Uh... hmm, okay, so this is a thing now? Cool. Cool cool cool.
This is definitely not the first time an American artist has collaborated with idols before, and the track record isn’t exactly spotless.
Akon had a brief fling with the Wonder Girls (whose grand plans to advance into America failed), and famed producer Teddy Riley had a hand in creating a girl group from scratch with Rania (who, after eight years, are still struggling to rise above C-list).
And, most infamously, T-ara tried to bring something together with Chris Brown—yes, that Chris Brown—which fizzled out, leaving behind only negative headlines like that one time where good ol’ Chris took them to Hooters, of all places. (Their American “advancement” failed, too.)
The difference between BTSxNicki Minaj (new ship incoming?) and the above examples is that this time, the collaboration happened as a result of a K-Pop act building up a solid American fandom, instead of it being a contrived means to an end to force a successful expansion. Far too often, agencies have this misguided notion that a big name tacked on to their own is enough to ensure success in markets that have never heard of them before. As BTS demonstrates, it’s not nearly that easy.