Is It True that BTS Has Paved the Way for Other K-pop Idols?

The Phrase "BTS Paved the Way": BTS' Members' Group Photo During Filming Music Video (MV) for "Dynamite", the Only Lead Single from Their Seventh Extended Play (EP) Album "Dynamite"
Source: soompi.com

#btspavedtheway: A Hashtag that Describes BTS’ Enduring Success

Have you ever had a situation where you were accessing your social media accounts, and suddenly your timeline was filled with the hashtag #btspavedtheway? We may have experienced this moment many times because the hashtag is such hype. So, what exactly does #btspavedtheway mean? Is it true that BTS has really paved the way? Or, is the hashtag just an expression of ARMYs’ admiration for their idols without any deep meaning?

In this article, Channel-K will tell you everything related to the hashtag, including its meaning, its use on social media, and some evidence related to it.

The Meaning of the Phrase “BTS Paved the Way”

The Phrase "BTS Paved the Way": BTS' Members' Group Photo Teaser for "Dynamite", the Only Lead Single from Their Seventh Extended Play (EP) Album "Dynamite"
Source: teenvogue.com

The expression “pave the way” itself means that someone has opened a path so that his/her next generation can follow his/her path more easily. This means that someone has opened a new path in a certain area, and someone else can enter that path with less difficulty because someone has opened that path for them.

If that “someone” is BTS, then it literally means that the BTS’ members have opened a path, making their hoobaes (juniors) able to follow their path more easily. In addition, if we connect this meaning to BTS’ achievements, the phrase “BTS Paved the Way” means that BTS has achieved lasting success over the years, allowing other K-idols to achieve even greater success.

BTS Really Paved the Way for Other K-pop Idols

The Phrase "BTS Paved the Way": One of Scenes on BTS' Music Video (MV) of "Dynamite", the Only Lead Single from Their Seventh Extended Play (EP) Album "Dynamite"
Source: youtube.com

If we look back at the opening question, we might wonder if the BTS’ members have really paved the way for their fellow K-idols. Indeed, BTS’ members really paved the way for their friends, and this headline will tell you how the members pave the way for them.

Anwaya Mane, a writer at Pink Villa made an analogy where BTS is like Shahrukh Khan. Khan has made Bollywood more popular for people outside India. This also happened with BTS, where since 2017, BTS has made K-pop even more popular. The term “K-pop” has become a more familiar word and is easier for non-Koreans to recognize as a music genre. Today, BTS is a worldwide musical phenomenon that is not only familiar to Easterners, but also to Westerners. The members are able to enjoy the same success as Western music artists, including Coldplay, The Beatles, Lady Gaga, and others.

BTS has also paved the way specifically for other K-idols who don’t make their debut under The Big Three. K-poppers already know that if a group or a soloist can make their debut under The Big Three, they are likely to be more successful than their fellow non-Big Three idols. This stigma still applies today, but BTS has diluted this stigma by achieving the same (or more) success rate than their Big Three friends.

As ARMYs already know, BTS made its debut in 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment, which was an unknown-near-bankruptcy company. Their role in the industry was that of “outsider”, and people didn’t recognize them well. After the group gained greater success, Big Hit Entertainment (now Hybe Corporation) has become one of the biggest players in the K-pop industry. The company can also have many subsidiaries, and its subsidiaries’ other groups (e.g. TXT, Seventeen, Enhypen, Le Sserafim) can rock in the industry together with their seniors.

This fact is actually acknowledged by many K-idols and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, as they believed that BTS has cleared their gates and was able to gain better recognition. These are some of their statements of how BTS has helped them. We can notice that some of these statements even come from their Big Three friends.

The Phrase "BTS Paved the Way": Some Statements from Other Korean Soloists and Boy and Girl Groups about How BTS has Paved the Way for Them
Source: medium.com
The Phrase "BTS Paved the Way": Some Statements from South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Other Korean Soloists and Boy and Girl Groups about How BTS has Paved the Way for Them
Source: medium.com

Another way how BTS has paved the way is through their unique musical style. We sure do know that K-pop music is always evolving in every era, and every generation has strong musical characteristics. However, at this point, BTS’ uniqueness lies in its meaningful lyrics. Before BTS skyrocketed, there were no boy and girl groups that made songs or albums about mental health and the importance of loving yourself. At that time, mental health was a taboo subject and shouldn’t be discussed widely. That’s why they only made songs that are strongly related to love and attraction to another gender.

To break the stigma, BTS released four albums in the Love Yourself (LY) era. They are LY: Her, Face Yourself, LY: Tear, and LY: Answer. Their songs in those four albums were widely accepted by people and have achieved many music awards, making BTS gain worldwide fame. Since then, many people realized that mental health and self-love are important things to talk about. After that LY era, many K-idols tried to pour such matter into their musical works.

Apart from these reasons, BTS has paved the way for others by breaking records. They have also achieved some well-known music awards. For other K-idols, this is real proof that K-pop can be heard and accepted by many people, not just Koreans.

The Usage of the Phrase “BTS Paved the Way”

The Phrase "BTS Paved the Way": BTS' Members During Press Conference for "Dynamite", Their Only Lead Single from Their Seventh Extended Play (EP) Album "Dynamite"
Source: sea.mashable.com

As previously written, the hashtag #btspavedtheway is very hype, as many people have used it on their social media posts. Many people, especially ARMYs, use this hashtag to express their pride in their idols. They usually include BTS’ achievements and records in their posts, along with the hashtag. Apart from that, ARMYs usually smack the haters down with the hashtag and their memes.

https://twitter.com/Patriciapearl14/status/1544521347099144193

https://twitter.com/247taetae/status/1544891955163066369

https://twitter.com/KatigbakRosario/status/1544504499800195074

https://twitter.com/tosin_aki/status/1544393372839944193

https://twitter.com/SushieBts/status/1543207408075386880

https://twitter.com/armyslifejikook/status/1542519620992524288

Some ARMYs also embed the hashtag on their fan-made artworks. We can safely say that ARMYs are really working hard to keep the hashtag alive.

That’s all you need to know about #btspavedtheway! So, as an ARMY, after you’ve read this article, would you like to start creating your own original posts and using the hashtag #btspavedtheway?