Unless you are living under a rock, you have probably heard of famed K-pop group BTS by now—from the news on TV, a song played on the radio, your sibling constantly pleading you to join the ARMY, or in a video while you're scrolling your Facebook feed. But do you know why everyone around you is totally obsessed over them?
BTS is a seven-member K-pop group from South Korea who debuted in 2013, and from then on, won numerous awards, swept the charts, made a name for themselves in the music industry, and took the entire world by storm. They also made waves through various TV guestings, brand collaborations, and celebrity Twitter mentions, which eventually made them a household name. As they continue to evolve as artists, so are their songs. Their stellar discography is the group's strongest asset—all of which are addictive and run deep.
But here's a ~truth untold~: We know how curious you are about this global sensation. So to prevent you from getting lost, we've prepped a playlist that's dope enough to set you on fire. Here are 10 BTS tracks you need to listen to if you're a new fan.
1. "I Need U"
If there's a song that took BTS to greater heights and defined the year that was, this would be it. "I Need U" propelled the group in receiving their first few wins in Korean music shows, and introduced their usage of a compelling narrative in their music videos. From the title itself, this single is all about holding on to love, and BTS captures the emotions in full. See the members put their best acting efforts in the music video that connects to the other songs that followed.
"It goes round and round, why do I keep coming back
I go down and down, at this point, I'm just a fool
Whatever I do, I can't help it"
After the release of "I Need U" came as a song about moving on from someone who hurt you, "Run". Ideal to listen to during a night drive in the city, "Run" will help you get back on track, revealing how BTS is not just here to comfort their fans but motivate as well (similar to the mellow guitar strum that paces to a raging chorus).
"It's okay to get hurt
I'm alright, even if I can't have you
Pitiful destiny, point your finger at me"
3. "Blood Sweat & Tears"
Be in sheer amazement with the group's stunning artistry in "Blood Sweat & Tears", the comeback single of their second album, Wings. BTS lived and breathed this concept, with fans being over the moon with the many elements that made up the song. It strongly discusses a love so sweet yet sinful, a possible reference from the book, Demian. The song gives a new meaning to art, and the dance steps prove to be works of a genius, too. Let the music video show you exactly why.
"But your wings are the devil's
There is a 'bitter' next to your 'sweet'"
4. "Save Me"
The simplicity of "Save Me" is what makes it a remarkable number. Aside from BTS' smooth-like-honey vocals, the music video was also done in a polished, one-take recording despite the harsh weather in the mountains. This is probably one of the septet's signature tracks, paired with lyrics stemmed from a call for help that's both tragic and beautiful.
"Give me your hand
Save me save me
I need your love before
I fall, fall"
5. "Burning Up (Fire)"
"Burning Up (Fire)" shows that BTS is here for a good time—and a long time at that. The pounding rhythm wraps this pump-up anthem and makes it so infectious that it's impossible for you not to dance along. Its music video was the fastest to reach five million views in one day on YouTube back in 2016, and the song also received an all-kill in various music charts. Now that's fire.
"All you with a lot of fear, come here
All you who are suffering, come here
Lift your fists, all night long
With marching footsteps
Jump and go crazy"
6. "Boy In Luv"
BTS' early style is present in this record, with a concept on high school crushes that might be cute, but the song itself is actually crazy mad. The distinct beats signal a powerful storm, and the choreography perfectly complements all the hype it brings. "Boy in Luv" is more hip-hop than pop. We promise that it'll eventually grow on you and have you hooked in no time!
Fun fact: Did you know that "Boy in Luv" was mentioned in the super popular K-drama, Goblin? Also, this single was followed up five years later with "Boy With Luv", which is BTS' record-breaking 2019 track featuring American singer-songwriter Halsey.
"Why do I care so much about you?
You're making a big boy act like a little kid
But I'll turn things around
From just knowing each other to becoming lovers"
Here's an upbeat song that opens with an attention-grabbing whistle. "DNA" broke new ground and made BTS a mainstay abroad, especially in the US, with its eargasm-inducing appeal that's super easy to listen to.
"From the day of the universe's creation and beyond
Through the infinite centuries and beyond
In the previous life and maybe the next too
We're eternally together"
Based on a Japanese cartoon character with a piece of bread as a head, "Anpanman" is about a superhero that may not be the strongest or most sought-after in the room, but still finds ways to give joy to others. The track sounds fun combined with the playful choreography and will make you feel so, so good.
"To be honest
I'm scared of falling
And letting you down
But, even if it takes up all my strength
I will be sure that I stay by your side"
9. "Magic Shop"
Be enchanted with "Magic Shop", a heartfelt dedication to BTS' fans. It's actually based on the memoir Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart and speaks of the group's love for ARMYs that crosses boundaries and withstands time.
"Don't forget that I found you anyways
At the end of my despair
You're the last reason
For me who was standing at the edge of the cliff
10. "Spring Day"
"Spring Day" is not called a ~queen~ for nothing. The song continues to dominate the charts since it was first released in 2017, where the group introduced a whole new level of aesthetics in the music video. A perfect track to listen to while you look outside from your bus window, BTS explained that "Spring Day" is about being so far away from your loved ones—may it be in distance or existence. But just like how it puts all the seasons in metaphors, it also suggests that things will eventually get better.
"You know it all
You're my best friend
The morning will come again
No darkness, no season is eternal"
To play these songs on loop, check out the entire playlist here: