5 Takeaways From BTS' New Album 'Proof'
After a few years of smash hits, BTS have cemented their relevance in music. With old and new tracks, 'Proof' puts the focus back on what truly matters: their love for their fans.
BTS have catapulted to unprecedented levels of stardom in the two years since their last Korean release, BE. They became the first K-pop act to be nominated for a GRAMMY, broke countless chart and streaming records, and sold out stadiums across the globe. BTS has already proven there's nothing they can't do — hence, their anthology album, Proof, feels perfectly timed. It reintroduces BTS to the world by solidifying them as who they are: musicians who inspire.
Just in time for the group's 9th anniversary, Proof features classic songs, unreleased gems, and three new songs for fans to enjoy. Though BTS has spent the last year or so releasing infectious English tracks, this three-disc album showcases their depth and lyrical ability in addition to their knack for producing catchy pop hits. A return to their primarily Korean music, it feels like BTS is home once again.
With 48 tracks in total, there's something to discover for fans both new and old. Ultimately, everyone who listens to Proof will understand the musical journey BTS has experienced since their debut.
Here are 5 takeaways from BTS' new album Proof.
It's A Love Letter Between ARMY And BTS
From the rough demos, to the care taken in ordering the tracks, to special songs like "Born Singer" from 2013, Proof is an album only true fans will be able to fully understand and appreciate. And that's exactly the point.
After a couple years of issuing radio-friendly hits, BTS chose to release a project that would mean something to the fans that have rooted for them over the years. Ahead of the release, the group's RM commented, "As the focus of the album is our message for our fans who have been together with us for the past nine years, we paid the most attention to our lyrics."
"Yet to Come" Has A Message Of Hope
Like the title suggests, "Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life)" initially feels like a lost track from BTS' 2015 EP The Most Beautiful Moment in Life. Listen again, and you can pinpoint different lyrics that chronicle the group's journey from humble hip-hop group to your friendly neighborhood superstars: "That uncomfortable title we were given one day/We are still abashed by being called the best," the Korean lyrics translate. "You know, I just love music/ Nothing much has changed from back then."
The story isn't stuck in the past, though. There's a clear message of hope, that something better is coming for whoever listens.
"Run BTS" Is Just As Fun As The Show
Most ARMYs know about the variety show BTS have been doing since 2015, "Run BTS, " in which they play games and do various activities as a group. Just like the fan-favorite show — which has allowed fans to watch the group bond with each over the years — the new track of the same name is flavorful and uptempo with the perfect dash of hip-hop.
With RM, Suga, j-hope, and Jungkook working on the song, it's definitely a team effort. Although emotional ballads make up a good deal of the album, "Run BTS" captures the high-energy antics for which the group is known and loved.
"For Youth" Is About Gratitude
Much of Proof is fan-centric, but "For Youth" definitely takes the cake. Youth is not about age, but the feeling of being with someone that makes life feel worth living. For BTS, that's ARMY, and vice versa.
At the beginning of the song, a packed stadium sings "Epilogue: Young Forever" to the boys. The track highlights that special moment, providing an opportunity for BTS to respond in a poignant way. Lyrics like, "I open my eyes and it's 10 years ago/ Hanging around Nonhyeon-dong" and "That flower cared for, thanks to you I could be me" paint a perfect picture of the memories shared.
It's Hard Not To Cry
BTS have always been in touch with their emotional side, and they've never shied away from vulnerability in their music. But it's arguably more apparent than ever on Proof. Throughout all 48 tracks (especially the disc of exclusive demos), there's a certain rawness that further humanizes the group.
With Proof, BTS managed to capture some of the most special moments of their career while adding new ones. Whether they're highlighting well-appreciated tracks like "Spring Day," adding fan-loved unofficial favorites like "Born Singer," or summing up their journey with new tracks that focus on reflection and storytelling, the album serves as an exquisite recollection of BTS' history and hope for the future.
The record is timely, as it comes at a time where the group seems larger than life, but clearly aims to remind the world that anything is possible with passion and hard work. Thinking back on how long the journey to recognition has been for the septet warrants a tear or two, and sharing the moment with fans makes it even more special.
While happy songs like "Dynamite" have helped them dominate the mainstream, Proof is a reminder that BTS' ability to touch their audience is not limited to one emotion, one genre or one moment — and the proof is in the music.
BTS - "Black Swan" Music Video
BTS Release Stunning Music Video For 'Map Of The Soul: 7' Single "Black Swan"
The striking visual is the latest offering from the South Korean septet's chart-topping album
BTS are back with another stunning music video off their newly released, chart-topping album Map Of The Soul: 7. Today (March 4), the global pop superstars released the official music video for "Black Swan," the first single off the album.
Simple yet striking, the "Black Swan" video shows the South Korean septet deliver a gorgeous dance performance inside an equally beautiful theater. Directed by YongSeok Choi and co-directed by Guzza, both from the Lumpens creative collective, the visual depicts the members of BTS transforming from swans into the song's eponymous black swans onstage.
The "Black Swan" video follows the group's recent cinematic visual for Map Of The Soul: 7 single "ON," which last week (Feb. 28) broke YouTube's record for most views for a video premiere. Last month (Feb. 21), BTS released the Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima, the first visual for "ON" that unfolds like a short film.
Released last month, Map Of The Soul: 7, BTS' fourth studio album, is breaking records around the world. Already the best-selling album of the year worldwide, the album topped the Billboard 200 chart, their fourth No. 1 album in the U.S., while lead single "ON" currently sits at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking their highest record on that chart to date.
In an interview with the Recording Academy last month, BTS explained their creative approach to Map Of The Soul: 7, which sees the group exploring everything from pop ballads to hip-hop jams.
"I think it's less and less meaningful to divide music into genres now," BTS member Suga said.
"The genre is BTS. That's the genre we want to make and the music that we want. New genre," the group's Jungkook, V and J-Hope added.
Map Of The Soul: 7 follows a dazzling performance from BTS at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards last month. They joined Lil Nas X in a star-studded performance of "Old Town Road" that also featured Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo and Mason Ramsey.
Map Of The Soul: 7 marks BTS' first full-length project since their 2018 album, Love Yourself: Tear, which topped the Billboard 200 chart and solidified the group as the first Korean act to accomplish that record-setting feat. It's also the second installment in BTS' ongoing Map Of The Soul series, which launched with the chart-topping Map of the Soul: Persona EP last April.
Photo: Emma Mcintyre/Getty Images
62nd GRAMMYs Poll: Which Artist Had Your Favorite Red Carpet Look?
From Lizzo’s classic Hollywood gown to Ariana Grande’s puffy grey dress, who wore your favorite red carpet look?
The 62nd GRAMMYs red carpet didn’t disappoint. Every color, pattern, style and texture under the rainbow was represented.
Take, for example, Lizzo’s elegant white classic Hollywood-inspired gown or Lil Nas X’s hot pink cowboy suit. Shawn Mendes opted for a vibrant purple suit and Tyler, The Creator made a splash with a light pink bellboy outfit. Billie Eilish homed in on the color green for the evening while Yola rocked hot pink.
With so many great looks to see on Music’s Biggest Night, we wanted to know, which artist wore your favorite look?
Check out the complete 62nd GRAMMY Awards nominees and winners list here.
Source Photos (Clockwise L-R): The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images; Rick Kern/WireImage; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella; FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Outside Lands; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella
Japanese Breakfast, Blackpink, Enhypen, Stray Kids, Mxmtoon & More | Listen To GRAMMY.com's AAPI Month 2022 Playlist
As we celebrate the contributions of AAPI artists throughout the month of May, GRAMMY.com presents a genre-spanning playlist of emerging and established artists you should know, including BTS, Jhené Aiko, B.I, TWICE, Arooj Aftab, and many more.
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) musicians have created a plethora of transformative art, which is ripe for exploration. To help you do it, GRAMMY.com has put together a 30-song list with music from AAPI musicians including Luna Li, Wallice, Weston Estate, Kainalu and OHYUNG, along with other AAPI artists you should know like Deb Never, Lucy Liyou and Sunset Rollercoaster. You may even find your new favorite artist along the way.
This playlist spans genres and moods, and its primary goal is to expose you to fantastic new AAPI artists you might not find in less curated places, like your motionless Spotify algorithm or crooning through your car radio. You can think of this playlist as a first-rate tasting menu of what AAPI-made music has to offer — something to turn to when you’re looking for solidarity, inspiration or just some really good music.
Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Everything We Know About BTS' New 2022 Album 'Proof'
Later in 2022, BTS will release a three-part anthology of key tracks, new songs, and previously unreleased rarities. Here's everything to know about 'Proof.'
There's a new stirring in the fabric of the BTS universe — a big one.
On June 10, the GRAMMY-nominated pop juggernauts will release Proof, a collection of tracks from throughout their discography, as well as brand new tracks, never-before-heard demos and more.
Spanning three discs, Proof promises to celebrate the band's past, present and future through a lovingly curated song cycle. If members of the BTS Army ever wanted to hear demos of tracks like "Jump," I Need U" and "DNA" — as well as an a cappella version of Jungkook's "Still With You" — they're in luck.
In the wake of Proof's recently released tracklisting — featuring well-known tunes like "Dynamite" and "Butter" (and so much more), here's everything GRAMMY.com could find about the career-spanning compilation by a giant of 21st-century pop.
It's Called Proof, And It's Out June 10 Via Big Hit Music
That's according to the official press release.
It'll Contain A Wealth Of Treasures, Previously Unreleased Or Not
According to said press release: "The new album consists of three CDs that contain brand new tracks, members' selections, demo versions, unreleased tracks and more."
Proof Acts As A "Chronicle Of BTS"
The first disc begins with a remastered version of "Born Singer," from all the way back in 2013, which the press release describes as "BTS' candid emotions they felt after one month of their debut." The disc ends with the lead single "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)."
The second disc consists of "15 solo and sub-unit tracks," beginning with the new track "Run BTS," and highlights each BTS member's distinct tastes and personality.
The third disc, only available on CD, is said to be "dedicated to the fans," featuring unreleased tracks and demo versions that any fan will eat up — as well as a new fan song, "For Youth."
The Album Celebrates Nine Years Of BTS
Can you believe it's been almost a decade? Yet it feels like the Bangtan Boys are just getting started.
BTS Initially Teased The Music Back In April
During their Permission To Dance Onstage concert in Las Vegas, BTS shared short clips with the text "We Are Bulletproof" and "2022. 06. 10." While this initially fueled speculation that a new album was coming, the release wound up materializing as Proof.
They Shared The Tracklist On Instagram
It's in the Highlights section of their Stories, where BTS also announced that "Yet to Come" will be the lead single.
They Released A Trailer, Too
See below — and watch this space as more details of Proof are unveiled!