Editor’s note: Work with us here… Mr. Insert Foot, in many ways, is like RIFF’s curmudgeonly dad. He’s open to new ideas, but it takes a while! Next month, we’ll talk to him about the 23-member NCT.
I was messing around the other day (working) and stumbled onto a BTS video. Which was weird (horrible).
Actually, it wasn’t. It was just … there. Like boy band videos have been for thousands of years (there’s a Jesus and the Disco Disciples joke out there I’m not quite brave enough to attempt).
What I am is a middle-aged suburban man whose former employer made him drive to sports arenas on weeknights to watch boy bands. I’ve seen them. I’ve reviewed them. I received death threats from fans for whom puberty was still theoretical.
I’ve seen Backstreet Boys, InSyncers, 98 degrees of Kevin Bacon … all the greats. I even went to a Hanson show and lost my daughter, because I used to believe putting kids on leashes was a bad idea (I “found” her when she remembered I was her ride). So I’ve seen these things before.
I also now know that BTS has its own specialty meal at McDonald’s. Which, I don’t understand but, considering I’m pretty sure I saw a Backstreet Boy working at McDonald’s in 2015, I say more power to them. Sell some cheese and make that money while the making is good.
But I do have one question.
Why does BTS have seven members?
I’m almost serious. Two extra members is a lot to think about, isn’t it? Six wasn’t enough. I thought the legal limit was five. Seven just looks wrong. I mean, I get it when you’re the Jackson 5 and Randy and LaToya get to go on tour because no one trusts them staying home alone. Two extra members is a lot to think about, isn’t it? And they still made a couple Jacksons wear instruments to look busy.
I did a little research–because my life lacks meaning–and found a gossip writer named Nicki Swift, of whom I’ve never heard because no one gives me money to rewrite pointless pop culture drool anymore.
Swift actually wrote about the phenomenon of BTS having to be comprised of seven young men.
Turns out, seven is actually not a lot of people for a K-Pop band.
How fascinating, I thought. I’ve played places where seven people standing near a stage would be considered a triumphant mob. Maybe I don’t get this.
“BTS members include Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. The seven guys first met as members of their label’s ‘training camp,’ a sort of K-Pop college that prepared them for life as a pop star, reported Insider. So why seven? According to Popbuzz, it’s just pure math. Part of the K-Pop brand is connecting with their fans and forming a large social media presence, which is why BTS formed their fan A.R.M.Y., which actually stands for Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth.”
Math … no wonder I don’t understand. But why seven?
“Giving fans a large variety of people to fall in love with helps increase the group’s popularity.”
Oh. So it’s about popularity?
“A large variety” … with the same haircut and clothes. Though, to be fair, some of the hair changes color.
Here’s where things got interesting:
“In fact, at just seven members, BTS is one of the smaller K-Pop groups out there. Girls’ Generation has nine members, and EXO can have as many as 12 performing at once. Having a favorite performer, or a “bias” as it’s called in K-Pop, is a big part of forming a successful brand and is one of the reasons BTS is continually shattering records.”
Good for them. I’d like a BTS meal for my 12-year-old, please ….
I’m just happy bands are back and McDonald’s is open and taking too much of humanity’s money again. Extra cheese, please.
Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.