Need evidence that BTS is at the top of their game? Well, they just released their first anthology album — aptly titled Proof after their government name Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts in English — a three-disc, 48-song smorgasbord of title tracks, members’ selections, demo versions, and songs freed from the vault. The first disc opens with a remastered version of “Born Singer,” an interpolation of J. Cole’s “Born Sinner.” Released on SoundCloud in July 2013 — a month after their debut — the song describes the group’s first taste of the limelight and the bliss of being onstage. Three new tracks dot the expansive collection: lead single “Yet to Come,” “Run BTS,” which shares a title with their long-running variety show, and “For Youth,” a fan song dedicated to ARMY. I regret to inform you that the third disc will not be available on streaming services with unreleased tracks “Young Love” and “Quotation Mark,” as well as demo versions of fan favorites “Tony Montana (with Jimin)” and “Still With You (Acapella),” amongst others. BTS first announced the album in April at the end of their four-date, sold-out Vegas residency at Allegiant Stadium with a cryptic video that spliced together career highlights and ended with the phrase “We Are Bulletproof” emblazoned across the screen. In the run-up to the album’s release, the band partnered with both Apple Music (BTS Radio) and Spotify (#SpotifyPurpleU) to share memories and tell stories about their favorite songs.
The album arrives in the midst of Festa, an annual celebration of the group’s June 13, 2013, debut. In honor of their ninth year, BTS dropped previously unseen dance practices (“Best of Me,” “Butterfly,” and “MIC Drop” are highlights), family portraits, and selfie collections, with a new song for ARMY on the way. They’re not booked and busy with only new albums and Festa: Just last week, the band visited the White House, and triple threat J-Hope (rapper, main dancer, producer) is slated to headline Lollapalooza on July 31. As for the rest of the members, Jungkook, RM, and V have teased mixtapes, while Suga produced and starred in Psy’s new song “That That,” Jimin recently released OST “With You,” and Jin blessed us with the trot song “Super Tuna.” Need more proof? You can check out “Proof Live,” a performance of the new songs with a “special guest,” on their YouTube channel on Monday, June 13.