Have you ever heard about K-pop? I bet if I had asked you this question 20 years ago, you probably would have had doubts on whether you had or not. Right now, however, I’m willing to bet at least half of the people reading this post have, indeed, heard about it and bopped to it too. There have been many popular artists that have broken geographical barriers, such as Super Junior, Girls Generation, and good ol’ Psy (Oppa Gangnam Style!) But, as a K-pop fan myself, I feel ballsy enough to say that no group has been as influential and revolutionary as BTS (or Bangtan Boys, or Bangtan Sonyeondan).
The seven members that comprise BTS are out-of-this world talented, and all-around-strong artists. Traditionally, K-groups have an internal structure based on ability and main/supporting responsibilities within the group. Strong rappers will form part of the rap line, energetic dancers will focus on the “dance kills,” vocalists will belt intricate verses, and so on. However, If there is something that became evident with BTS, is the ability that K-pop artists have to blur those lines. Although there is a leader, rapper, vocalist, dancer, and maknae (youngest of group) structure, BTS members seem to keep it fluid and interchangeable (minus leader, RM best boy!)
Therefore, taking into account the skills of the members of Bangtan Boys, and considering their adaptability and overall talent, I have sat non-K-poper (how do you even spell this?) Carrot next to me, to turn these artists into rock climbers! I will describe each member to the best of my ability, and he will translate their talent into a climbing discipline. LET’S GO!
The artist: Jin is the oldest of the band, a tenor, and plays the guitar. He is regarded as an artist with a strong emoting ability and, as stated by The Korea Times, he possesses a tender and sorrowful voice. He had no previous musical experience when he was first scouted by BigHit Entertainment. Because he was studying acting during that time, he auditioned under that discipline before becoming an idol trainee. Jin is protective and always willing to be the mood maker during interviews, in order to help his members feel at ease and comfortable.
The climber: I think Jin would be a good trad climber. Usually, when you are climbing trad you are in a more isolated area, which seems to fit his personality. It seems like he would have the calmness and maturity to help his climbing partner navigate dicey terrain and sketchy gear placement.
The artist: Suga is a rapper, songwriter, and music producer. He became interested in rapping at a young age after being influenced by stablished artists such as Stony Skunk and Epik High. He got immersed in the music world during his teenage years and was an underground rapper before joining BigHit Entertainment. Suga is determined and disciplined. He is the embodiment of “head in the game” or “what you see is what you get.” A strong and reliable performer and member, he has produced and written the lyrics for a number of BTS tracks.
The climber: I think Suga would be a solid boulderer. Anybody who is inspired by a guy named Stony would make a great boulderer. His dedication to his craft would pay dividends when it comes to making gains on the wall.
The artist: J-Hope is a solid and energetic dancer, singer, and rapper. He was part of an underground dance team prior to joining BigHit Entertainment. J-Hope’s dancing skills gained him popularity even before making his idol debut. Popularly described as the sunshine of the group, J-Hope has the upbeat personality and ability to cheer anyone up and light up any stage on fire.
The climber: J-Hope would be a great multi-pitch climber. He has the endurance and the attitude to dance his way up any route. No matter how long or arduous it might get, he seems to be the guy you would want to spend hours tethered to a rope with.
The artist: RM is the leader of the group and a heck of a strong rapper, songwriter, and producer. He showed interest in poetry and writing from a young age. With the help of music, RM later turned his poetry into lyrics after finding inspiration from artists such as Epik High and Eminem. He is disciplined, strict, and caring, being a strong support system to his group members.
The climber: RM sounds like the guy who would be a super techy (technical) slab climber. Routes like these require a lot of patience and ability to read the best and safest way to ascend. Slab isn’t for everybody, but for those who can excel, the reward is worth the challenge.
The artist: Jimin is a smooth dancer, singer, and songwriter. He is recognized because of his sweet and piercing voice. Jimin has a background in contemporary dance, showing through the elegance and smooth quality of his movement. He is a person with a charming personality on and off stage, being a quality that attracts a lot of interest from the people who cross paths with him. Jimin describes himself as a perfectionist and is regarded as a hard worker.
The climber: Jimin is all the hype at the crag. He sounds like the dude that shows up with the latest gear and turns heads as he makes his way up single-pitch sport routes. He is THAT climber we always hear about who looks like they are dancing up the wall.
The artist: V is a singer and songwriter. He is a baritone and is known for his husky and deep voice. However, he has also been praised for his musicality and vocal range. V excels as a performer because of his duality. In front and/or behind cameras, you’ll be surprised by his ability to keep a straight face as well as to make you melt and laugh with his antics. Similar to Suga, “what you see is what you get,” therefore, I hope you pass V’s vibe check.
The climber: He seems like he could have been a team kid who excelled at everything. Once he got through the comp circuit, he just started showing up at random crags and crushing everybody’s projects. He won’t share beta, unless he likes you.
The artist: Jungkook is the youngest of the group, a singer, dancer, and songwriter. He is considered as an all-rounder, possessing multiple talents. Jungkook is well known for his singing ability and also forms part of the dance trifecta, alongside J-Hope, and Jimin. Because Jungkook debuted at an early age, his band members stepped in and became very protective and supportive of him (act that JK has been openly grateful of). Similar to Jimin, Jungkook is also known to be a hard worker, -sometimes exhausting himself in the process.
The climber: Similar to V’s background, Jungkook grew up as a team kid and also dominated the circuit. However, he sounds like he would have been the ace of the climbing team. He is such a force that when he goes to the crag, other people hop off their projects just to watch him send. You know that when Jungkook climbs, he is going to give it his all.
What do you think about BTS as climbers? Would you hit the crag with them?