What Does BTS’ Hiatus Mean?
The word "hiatus" is a jump scare for many music fans.
In their annual FESTA anniversary video on YouTube, K-pop mega stars BTS sat down for a group dinner and tearfully explained their plans for a "period of off time" which translated to "hiatus" in the subtitles.
The group's leader, RM, said, "I want to be as BTS for a long time, you know?"
Suga chimed in, "And we have to do this for that to happen."
RM continued, "And for BTS to go for a long time, I think that I should remain here as myself. Because I'm not all of BTS. I'm only a part of BTS."
It seems natural to for men in their twenties to want to explore their individual identities after nine years of dedicating their life and creative energy to a group.
Artists of all mediums know what burnout feels like, and BTS are proof that even the biggest group in the world experiences it.
It's normal for Western artists to take one to two year breaks between projects, but for BTS, it's been back-to-back comebacks for the past nine years.
"The problem with K-pop and idol system...they don't give you time to mature, you have to keep producing music and keep doing something...There's no time left for growth and it's not just about music and work," RM said.
As reported by Newsweek, RM also said, "After releasing 'Butter' and 'Permission to Dance,' I started feeling that I don't know what kind of a band we are anymore. What kind of music do we want to make? What do we want to say?"
"Writing lyrics is the hardest. What message do we want to give? Nothing comes out anymore," Suga added.
However, the word "hiatus" and the group's hesitance to announce their time off from group activities sparked a panic online.
One fan said, "You'll really know how painful a news is when KIM NAMJOON cries [on] behalf of the group," along with a video showing RM crying as he explained their plans.
His tears prompted other members to shed some tears of their own, with Suga saying "Namjoon's making me cry! Don't cry."
Even though the group's break came as a bit of a shock, they stated that it actually should have come sooner. Originally, their "Chapter 1" was meant to end with the release of their 2020 title track "ON," followed by their planned world tour.
But when COVID-19 threw a wrench in that plan, the group pushed themselves to release more music instead, giving us the BE album, three English singles, and now the Proof compilation album.
So what does BTS' "hiatus" really mean?
The group will be taking a break from (most) group activities to focus on more solo projects and finding their musical direction as a unit again.
In that time, ARMY will be getting seven solo albums from the members, starting with J-Hope and ending with Jin.
According to K-media, J-Hope's solo will be coming out sometime in mid-July. Perfect timing ahead of his history-making Lollapalooza headlining spot in Chicago in August!
According to the boys themselves, they will still be filming and releasing their variety show Run BTS. Plus, a statement from their label, HYBE, said, "BTS are not taking a hiatus. Members will be focusing more on solo projects at this time."
Basically, the boys stressed, "It's not that we're disbanding. We're just living apart for a while. I think that BTS could become a stronger group that way."
"It's not like we're dying," Suga quipped.
Their new single, "Yet To Come" reflects the group's new direction, as the lyrics declare, "Yeah, the past was honestly the best / But my best is what comes next."
Jungkook even went live on VLIVE on June 15 to say, "I woke up and saw stuff like 'BTS hiatus' 'BTS disband' and it was all a mess, so I came to clear up some stuff."
It's safe to say that ARMY will fulfill Jungkook's wish for their continued support as the group enters their "Chapter 2" era.
Check out more fan reactions to the news, below:
Celebrity Fans of BTS