I have been listening to K-Pop since 2010. The library had a teen anime club, and I was looking for something to screen at our club meeting. I stumbled upon the Korean live action version of Boys Over Flowers and my obsession began. (Based on a Japanese manga, the drama is terrible and wonderful all at the same time.) From that point on, I started diving into all the great dramas and music out of South Korea, both past and present. And now, the rest of the world is too—all thanks to BTS!

For those of you not in the know, BTS, aka the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed in 2010. They have broken numerous records—hitting No. 1 on the Billboard charts, becoming the first K-Pop group to perform on a major U.S. awards show and having the most-viewed YouTube video in 24 hours. They also just recently broke a record long held by the Beatles: releasing three No. 1 albums in less than a year. Just this month, BTS snagged three spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 with songs from their latest album, Map of the Soul: 7. Their official fan club, ARMY, is so passionate about promoting and loving BTS that James Corden just featured the group on an episode of Carpool Karaoke. Watch that video here.

So why am I telling you all this? BTS just released their latest album, Map of the Soul: 7, with 20 songs total including five from their 2019 EP Map of the Soul: Persona. The library can hook you up with that album as well as their previous releases like Love Yourself, Skool Luv Affair, Wings and more!

How, you ask? Use your Fountaindale Library card to access Freegal Music, a digital resource where you can stream up to five hours of music a day and download five free songs a week. I have already listened to the album three times! Current favorites include: Filter, ON, 00:00 (Zero O’Clock) and Friends.

If you are interested in learning more about their new album, check out Studio 300’s Between the Stacks, where our very own Adriana and Patrick review Map of the Soul: 7. You can watch that video here.

Freegal Music has a ton of K-Pop albums, EPs and singles from other artists like Monsta X, ATEEZ, TWICE, GOT7, Everglow and more. I personally enjoy streaming music from Heize and Stray Kids.

Teens in grades 6–12 can join Adriana and me at the library’s monthly K-Pop Fan Meetup. Each month, we listen to and discuss our favorite music and artists and work on special projects. We have tried Korean snack foods, made our own K-Pop photocard magnets, held random dance challenges and much, much more. Check out our event calendar for dates, times and registration info.