What Kind of Music Did BTS Perform Before They Were Pop Stars?

These boys weren’t always pop stars performing disco-y songs like “Dynamite.” Before they were in BTS, many of the rappers were performing different music in Korea’s underground music scene. 

BTS performs 'Boy With Luv' on 'Saturday Night Live'
BTS performs ‘Boy With Luv’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ | Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

BTS is known for its pop music

Some know them for “Boy With Luv,” others love them for songs like “Spring Day.” With over seven years of experience performing together, these boys earned plenty of recognition overseas. They became the first K-pop group to perform at the Grammy Awards. 

They performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and won the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist four years in a row. This success is mostly thanks to the BTS ARMY or their massive fan base that stretches overseas. 

Before they were artists in BTS, some of these artists were performing in very different settings. That includes one of the singers and lead dancers in the group, Jimin, who was going to school for classical dance. 

According to K-Pop Hit, one rapper in the group, J-Hope, was part of the underground dance team called Neuron. He took dance classes at Gwangju Music Academy, which was more than an hour away from his home.

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RM and Suga performed as rappers in the underground music scene

Some of the BTS members were writing and performing music before joining the group. That includes two of the rappers in BTS, the leader, Kim Namjoon, also known by his stage name RM, and Min Yoongi, who goes by Suga and Agust D. 

RM was making music, (and finding much success,) in Korea’s underground rap scene. According to Koreaboo, the artist performed under a few different stage names prior to Rap Monster and RM, including “Runch Randa, Largo, The Nexist, and Stealo.” 

Suga performed under a different stage name when he was an artist with D-Town in Daegu. That was “Gloss,” because it was pretty close to the meaning of his birth name, Yoongi, which means “shine.”

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Even as a group, BTS has been branching out to perform new kinds of music

They may be known for their pop music, but BTS has had a few different eras since their debut. The group’s latest release, “Dynamite” sports a “disco pop” feel, according to J-Hope’s description, with a colorful and retro music video to match. 

There are also a few darker songs performed by the rappers of the group. That includes “Ugh” off BTS’ 2020 release, Map of the Soul: 7, as well as Suga’s solo songs from the same release, “Interlude: Shadow.”

The “Dynamite” music video is now available on YouTube. Music by BTS, including their recently released album, Map of the Soul: 7, is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and most major platforms.