BBMAs-Winning K-pop Sensations BTS Talk Eminem, Fandoms, and Learning English From ‘Friends’

Some laypeople may have been surprised when K-pop septet BTS won the Top Social Media Artist honor by a landslide at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, beating out Western pop acts like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. But the BTS ARMY — who helped the group set a new record for the most votes in a fan-voted award at the BBMAs, with 300 million votes — never had any doubt.

And now, move over, Bieber: As BTS (the most retweeted artists on Twitter, according to Forbes) conquer America, they’re even earning comparisons to the almighty Beatles.

BTS photo by Paul Rosales

BTS (Rap Monster, J-Hope, Jin, Suga, Jimin, V, and Jungkook) were humbled by the Fab Four comparisons when they came to Yahoo Music for a Facebook Live interview two days after the BBMAs, but the Fab Seven had plenty to say about their exciting BBMAs experience; their favorite music of the past (Eminem, Nas, Biggie, Whitney Houston) and present (Desiigner, J. Cole, the Chainsmokers); their dream duet partners (Tinashe, Charlie Puth); their backstage rituals; and much more.

And it turns out that the Billboard Awards wasn’t BTS’s only brush with American television. Rap Monster, who served as the translator for the rest of the band during BTS’s Yahoo interview, explained how watching Friends growing up actually helped him perfect his English.

“It was like a cliché for the Korean parents in my hometown to let their kids watch Friends,” said Rap Monster, who named Chandler his favorite character and the Rachel/Ross romance as his favorite plot line. “The show is really good. It’s kind of like the show of my life. Firstly, I had no interest, because I cannot understand a word. But [my mom] thankfully let me watch it in Korean, like, subtitled. So as I watched the show, and I was so into the show — the characters, the love stories. She bought the DVDs, 1 to 10 Seasons, and I repeated it like a dozen times. I think that’s why [I learned English so well]. Their speech is clear and easy to understand.”

Last side note: True to the band’s social-superstar status, at the end of the interview our editor Lyndsey Parker glanced away to address the camera and innocently/embarrassingly didn’t realize that Rap Monster had reached out for a handshake. Hilarity, and countless memes, ensued. Good job, #BTSARMY!