional singing and dancing has earned them such a large fan base that the Grammys are irrelevant. There’s a reason the Grammys attempted to use BTS for the views of their fanbase.
This isn’t just a major accomplishment for BTS. It’s a major accomplishment for their fanbase. The love that ARMYs show for BTS is immense and ARMYs mobilize quickly. ARMYs have mobilized for excellent causes, like BLM. And similarly, ARMYs mobilized to get “Dynamite” to 1 billion to critique the racist industry that takes BTS for granted because they’re Korean. Obviously ARMYs have proven time and time again that they shouldn’t be messed with, but this feat specifically says a few important things about the fanbase. One is that this fanbase does not only consist of young girls. The sheer amount of people that consider themselves ARMYs and participated in the road to 1 billion far exceeds the amount that can just be brushed off as teen girls. The other is that women have created one of the biggest and most active fanbases of all time. Because yes, ARMYs shouldn’t be written off as just a group of teen girls because there are plenty of people of various different identities who enjoy BTS’s music. But the fanbase is still largely made up of women, and these women are now well-known for being far too powerful to push around. Just as BTS has shown they can’t be ignored, ARMYs have done the same.
Despite all the amazing reasons why we should be celebrating “Dynamite” right now, it’s important to stay cautious. “Dynamite” has received worldwide acclaim, but why this song? BTS has released hundreds of songs, many that are considered far more masterful than “Dynamite”, but this is the one that has seen the most attention. Why not something like “Black Swan”? It’s because the song is in English. This song was written by a team of writers in order to appeal to American and English-speaking audiences. The members of BTS usually have a large hand in writing and creating their songs, but this song was (mostly) an exception. So not only is it their only English song to date, it also was devoid of their writing and general themes. It’s a cute song, but it’s clear that there are other songs in their arsenal that should have been more popular than this. They simply aren’t popular because those songs are in Korean. BTS themselves are aware of this fact, often joking to talk show hosts that suggested they release another English song that the talk show host should write the lyrics for them. When creating the ‘BE’ album the members of BTS even rewrote songs they had initially written in English to ensure all the songs on the album were in Korean. They don’t want to give up singing in their native tongue, and they shouldn’t have to. BTS should be appreciated for their Korean songs just as much, if not more, than for their English ones. While getting “Dynamite” up to 1 billion views is nice, it’s just a small step in the huge goal to make sure BTS is acknowledged for their major accomplishments regardless of their nationality or the language they speak.
I don’t want to leave this post on a downer. “Dynamite” hit 1 billion views! We should be celebrating! All of the ARMYs who took time out of their schedules to watch “Dynamite” multiple times should be proud of themselves. And even if you couldn’t, just watching the video once or listening to the song on any streaming service is worth giving yourself a pat on the back. Any kind of support adds majorly to the amount of voices aiding BTS in the journey to eliminate racism from the music industry. It’s definitely a cause worth celebrating.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!