Saturday, May 11, 2019

BTS and their Army Invades the Sloop and Soldier Field Tonight (5/11) and Tomorrow (5/12)

It's BTS weekend in the Sloop (and Chicago).  If you're like us and don't really understand the phenomenon, the Tribune has a pretty good summary:
Jin explained contemporary K-pop’s global rise and the BTS phenomenon in responses sent via email. 
He argues three major factors contribute to the genre’s current popularity: hybridization of western and Korean culture, the K-pop industry’s strategic use of social media, and Psy’s “Gangnam Style” which, while seen as more of a novelty song in the U.S., laid out a template for “going viral” in a way that hadn’t been accomplished by the genre before. 
The “hybridization” of western and Korean popular culture is at the heart of the K-pop industry’s model. Language is no longer a barrier to entry for fans. While BTS predominantly sings in Korean, it also releases albums in Japanese, and regularly employs English expressions and slang. But the group has found its own way to bridge global and local sensibilities even beyond that. 
“The Korean music industry has been influenced by both Japanese music and American pop music,’ Jin writes. “After developing ballads, emphasizing sentimental love and sorrow embedded in Korean culture influenced by Japan starting in the 1910s, Korea has finally developed new music genres by adopting hip-hop, rap, and reggae starting in the mid-1990s. 
“With the arrival of American hip-hop culture and rap music, Korean popular music became youth-oriented hybrid music. In this regard, K-pop has developed the music themes of resistance and social critique as K-pop mixes with hip-hop, showing its universal appeal.” 

Vox also has a good overview in their "explained" structure if you don't want a local, Chicago spin on the phenomenon.  All this said, it's just the music pop machine doing it's thing...just interesting how the Korean market has been so effective at it around the globe.

So all that said, if you're interested in this craze, head outside in the Sloop and check out the scene.  If you're terrified, maybe curl up and watch some Netflix.  In the meantime, here is one of the BTS videos we (sorta) liked: 

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