OK, so what's the deal with BTS' music?
While their sound skewed strongly toward hip-hop in earlier releases like debut album 2 Cool 4 Skool or sophomore EP O!RUL8,2?, the group's current sound is a mélange of pop, hip-hop, R&B, and EDM influences that lead to melancholic tracks like the recent "Black Swan" or pop triumphs like 2019's "Boy With Luv," which features American artist Halsey.
However, BTS' music has always been defined by its socially conscious lyrics that tie back to the group's conceptual roots, frequently engaging with issues that, while specific to South Korean society, also appeal to a broad audience. "Paldogangsan" (also called the "Satoori Rap") breaks down tensions and stereotypes between various Korean satoori, or regional dialects; tracks like "Silver Spoon" (also known as "Baepsae") leverage Korean idioms like that of the disadvantaged baepsae (crow-tit bird) to talk about the economic pressure that young people face. Things have changed a bit in the process -- back in 2018, Suga told Billboard that "we're very careful about calling ourself baepsaes now" -- but BTS' messaging and authenticity in their lyrics remain consistent even though they're the ones on top of the industry now.
The group's most recent Map of the Soul series has also harkened back to earlier releases, with tracks like "Interlude: Shadow" and "Outro: Ego" sampling tracks like "Intro: O!RUL8,2?" and "Intro: 2 Cool 4 Skool," respectively. "Boy With Luv," the group's 2019 breakout hit, calls back to 2014 single "Boy in Luv"; the upcoming Map of the Soul: 7 title track "ON" is a reflection of 2013's "N.O." It feels like a way to pay homage to the group's roots while also spinning their own discography on its head.
I've heard they have an ARMY?
If you know of BTS, you've indubitably heard of ARMY, the group's fans, as well. It's customary for K-pop groups to give their fans names that bear meaning: ARMY ties back to BTS' original concept as a voice and shield for young people, and actually stands for Adorable Representative MC for Youth. That specific acronym doesn't come up much these days though, and ARMY has come to represent "army" more literally as a group of supporters who stand beside BTS.
Like any other fandom, ARMY has its ups and downs. However, The Atlantic's Lenika Cruz described it as "an unusually welcoming community that works to address bad behavior within its ranks," which for the most part rings true. ARMY are quick to jump into the mentions of anyone who mentions BTS, either to educate or call out perceived inaccuracies. Overall though, ARMY's goal is always to support BTS, whether it's by organizing streaming campaigns or trending hashtags to celebrate members' birthdays.