Millions of people love BTS, but some of the most diehard ARMYs began as anti-fans who didn’t want anything to do with the group or K-Pop. On Reddit, a user by the name of Ideasforgoodusername asked former BTS antis to share their stories. Here are 5 of them.
1. From 2nd Generation anti to 3rd Generation fan
User fleurhiver didn’t want anything to do with BTS at first because of a bad experience with second generation K-Pop music.
I didn’t feel negative towards BTS specifically but to Kpop in general, because I knew of several 2nd gen groups and I thought the music was quite bad. So when I first learned of BTS, I assumed it was another group with bad music and just ignored them.
Everything changed when BTS visited their country for a concert during the Love Yourself era. After learning about the fan chant for “Fake Love”, fleurhiver decided to check out the song. The rest is history!
When they came to my country for a concert, the news made a report on the hectic queue outside of the venue and showed ARMY doing the “Fake Love” fan chant, which made me curious about the song itself. I looked it up on Spotify, liked it and started to listen to their ‘This is’ playlist. Then one day I decided I wanted to learn their names…
2. The conflicted multi-stan
Being a fan of multiple K-Pop groups can be challenging, and BTS tested one multi-fan’s loyalty to another group, EXO.
Was an EXO-L in 2015/2016, and I guess I still had the mindset of just liking one [boy group and] the general hatred of BTS throughout the fandom…BTS were getting kind of harder to ignore, so I checked out [“Blood, Sweat & Tears”]. I thought, “Pffttt, is this was the hype is about????? lol no thx”…
For ExiledIn, finding BTS wasn’t love at first sight, but “orange boy” (aka J-Hope) eventually won them over.
…and that’s what I continued to think as I just kept checking it out reluctantly because I was fascinated by orange boy. ‘I just wanna know his name,’ and I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened after, but here I am 4 years later still supporting the boys and my [ultimate] bias J-Hope…
3. The champion of unrated rookies
NationalAnalyst mistakenly thought “Idol” was BTS’s debut song. This led them to believe BTS was an overnight sensation.
So I first heard of BTS when “Idol” came out which, as we all know, is not their first song or even their second song, but at the time I thought it was as I hadn’t heard of them before [. . .] I thought “Idol” was their debut song and to me they had become like instantly popular, and in my head I was like why? What about my fave groups who had been round longer and aren’t as popular (how stupid/naive right)?
As a result, this would-be ARMY wrote BTS off as “overrated”, but Suga (aka Agust D) eventually won them over with his solo song “Daechwita”.
I work with a girl who likes K-Pop also, and she was like give them a chance, and I said, “Nah, too overrated.” I did like “Idol” thought and my sister got me into [“Blood, Sweat & Tears”] in Nov 2019.
Then Agust D “Daechwita” came out and I gave it a listen [beecause] I knew he was in BTS, and I loved the song, and YouTube just went onto the next recommend song, which was “Fake Love” and it just spiraled from there, and now I listen to them every day!
4. Haters gonna hate
Daisy_Meme revealed that they used to hate BTS “just because”.
Honestly, I think I just grew up and made myself see new things. I used to hate BTS just because. Like most BTS haters they just hate BTS for no reason and that is how I used to be.
That began to change during quarantine in August 2020, when Daisy_Meme fell down the K-Pop rabbit hole and became a BLACKPINK fan. After becoming a BLINK, this fan also began listening to BTS.
The first group I started to stan was BLACKPINK, but a couple months after I saw BLACKPINK had really good songs, I got into BTS. [. . .] That is my story of how I got into BTS. Everyone says quarantine was the worst time of their life, but not for me because that’s when I got into K-Pop, and it was a good choice for me.
5. The old school YG stan
A fan by the name of JKkuze has been a K-Pop fan for many years, specifically a fan of YG Entertainment artists. In the beginning, they had nothing but derision for BTS’s music and styling.
In 2013 I was obsessed with BIGBANG and other YG artists. I was a hardcore YG Family stan. And during this music show, I can’t remember which, BTS debuted and I was like, who the hell names themselves Bangtan, it’s really cool but [I don’t know] if it’s a long-term sustainable name.
Then the thick eyeliners and shabby outfits had me snorted. I was so sternly believing there’s no more more hip hop than YG Family in K-Pop, so what do these little kids know about hip hop with those hideous eyeliners and cheap necklaces?
After setting BTS aside for four years, JKkuze heard “MIC Drop” in 2017. It made them resent BTS and their success in the US.
At that time BIGBANG is fading in the scene, and my view changed on YG music as a whole post-2015, and I was feeling both bitter and disappointed about the direction of music YG had in mind.
BTS grabbing attention in the US left and right made me so bitter and petty – as a former VIP I witnessed how hard BIGBANG had tried to gain more mainstream attention in the States, and it was nowhere as successful as these BTS guys have been. I forced myself to not listen to the hype [because] I was still bitter…
Despite their bitterness, they added “MIC Drop” and “Fake Love” to their Spotify. Fast forward to 2020. JKkuze began falling in love with BTS’s complex choreographies as well as their hip hop tracks. “Cypher Pt. 4”, “Outro: Tear”, and “Hip Hop Lover” finally transformed JKKuze from anti to ARMY.
After listening to “Cypher Pt. 4” and “Outro: Tear”, I was core shook, my whole prejudice filled world was shattered. These guys are hip hop!!! If this isn’t hip hop, fight me! The song “Hip Hop Lover” is what converted me, had me bow down on four paws.
It reminded me my own journey of listening to hip hop and rap music at a young age as an Asian whose local music scene sees hip hop as a niche and most ppl don’t understand a hair of, the rage and frustration I felt daily found answers and expressions in hip hop music, and in that way I could live sanely as a teen. My childhood self overlapped what they said in that song and I legit cried after listening to it.