We haven’t had a ton of truly celebratory fandom-related content on here in a hot minute and that’s because my critical brain is in overdrive working on various projects.
However, one thing I’ve wanted to share with y’all across my deepening investment in K-pop and alongside the critical work I’m doing about the genre/industry and its related fandom spaces is what I flat out love about it.
So instead of the BTS World review I’d actually planned to try and get out, I’m going to do a post looking at my favorite BTS songs and why I love them. I’m including solo member songs (solo meaning that they’re not a part of the EPs/CDs they put out with the group) in this and uh… you’ll be able to tell really fast what my favorite kinds of BTS songs in terms of arrangements/who gets the focus.
(And on the subject of BTS World: no joke, the game’s a time and money sink and I am surprisingly not captivated by it despite my love of dating sims on top of the frustration. And since I can’t screenshot anything since I’ve got an Android phone – the game lets iPhone users screenshot with a warning ugh – it’s kind of annoying.)
Anyway! Here’s a list of my most favorite BTS songs!
I’m glad I can share this sort of purely celebratory experience with you nerds!
Why I Like It: I play this song on repeat on the regular. I downloaded the song off of YouTube and put it on my work playlist on Spotify (yes, I learned to put Local Files on a Spotify playlist for this song) and catch myself rapping along to the chorus. I think what makes it pop for me as a song is that I’m a huge fan of diss tracks.
And “Ddaeng” is a diss track that focuses on highlighting the rap line’s achievements and poking at the people that stay trying to keep the down/drag them without having a similar level of success across the years.
While BTS’ rap line is in fantastic form in this song and they’re all stellar, RM’s verse in the latter third (roughly) of the song is pretty much a life changing experience because it is So Quality.
2. Am I Wrong
Why I Like It: I heard the song before I watched a performance and I loved it before then. It’s a catchy song that got my interest thanks to a stellar intro by Keb Mo, but then kept me hooked thanks to the rapline.
(But the vocal line is obvious no slouch here either as the chorus and pre-chorus are just… *chef’s kiss* delightful.)
And the performance I watched – the one that’s embedded above – is so fun and the choreography is ridiculously creative.
3. Do You
Why I Like It:
I played “Do You” at least once a day for the week of my DC trip in April. This is a song from RM’s first mixtape (which I really like) and it showcases his evolving talent at rapping and lyric development.
I love the visuals of the video, RM’s flow, and the complex messages of the song. One thing I like is that it manages to brush against the complex conversations about authenticity in Korean hip-hop with RM calling out folks who tried to diss BTS for being idols and not “dressing authentically” enough for them (by wearing skinny jeans, make-up, and supposedly feminine clothing) .
4. give it to me
Why I Like It: When I first put this list together, I’d actually chosen another song from Suga’s mixtape: the titular track Agust D.
I got a kick out of the chorus and the speed that he rapped the second verse with was instantly impressive. But when putting the post itself together two days later? “give it to me” came up on my search on YouTube and I decided to listen to it again.
I was reminded of how much I loved it. I love Suga’s raspy almost nasal-y voice, the way he spits and sneers his way through half of the song, and the visual of the video itself. Suga is a really interesting rapper to look at and listen to because he looks one way and then he opens his mouth and you’re just like smacked senseless by his skill.
5. War of Hormone
Why I Like It: I think this was honesty one of the first BTS songs I heard/videos I’d watched. Like ever.
That’s part of where my soft spot for the song comes from. This song is… technically sound (again, I really love the different members’ rap parts) and they look great in their outfits for the video but the song and video themselves are… a bit of a mess.
It’s a problematic fave for sure, because this song is uh… pretty much about how women are super attractive and exist for the interest of men.
But I find this song hilarious on a level that is partially related to watching these young men pose and talk big when they’re basically babies (I’m older than every single member of the group and y’all know how I cling to that age superiority).
6. Silver Spoon/Baepsae
Why I Like It: I didn’t get the appeal of “Baepsae” at first, no lie. I’m a relatively new intense fan of BTS (I went from a casual fan to actually claiming ARMY occasionally in a super short amount of time) so when I first saw them perform the song – during the Love Yourself in Seoul film played in Regal Theaters here in the states, I legit didn’t get the hype.
I was also like “these dudes aren’t even here, why are the people around us screaming so hard”.
But honestly, watching the dance practice flipped another switch in my head – especially since the version I was watching translated the lyrics to English – and the song spoke to me so hard. Super relatable.
Also, the choreography for this song involves multiple pelvic thrusts so uh… I get the screaming now.
Why I Like It: This song just makes me feel soft.
I wasn’t a BTS fan from the beginning (and my proper path to k-pop fandom took lots of stops and have been filled with a very valid frustration with the groups and their fandoms’ antiblackness) but there was something so satisfying about this final single from the original soundtrack to BigHit’s cashgrab of a dating sim app BTS World.
(I know you can sense my bitterness but my god if I’m expected to spend my money on a game, I expect to be able to take screenshots??).
The video itself is really great (and I’ll never ever be able to get over the image of stern noir detective Kim Nam Jun in the Another World half of the game), but I love the gentle and yearning notes of the song and the overall message of finding your way with the people you love and who love you.
The first time I watched this MV – while sitting at my desk during lunch – I cried. Geez.
Why I Like It: From the moment I saw the track list for Map of the Soul: Persona, I knew that “Dionysus” was going to be my song.
As a relatively active devotee of Dionysus in my day to day life, I felt like this song was (metaphorically) written for me and my patron.
I love the 90s house party vibes of the song most of all, but what really got me was seeing RM dressed in a cape and holding a thyrsus – the staff that Dionysus carried around in the mythology.
I didn’t know I needed to have my BTS bias channeling my patron until it happened and well – I am satisfied.
Why I Like It: “Anpanman” is such a light and funny song. The cute choreography, the comic book feel, and the very nineties feel of the song and its performances all collided to make this a really great song for me.
I decided to stick with official performance videos for this post so I wouldn’t litter this post with endless fancams, but one of the best thing about this song and how it’s performed is the way that the group performs it at shows as it’s been used as part of the encore across their shows.
A HUGE highlight for me has been Jimin and RM’s interactions at the various shows because it’s cute as hell, but I loved the video released for Festa 2019 too because it was just… cute.
Why I Like It: Have y’all seen Jimin dance to this song? I mean, the song itself is almost as fire as well… “Fire” itself is, but that choreography. It’s out of this world and so intense.
This song is raw and Jimin’s vocals feel like they’re reaching into your chest and closing around your heart, but I am also a thirsty Stitch at the heart of It all and I’m ultimately So Weak for this song.
RM’s verse on “Bucku Bucku”, “Danger”, and “Singularity”
There you have it, in no particular order, my favorite BTS songs so far. It’s probably super obvious that I am pretty biased towards songs that highlight the group’s rapline and lots of hip-hop based tracks.
Now that I’ve shared ten of my favorite BTS songs so far, what are your thoughts? Do you like the same songs I do? Do you think I need to listen to other BTS songs? This is a super celebratory post where sharing is caring, so feel free to be like “here’s my fave song” and toss me a link!
As always, thanks for reading!