BTS, The Best (2021), a collection of Japanese songs, was released on June 16 by the Korean band BTS in honor of their multilingual songwriting style and global appeal. The album includes songs that were first published in Japanese (“Lights,” “Your Eyes Tell”), their Korean hits (such as “Blood, Sweat and Tears” and “Boy With Luv”), and one original track, “Film Out,” which was previewed in April.

The truth is that BTS’ original Japanese songs might cover an entire compilation album by itself, even though BTS, the Best’s tracklist selection does a decent job of showcasing the Korean band as a successful crossover act. However, a closer look at their Japanese discography is also worthwhile.

These are the best songs from Japanese BTS albums you should not miss.

The Stars

The upbeat hip-hop song “The Stars” from BTS’s debut Japanese studio album, Wake Up (2014), features lyrics about pursuing ambitions and never giving up. The younger BTS, who were then in their second year in the music business, can really relate to the message.

The track’s producer, Japanese musician KM-MARKIT, introduces the group members in typical hip-hop mixtape fashion. He co-wrote a piece with Pdogg and the three rappers from BTS. It’s impressive that SUGA, RM, and j-hope, who were only 21, 20, and 20 years old, respectively, could write and rap in Japanese. From the start, they had these qualities as rappers: J-call-and-response hope’s style and flow shifts, SUGA’s clear diction, and RM’s customary delivery all stand out.

Wake Up

Hip-hop immediately takes fans to the Isley Brothers’ samples of rap tracks like Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” (1992) and Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” when Wake Up’s homonymous track first begins (1994). After all, BTS’s entire musicality is influenced by the culture and sound of hip-hop and rap.

While “The Stars” is a more upbeat song, “Wake Up” has a smoother production and a more relaxed chorus and post-chorus. BTS’s vocals have a richness that highlights their wide vocal range. As seen in tracks like “Crystal Snow” (2018), where Jin sustains triple high notes, such a characteristic would become a hallmark of their Japanese career.

For You

“For You,” a touching pop song that first appeared on the Japanese BTS album Youth (2016) after being released as a single in 2015, reveals BTS’s romantic side. It created the framework for the musical style that many of their Japanese songs—including “Let Go,” “Stay Gold,” and others—would adopt: emotive melodies with extended notes in the chorus. However, the interactive shouting in the post-chorus also reflects BTS’ hip-hop heritage.

Introduction: Youth

Contrary to their Korean counterparts, Japanese BTS albums typically have intro tracks that are original instrumental remixes of the album’s other tracks with voiceovers. Youth’s (2016) introduction is similar to that, yet it is also noteworthy on its own.

The single, which has English lyrics, is a perfect representation of BTS’s trilogy The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, not only because it samples their songs “I Need U” (2015), “Run” (2015), “For You” (2015), and “Fire” (2016), but also because its lyrics serve as a proclamation of the group’s identity. RM declares the BTS ethos, “We’re one of them who is seeking our stars. So you may call us young, and we’ll never get old,” while mentioning each individual member by name.

Wishing on a Star

By this time, either from their Korean or Japanese discography, R&B/hip-hop with upbeat lyrics had become part of BTS’s fundamental message and repertoire. The same may be said of “Wishing on a Star,” which is also from the Japanese album Youth.

With his distinctive voice inflections and “My baby!” shout-outs, J-rap Hope’s “Wishing on a Star” is as hip as it is endearing, while RM’s bilingual (in English and Japanese) rap comforts listeners with a deep voice. Jimin’s voice is like a tasty, enticing treat. As a result, he and the other BTS vocalists transform the bridge into a lullaby. The track is energetically ended by SUGA, and as it ends, the lyrics “Like a star” reverberate in the background.


These are some of the best  BTS albums. The group has done remarkable work on these tracks. If you have not listened to these songs, then you should definitely try listening to these songs by your favorite band.