Since BTS released the song “Ma City” back in 2015, it has been teaching everyone about an important date in Korean history, May 18, thanks to J-Hope‘s lyrics about his hometown Gwangju. And as May 18, 2019 approaches, South Korean national news program JTBC Newsroom shed light on the track again and discussed how BTS is actually influencing the world to find out more about Korean history.
The reporter titled his segment “ARMY’s 5•18” and explained that J-Hope’s lyrics, “Everyone dial 062-518”, from the track “Ma City” is leading international ARMYs to actively research and study the Korean history involved with that date and the city of Gwangju. After playing and listening to J-Hope’s part on air, the reporter shared how the series of numbers mentioned in the rap intrigued him as well.
[J-Hope] says to ‘Dial 062-518’. So I tried dialing that number but it doesn’t exist. Likewise, a lot of international fans must have been curious about what those numbers mean.
— Reporter Park Sung Tae
The reporter then discussed how an ARMY, by the Twitter handle of @BTSARMY_Salon, created an educational blog posting in English about the Gwangju May 18 Democratic Uprising of 1980. He explained, with the help of this blog and other helpful links provided within it, that BTS’s international fans are better able to understand J-Hope’s lyrics.
This is how a lot of international fans have come to know more about the May 18 Democratic Uprising.
— Reporter Park Sung Tae
@BTSARMY_Salon’s blog about May 18, 1980 is truly informational. It teaches the English speaking readers more about the tragic history behind the date and allows an in-depth understanding of why J-Hope might have used those specific numbers to represent his hometown in the track. The fan wrote, “It’s a very important archive of J-Hope’s hometown. Therefore, I believe you can understand a little more about J-Hope and BTS in general.”
The reporter pointed out that some international ARMYs, who have read and learned about the history, even went and visited the May 18 National Cemetery to commemorate those who lost their lives in the uprising. As more ARMYs become aware of the subtle messages and meanings behind BTS’s lyrics, and so subsequently interested in studying Korean history, the fans are calling it BTS’s power to bring positive influence into the world.
Watch the English subbed version of the JTBC Newsroom segment here:
— admirer🐱 [slow] (@admiringsuga4) May 16, 2019
And check out this awesome fan-made music video to “Ma City” too: