Christmas came early for fans of BTS - the K-Pop boy band sensation just released not one, but two music videos for their latest single "MIC Drop." Along with a shorter video accompanying the standard version of the song, BTS released a special video for the Steve Aoki and Desiigner remix of the hit single as a fan thank you. Both videos feature the group's signature precise choreography set to unapologetic lyrics about their meteoric success, and both feature an interrogation room and fiery vehicles as backdrop. The extra-long remix video features Aoki in a key role, orchestrating the group's clap back to their haters as their lyrics literally blow up the world around them.
BTS has every right to slam their haters (if they even exist; the group is wildly popular with fans and critics alike). Their last single "DNA" became the first K-Pop boy group hit to crack the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and the accompanying music video got over 20 million YouTube views in under 24 hours, breaking K-pop records for most views in the shortest amount of time. They've been credited with pushing Korean music out of the fringes and into the mainstream in the U.S. by Spin magazine, who noted many Americans might not even realize Psy, of novelty hit single "Gangam Style", was Korean. BTS performed at the 2017 American Music Awards, the first K-pop group to do so in the show's history. Singing in Korean, the group was a rarity amid the English language-dominated awards, even in a season that included Spanish-language mega-hits "Despacito" and "Mi Gente".
BTS certainly seems to have their eye on expanding their audience internationally - their recent rebranding changed their name to include the additional English acronym Beyond The Scene. And with the "MIC Drop" remix hitting the U.S. iTunes chart's number one spot earlier today, there's no doubt they'll succeed. Fans the world over hit Twitter to congratulate and celebrate the group breaking through to U.S. audiences, and of course, to restate their fandom.
Even world-famous DJ Steve Aoki, who contributed to the song, tweeted his excitement about their number one status.
But it's not just the United States - the song's already cracking the top 10 in other countries, beating out international pop stars like Pink and each country's individual hitmakers.
BTS has long been a fan-favorite for their socially-conscious songs and for speaking honestly about causes that mean something to them, setting them apart from the majority of most K-pop groups' tightly managed and carefully manicured public images and responses. Though nowhere near as brash as Kanye or unapologetic as Nicki Minaj, the group's openness in putting their actual feelings on fame and youth in their lyrics have won many over. Choosing to cover serious topics like bullying and loneliness alongside traditional romantic themes has endeared them to fans living through the same experiences.
Critics appreciate their merging of R&B, hip hop, and K-pop, and honesty endears them to fans, but BTS also kills it at boy-band classics like sporting absolutely fresh looks at all times, perfoming intricate and perfectly-timed choreography like it's no big deal, and giving teens swoon-worthy looks in group poses. "MIC Drop" combines all that with an intense, irresistible beat and two big-name collaborators working across genres. It's no surprise the song and video are already burning up charts internationally, and can be expected to break a couple more records before the week is out. This may be the first time a number of American music fans are hearing of BTS, but it sure looks like it won't be the last.