On Saturday, September 3rd, well-loved Korean Idol Seo Taiji held a 25th-anniversary Time: Traveler concert that lasted for 2 and a half hours in a crowded stadium full of people. For nine of his widely popular songs he had a little help from a group of special guests, the members of BTS. During the concert, in front of 35,000 fans, Taiji passed them the theoretical torch and proclaimed them his successor stating, “This is your generation now”.
If you’re not in the know, BTS is a male k-pop group from South Korean made up out of seven members that were debuted back in 2013. Since then, they have won numerous awards and toured all over the world with the current estimate of albums sold to date being around four million. The group first came to the attention of the general American audience back in May when they beat out Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendez to take home the Top Social Artists Award at the Billboard Music Awards, making them the first K-Pop group to ever do so. In June, Time even recognized the group as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.
Seo Taiji is honorably referred to as “문화 대통령” which translates to the “president of culture” and is known as essentially setting the standard of what k-pop is today. Throughout his career, Taiji has not been afraid of switching it up, jumping from genre to genre. He started in a metal band called Sinawe before getting into a trio called Seo Taiji & Boys, where they are recognized for igniting the trend of youthful, dance-oriented music as well a being a group that wasn’t just playing songs, but putting on performance elements as well. He has since also branched out into alt-rock, electro-pop, and nu-metal and his music crosses generations in Korea. Taiji was also the first Korean artist to combine western and Korean culture through not only his music but his fashion as well while not being afraid of criticizing the South Korean government and addressing societal issues, making him one of the most censored artists of his time.
Seo Taiji and his group were the first Korean artists to empower their generation and speak on things that they were told to steer away from which is exactly what BTS has been doing since their debut and continue to do now.
BTS’ next album, LOVE YOURSELF: Her is set to be released on September 18th and it passed 1 million presales in Korea alone in just the first week, the first of its kind to do so. The video for one of the songs from the album Serendipity, can be seen here.