When it comes to music taste, my preference is very varied. I like absolutely all sorts, from one extreme to another. Some people may find this weird and bizarre but what I like is what I like. One of the many genres of music I like is K-Pop. That’s Korean pop music for those who don’t know. Can I understand the language? A little but for the most part, no. However, you don’t need to speak or understand Korean to enjoy K-Pop. Trust me. K-Pop is more than just people singing in Korean with the odd English line thrown in for good measure. K-Pop is all about production and concepts. It’s impressive, addictive and at times truly mindblowing.
A booming industry with a dark issue
K-Pop artists, or idols as they’re known as put in lots and lots of work. They’re perfect singers, dancers and visuals. Sometimes idols even produce their own music. They’re not one-trick ponies. They’re super talented and that is because they put in the hard work and hours. Sadly the reality is that some idols are overworked to the point where they are exhausted. Some even end up collapsing on stage. The industry has a big issue with agencies and labels treating their idols like absolute slaves. The whole issue is disgusting and has even lead to idols taking their own lives. All that being said, not all agencies and labels are the devil. Some are ethical and treat their idols fairly with the respect that they deserve.
One of the idol groups who appear to be being treated fairly is BTS. BTS is a favourite of mine. I’ve already written a lot about Bangtan Sonyeondan (That’s their Korean name) But basically, there are seven members who are a mix of rappers and singers. They have some absolutely incredible songs. They recently released the final album of their Love Yourself series, titled Love Yourself: Answer. The album features 7 brand spanking new songs as well as a mix of tracks from previous albums. The message of the album is pretty much, you should love yourself before you love anyone else.
BTS Idol is the PERFECT title track
The title track of the album is Idol. Now let me tell you, it is an amazing track. The song is a mix of South African beats, hip-hop and EDM. It is for sure a track that you’ll want to shake your booty too. Now I’m not going to lie. After my first watch of the video, I was overwhelmed. There is SO much going on. Seriously you need to watch it like 4 or 5 times just to take in the song. The video is so colourful, there are so many different scenes and easter eggs. This means that you can easily watch the video over and over without tiring of it because you’ve always got something new to discover. The song basically consists of BTS proclaiming self-love and in their video, they reference many, many things. Interested in the references? You’re in luck. I’ve listed a few below.
References in BTS Idol to their previous videos?
- When the group are sat around the table this could be a reference to their Blood, Sweat and Tears video.
- In the frame where the group are dressed in beige clothing, this could be a reference to their MIC Drop video. This is because their movements are similar.
- When Jungkook is standing in front of the green LED lights this could be a reference to their Dope video. This is because the lights are similar to the cage in dope and Jungkook’s positioning and movements are identical.
- Towards the end of the video, the group are huddled together and chanting. This is potentially a reference to their Fire video.
- When the group are dancing in front of many backing dancers this could be a reference to their Not Today video.
- In the final scene, the seven men are seen sitting on chairs and crossing their legs. This is almost identical to the Just One Day video.
More potential references
- In one line J-Hope references Anpanman, a potential nod to their previous song?
- In another scene, an Airplane flies over. This could be a nod to their track Airplane Pt.2.
- In one of the shots, the group are sporting Hanboks which is a traditional Korean dress, a nod to their roots perhaps?
- In the same Hanbok wearing scene, Jungkook’s stance is as if he’s holding a pipe-like instrument. Could this be a reference to their song Pied Piper?
- When RM is seen with filters on his face this could be in reference to when he was on V Live and a fan told him not to use filters on his face.
- In the video for DNA the group dance under a half-finished yellow construction. In Idol, they dance under a completed yellow construction which looks very similar.
- Throughout the video, we see a tiger. In Korean culture and history, a tiger is seen as a protective guardian who wards off evil spirits. The tiger is also seen as a symbol of power, courage and luck. A self-reference perhaps?
Even more potential references
- Throughout the song, we hear traditional Korean sounds as well as the members chanting traditional phrases such as “Ulssu.” Another nod to their culture.
- In one scene there is a rabbit in the moon. This could be a reference to one of many things. The first? A Sailor Moon reference? Sailor Moon’s real name is Usagi Tsukino which translates to “Rabbit of the Moon.” However, once member V also known as Taehyung stated that he thinks there are rabbits on the moon which soon turned into a meme. However, there could be method to the madness. That is because there is a folklore that is big in Asia that a rabbit lives on the moon. So either the group are showing their love for Sailor Moon (Doubt it), they’re referencing the meme or it is a nod to their heritage. My bet is on the last one.
There are SO many other references in the video but it’ll take me all day long to sit and list them all. Basically, Idol is an absolute tune. I love the entire video and the song its self is fantastic. I particularly love Jimin’s lines as his angelic voice is top-notch.
Have you listened to BTS Idol yet? What is your favourite part of the song or video? Whose outfit did you love the most?