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2017 - Week 14: 방탄소년단 (Bangtan Boys)

My name is Stefers, and I am a whore for kpop and kdramas.

I said it.
For those of you who are un-indoctrinated, kpop and kdramas are, respectively, music and tv shows (and sometimes movies) from Korea. They're amazing and highly enjoyable, and everyone needs a little of at least one of the two in their lives for a happier existence.

This past weekend, I flew to New York City to see one of my favorite groups - BTS - and I readily admit that I am still hoarse from screaming and generally fangirl-ing like a crazy person.

It's the truth.
BTS - also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts (I know... the name is ridiculous... but it's kpop and totally makes sense in that realm... just take my word for it, ok?) - debuted back in the summer of 2013, and the immediately stole the hearts of kpop fans across the world. Since then, they've exploded worldwide and even made their way over to mainstream music in the United States (they're attending the Billboard Music Awards this year!!!) which, for a non-English music group is a huge deal.

Look how freaking adorable they are. Little buttons of Korean cuteness.
The group is comprised of 7 members, each of which has a distinct personality. Part of me wonders if it's entirely fabricated, but after watching them on reality shows, interviews, and even live at concerts, I am choosing to believe that they're genuine at least 60% of the time.

Just so you all have a frame of reference, here's the music video to one of my favorite songs of theirs.

The music is catchy, the dancing is amazing, and their energy is incredibly infectious. Add that all into a live environment, and you've got the makings for an amazing concert.

And amazing it was.

I was on my feet the entire time, singing, dancing, and screaming along, and I left feeling completely fulfilled.

The singular thing about this experience that I might have changed would be their English interaction with the audience, but really... they're Korean. What do we all expect?

To be honest, their attempts to speak to us were kind of adorable. One of the members - Rap Monster / Namjoon - speaks English fluently, but the other 6 members have a minimally working knowledge, leaving them to slowly recite thoroughly-practiced snippets in an effort to connect with their international audience. What had the potential to come off frustrating or annoying was actually incredibly endearing, and I wanted nothing more than to pinch them on the cheeks and tell them they were doing a good job.

I do have several other groups that I follow regularly, but they and another group named SHINee are the ones I keep up with consistently.

Some might view my enjoyment of this music to be immature being that I'm 30 years old, but I shake my finger at them and say, "I am unashamed. The music is great, the performers are insanely talented, and I get joy from throwing myself into the fandom. Luckily, I have a few friends who also enjoy it (most of whom I've introduced to it), so I'm not alone in my enjoyment and can fangirl with them whenever I need a squee-release.

I don't know if I see kpop getting any bigger in the US than it is now, but I welcome that growth. Kpop idols work insanely hard, and they deserve all the success in the world.

Do you have any favorite kpop songs or groups? Share in the comments!



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