American rapper Wale jetted off to Seoul, Korea, to link up with BTS member Rap Monster. The highly-anticipated collaboration that fans have suspected between BTS’ Rap Monster and Wale is very likely to be in the works. On Friday, Wale uploaded a photo of himself in Itaewon and said he would be getting together with Namjoon, according to AllKpop. The rapper did not give further details on what the meeting was about.
Regardless, fans are elated as the rapper’s meet up confirmed suspicions of a potential collaboration. Also, Namjoon is Rap Monster’s birth name, so many were excited to see Wale call Rap Monster by his real name, as it illustrated a bond between the artists.
A post shared by Wale (@wale) on
Rumors of the musical collaboration between BTS’ Rap Monster and Wale were set ablaze back in November of 2016 when a fan tweeted an audio clip of Rap Monster covering Wale’s “Illest B****.”
Wale showed appreciation to BTS by mentioning the Kpop group on one of his tracks. In December of 2016, Wale released the track, “Folarin Like (Nas Is Like Freestyle)” on SoundCloud. Kpop fans promptly noticed he mentioned BTS in the lyrics.
“Foreign feature from South Korea, BTS be the s***, we about to see it.”
According to AllKpop, a fan was the catalyst for the collaboration between the artists. A month or so later, Wale tweeted, “collab???!”
— Wale (@Wale) November 23, 2016
Wale stated a couple of weeks ago that he’d be on the other side of the world. Yesterday he confirmed in a new tweet that he and his team landed in Seoul.
Seoul .. we here
— Wale (@Wale) March 3, 2017
On February 15, Wale announced to his fans that within a few weeks he would jet off to the other side of the world. The American rapper even mentioned “Army” which many took to be a nod to BTS’s fan base better known as A.R.M.Y.
I'll be wit the bros in a few weeks on their side of the ???? the
????????x the ARMY https://t.co/LfjQzXRw4n
— Wale (@Wale) February 15, 2017
Bang Si Hyuk, the CEO of BTS’s record label Big Hit Entertainment, recently addressed the question of a U.S. crossover, according to Popcrush. (English translation via Soompi)
“A Kpop artist succeeding in Korea and getting noticed by the mainstream U.S. market because of the global scale of Kpop is completely different in every way from entering the U.S. market and competing with the mainstream artists there.”
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As of November 2016, BTS members are simply focusing on growing as Kpop artists, according to Popcrush.
“BTS has strengths as Kpop artists, and they’ve made it to where they are now by playing to those strengths. Because of this, we will be focusing on BTS’s growth as Kpop artists in the future as well… I think actively preparing for the U.S. market would be biting off more than we can chew.”
However, Hyuk noted that if during the process of expansion, if BTS surpasses that critical point to where they were not only noticed by the U.S., but seamlessly jump-started into the market, they would be incredibly thankful.
[Featured Images by Big Hit Entertainment and Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]