BTS Used The Grammy-Nominated ‘Dynamite’ As Their Trojan Horse To Conquer The Western Music Industry - Forbes
Nov 25, 2020 1 min, 39 secs

The Grammys unveiled their 2021 nominees today, and while the full list boasted plenty of the usual snubs and missteps, it also contained a piece of incredible news for the BTS ARMY: The South Korean pop septet had earned its first Grammy nomination, clinching a nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with its chart-topping single “Dynamite.” .

In three years, BTS went from being the first Korean presenters at the Grammys, to the first Korean performers, to the first Korean group nominated in a major category.

These decisions are culturally out of touch at best, racist and xenophobic at worst—and they explain why it took a made-for-radio pop smash performed entirely in English for BTS to earn their first Grammy nomination.

Some fans have lamented the fact that “Dynamite” achieved a level of success that eluded former BTS mini-epics such as “Black Swan” and “ON”; these complaints imply that “Dynamite” lacks integrity or panders to Western listeners.

But it’s important to frame "Dynamite" not as a song that BTS had to perform in English to succeed in the U.S., but as a song they chose to perform in English to demolish every last barrier in the Western music industry.

It also grossly underestimates how difficult (and impressive) it is for a Korean group to earn a No.

By sheer force of will, the BTS ARMY pushed the group to unprecedented heights on the Hot 100; if BTS played by the Western music industry’s rules just once, they could harness that momentum to cross the final frontier of pop superstardom.

Instead, they spent years conquering the music industry and dropped the song strategically to help them clear the final hurdle?

BTS has made history once more with their “Dynamite” Grammy nomination; it remains to be seen whether they’ll do so again in January by winning.

BTS used “Dynamite” as their Trojan horse to fully conquer the Western music industry, and their Grammy nomination was years in the making.

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