When it comes to BTS, they are undoubtedly one of the biggest groups in the world.
Despite debuting in 2013 under a small company, the group has shut down haters and made a name for themselves worldwide. They went from being “nobodies” to performing in some of the biggest stadiums, at the biggest events, and setting records.
Amongst all of the success, ARMYs have constantly raised concerns that the group isn’t respected by some of the big music establishments in the West.
Whether it was being “snubbed” at the 2022 GRAMMYS or when it was promised that the group would make history at the 2022 Super Bowl with their performance, which ended up being a commercial, netizens have always raised concerns about the treatment towards BTS.
— enid⁷ (@taeerex) February 14, 2022
@itstetrisbish explaining the entire Proof album in details, saying Butter deserves a Gramy and BTS winning Top Duo/ Group and Best selling song for Butter.#BTS is the main character without attending!! 😭😭😭🏆🏆
And Armys we will always be famous!! 😭😭💜💜
— BTS_voting_alliance (@alliance_voting) May 15, 2022
Recently, another world-famous artist gained attention for speaking about BTS, and it’s none other than Nicki Minaj.
In a recent clip that has gained attention, many believe the artist indirectly confirmed that the group was “blackballed” by the music industry. The phrase means that BTS was shunned deliberately out of fear or hatred or prejudice.
In the clip, Nicki Minaj explained that there are rules in the music industry that are created to ensure that certain things don’t happen again.
She was seemingly talking about the Billboard chart and the fact that the chart was made to change its metrics after she complained about the unfair method in which the top spot was decided.
The rules were to make it sure that, never again in the history, would an artist or, in my case, two artists, if you know what I’m talking about, who were being blackballed would be able to go number one.
— Nicki Minaj
Many ARMYs believe that BTS was also blackballed from US charts, especially in the early years of their career. Similar to Nicki Minaj, it was the rules of the chart that prevented BTS and her from debuting at number one with the help of sales and streams, rather than just radio.
Nicki Minaj then went on to reveal that she thought the reason for these rules was to keep power in the hands of those running the radio stations and influencing the music industry.
The purpose of these rules, it’s not bashing but it’s just telling you guys the truth, were to make sure that you as an artist will always be in need of radio.
— Nicki Minaj
BTS at the Billboard Music Awards | OSEN
Although she hadn’t mentioned BTS explicitly, the next section of her speech directly spoke about BTS. Nicki Minaj explained that each time a group releases a song and fans try to help the song succeed in an “unconventional way,” those at the top don’t like it.
So, if we as a fanbase, or let’s say BTS as a fanbase, who recently saw it happen with that. Every time we put out a song, we can do what we do with ‘Say So’ or ‘Trollz,’ then it takes the power out of someone’s hand, and they don’t like that. It’s all about power here.
— Nicki Minaj
When the clip was shared, ARMYs worldwide shared their appreciation for Nicki Minaj being so honest about the state of the music industry. Despite BTS’s fame and popularity created through hard work, it is up to the huge ARMY fanbase to help give BTS what they deserve.
For many BTS fans, the treatment of the group in the West has always been a double-edged sword. Many ARMYs believe that the group is used when it benefits them but “snubbed” or disregarded when they become worried about the influence a non-Western or POC band might have.
You can read more about artists speaking out about BTS’s treatment by the Western music industry below.