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BTS 2013 Journey: Debut, The Beginning

What matters most in the world of entertainment is the impact it brings to the audience, and the power it holds to spread that impact.


Debut and Pre-debut

Bangtan Sonyeondan which means Bulletproof Boy Scouts in English and now widely known as BTS, launched their career in 2013 when they released their debut album, 2 Cool 4 Skool on June 12, 2013 through Big Hit Entertainment. Their singles, No More Dream and We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2 supported the album and peaked at number five on the Gaon Album Chart in South Korea. It also entered the Top 10 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart in the United States.

Surprising? No. These seven amazing newbies at that time might’ve kicked off their career in 2013, but the group was formed in 2010 after CEO Bang Si-hyuk discovered Kim Namjoon aka RM who was already known as an underground rapper in Seoul. After meeting RM, he got inspired to form a hip hop group around RM, but later on changed his plans and chose a different path that would be more marketable. He decided to create idols, but didn’t follow the standard or common regimented idol group. Instead, he wanted a group who would be known as individuals instead of an ensemble, free to express themselves. CEO Bang Si-hyuk held an audition in 2010 and BTS was formed.

Before the release of BTS’ debut album, they already started promoting themselves and their upcoming music by sharing diary entries, video logs, mixtapes, and other contents to their supporters. So, it is no surprise that they already have fans prior and during their debut because they have already been reaching out to people in their own way, given that Big Hit Entertainment during that time was just a small company that couldn’t afford much to promote BTS. The blog temporarily ended on May 20, 2013 in preparation of BTS’ debut.

No More Dream

On May 26, 2013, their debut trailer was posted on the website and Big Hit’s official YouTube channel. Alas, the official music video for “No More Dream” was released on June 12, 2013 marking their debut. The next day, BTS made their debut stage on Mnet’s M Countdown which was the start of their promotion of the album on various music programs in South Korea. On June 16, 2013, same day that We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2 was released, a dance version of No More Dream was released.

No More Dream Official MV

No More Dream Dance Practice


2 Cool 4 Skool debuted at number 19 on Gaon Album Chart’s Week 24 issue and sold 760 copies during its release week. Six weeks later, the album peaked at number five on Gaon Album chart’s Week 31 issue. Promotions for the album and singles continued, and the album sold over 24,000 copies in total, earning a placement on 2013 Gaon’s year-end album chart at number 65.

On September 11, 2013, BTS released their first extended play titled, O!RUL8,2? It is their second album after 2 Cool 4 Skool and the album consists of 10 tracks with their single, "N.O." as the carrier single. They also promoted another track from the album called, "Attack On Bangtan."

On September 13, 2013, Rookie King: Channel Bangtan premiered. It's a variety television show by BTS with 8 episodes containing interviews, skits, games/challenges, and pranks. The show was broadcasted every Tuesday 5pm KST on SBS MTV.

On November 14, 2013, BTS won Best New Artist at the Melon Music Awards!

First Video Logs

Even from the beginning, BTS’ individual personality touched people because they were true to themselves. They opened up to their supporters through their video logs and talked about how their day went, what challenges they were facing, and how they felt in preparation of their debut. This kind of connection with their fandom ARMYs was the key that helped them get through their rough journey. Here are their very first video logs and the English translation.

Rap Monster

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As newbies who aren’t quite exposed yet to the ways of society and the K-Pop culture, our seven BTS members have experienced harsh criticisms before and during their debut. They even started getting involved in controversies before they debuted. One of these controversies was when Suga posted a tweet that many netizens reacted to because it was deemed questionable. The tweet roughly translates to “I am watching all of you. If I see you looking somewhere else, I’ll [take a photo/hit you] with this camera with, the corner on the crown of your head. The problem with this post was clearly in the wordplay, as the phrase he used could’ve been translated as “take a photo” or “hit.” Netizens felt uncomfortable and accused Suga of being overly aggressive and borderline misogynistic.


But of course, that didn’t ruin BTS. The more controversies and hate they received, the more ARMYs they gained tenfold because BTS have been true to themselves from the start, showing both their talents and flaws. And that’s just one of the many things that hooked ARMYs to loving BTS as they are.

BTS Debut Performance

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