GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By SARAH CHUN
BTS Jungkook–ed up another Mic Drop-ping music video as sweet as Suga-r, taking all but Jimin-i accomplishments.
On Nov. 24, Korean pop (K-Pop) boy band Bangtan Boys (BTS) released their music video for “Mic Drop.” Originally, the song was released as a part of BTS’ newest album, “Love Yourself: Her,” but the band collaborated with renowned DJ Steve Aoki to create a remix and music video. After only about two weeks, the video has reached over fifty-six million views on Youtube.
Once again, BTS has created a successful production by using a new concept, dividing the spotlight evenly and appealing to their fans overseas.
Since their debut in 2013, BTS has used a variety of themes: school, color, and a loss of innocence. Finally, the band brought out their inner rebel by using a gang and “bad-boy” concept, including a change in wardrobe, color scheme, choreography, lyrics and overall presence, all of which have not been seen since their debut nearly five years ago.
As seen from their very first appearance at the twenty-two second mark, they are sitting in a single row, with intimidating positions and facial expressions, as if they do not wish to be there. In addition, their clothes consist of camouflage patterns, skulls, headbands and follow a dark color scheme. They evidently take a rebellious personality in their music video; a vibe that they have not expressed since their debut.
As opposed to their usual pop music style of lyrics and choreography, “Mic Drop” takes a more hip-hop style. For example, in Suga’s first verse, he says that he is sorry to everyone for being so successful. The choreography supplements this vibe well, as seen with their constant use of shrugs, hand gestures and generally rude demeanor. This is very different for BTS, because they are usually less aggressive, as seen in “Blood, Sweat, and Tears,” where they essentially beg for a girl’s attention.
Furthermore, the technological effects throughout the video add to the “bad boy” persona. Constant explosions, burning objects and camera filters complement the rebellious mood given by their choreography, lyrics and wardrobe.
Although members Jungkook, Jimin and Rap Monster receive a fair share of attention, “Mic Drop” sheds spotlight on an underrated member: Jin. Typically, Jin does not sing many lines and is usually in the back for the choreography, but viewers see and hear more of Jin in the video. J-Hope also receives well-deserved limelight, as he raps the first two verses and takes front-center a few times throughout the video. Showcasing BTS members in a more balanced way allows for equal exposure to different styles and talents, expanding their potential as a group.
On the other hand, others criticize BTS for their new concept and their primary use of English in their remix with Steve Aoki. Besides Rap Monster, the members are not fluent in English, resulting in the song partially losing their meaning. In addition, at the forty-five second mark, American hip-hop enthusiasts might accuse BTS for copying Kendrick Lamar in “HUMBLE.” by using many bowed-down heads nodding to the rhythm.
However, as Rap Monster says, “Haters gon’ hate, players gon’ play, live a life, man.” This collaboration with Steve Aoki is just one of many projects BTS has completed with “Mic Drop.” The band has also teamed up with American rapper Desiigner for a remix and Universal Music Japan to perform the song in strictly Japanese.
As BTS appeals to their international fans, they also gain more popularity; they have been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Ellen Show and The Late Late Show with James Corden. Their popularity overseas has also earned them a fair amount of recognition: reaching Top 40 on Billboard charts and performing at the American Music Awards (AMAs), marking K-Pop’s debut on American television.
With BTS spreading their Wings and flying to higher success, we can expect these seven Bangtan Boys to continue to amaze the world.