written by AM

BTS has always been proud to display their culture; after all, it’s a part of their identity, and they make sure to show it in their music. Since the start of their journey, their songs have consistently celebrated their culture, since it is a part of themselves and their music is an extension of their feelings and experiences as humans. When BTS shows how proud they are to be Korean in their artistry, it makes people want to learn more about Korean culture. Watching this display has inspired me to do the same for my culture. …


On February 25, 2021, tweets began appearing on ARMY Twitter detailing some vile, disgusting remarks made by a German radio host. The host, Matthias Matuschik, went on a tirade against BTS under the guise of “opinion” and “personality.” In reality, his remarks were nothing but overt racism.

In one tweet, a fan uploaded a video with a translation of Matuschik’s remarks, where he claims that BTS is a virus like COVID-19, and that he hopes there will be a vaccine against them soon. He goes on to say, “Nothing against South Korea, you cannot say I’m xenophobic only because of…


In the early days of my website, The BTS Effect, I created a spot to post personal narratives from ARMY about how BTS impacted their lives.

The goal was to create a positive space where ARMY could share their stories, hopefully to stand in some opposition to the toxicity often found online (both inside and outside of fandom). Now, I’m moving this opportunity to Medium, which I think will be a platform better suited for this idea!

With that, I’d like to welcome ARMY to submit their stories! Please read below to learn what you can submit and how to…


still image from BTS’ Dynamite music video
still image from BTS’ Dynamite music video
A still from BTS’ “Dynamite” music video.

Like most fandoms that have a large proportion of female fans, ARMY has fought numerous battles with mainstream media characterizations of the fandom. Often reduced to “obsessive” or “crazed” “little girls,” ARMY has called for better representation time and time again. Though the tides are starting to change here and there, we have something much more powerful at our disposal: the ability to tell our own stories.

With the ubiquitous nature of social media and the possibility for nearly anyone to create a website, blog, or YouTube channel, ARMY don’t have to accept the narratives perpetuated by media gatekeepers. …


This article is cross-posted on TheBTSEffect.com.

BTS’s “Dynamite,” released at midnight Eastern Time on August 21, 2020, has succeeded in both smashing records and providing some much-needed comfort and happiness to fans worldwide.

In interviews and the presser for the song, BTS emphasized the purpose of releasing the track as a single, ahead of a new album that’s set to come out later this year. “It delivers the message that even in hard times like this, we must focus on what we can do,” Namjoon said. “And that we can find freedom and happiness in singing and dancing.” “We find…


BTS promotional image for MOTS: 7 ~ The Journey ~

This article was originally published on TheBTSEffect.com

Two recent articles in mainstream media have severely missed the mark — but this will come as no surprise to most BTS fans.

If you’ve been around for a while, you know the struggle the fandom has had with some mainstream media outlets, journalists, and others in the entertainment and/or music fields. While BTS and the ARMY fandom do get better coverage than in the past, there are still instances of poorly researched, questionable pieces that pop up from time to time. …


Stigma Short Film, Big Hit Labels.

V’s first official solo song, Stigma, off BTS’ 2016 record-breaking album WINGS, presented fans with a unique expression of his vocal flavour and musical style. Described as a neo-soul track, Stigma flows effortlessly through staccato vocals, spoken lines of dialogue, and impressive falsettos. Though the song doesn’t have an official music video, a short film with the same title was uploaded to Big Hit’s YouTube channel prior to the release of WINGS. Taking both the song and short film together, a clear picture of Stigma’s themes and connections to the Bangtan Universe emerge.

Looking first at the lyrics, it’s clear…


Photo from Asia Today.

Most fans of BTS are acutely aware of the group’s tendency to include socially conscious lyrics in many of their songs. In a few of their tracks, dating all the way back to their debut, BTS makes references to several social topics that, when linked together, provide a quiet but powerful commentary on the state of modern Korean society.

In order to understand the significance of BTS’ lyrics, we first need to put them in context. For international fans, one of J-hope’s lines in No More Dream may pass by quickly without cause for much contemplation — “rebel against the…


Gwangju Uprising
Gwangju Uprising
Protestors at a government building in Gwangju on May 18, 1980. Photo credit: May 18 Memorial Foundation.

In BTS’ upbeat track “Ma City” from their HYYH pt. 1 album, J-hope’s verse ends with a phrase that may strike some international fans as strange: “Everyone press it, 062–518.” J-hope raps the digits as if they were a phone number or a postal code, but there’s much more significance to this short string of numbers.

Fans who are familiar with “Ma City” know the song pays homage to the BTS members’ hometowns. They proudly sing and rap about where they came from, a trend we’ve also seen in songs like “팔도강산 (Satoori Rap).” …


This piece is cross-posted on my website, The BTS Effect.

In a previous piece, I wrote about the Jungian and old-school Bangtan influence in Namjoon’s “Intro: Persona.” With Yoongi’s installment of “Interlude: Shadow,” we now have more Jungian themes to unpack, as well as some references to past Bangtan eras and lyrics that discuss one’s duality.

Before getting into the music video and lyrics, it’s helpful to have an understanding of some of Jung’s ideas surrounding the unconscious, the shadow, and the self. Jung believed that beyond our consciousness, a deep unconscious realm exists — a realm in which repressed…

Courtney Lazore

Writer/Editor. Creator of TheBTSEffect.com. Bangtan Scholars team member. Copyeditor @ R3. Interest areas: BTS studies, fandom, learning.

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