BTS released their highly-anticipated album Love Yourself: Answer on Friday (Aug. 24), and with it came the boisterous music video for their single “Idol.”
Brightly-hued, the kaleidoscope world "Idol" shows the seven members the group -- RM, Jin, Jungkook, Jimin, V, Suga, and J-Hope -- living it up amid a variety colorful locations, interacting with multiple cultures and realities as they celebrate their sense self-love. Exaggerated graphics, some which recall previous releases from the group and others that feel like they were pulled straight out The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, are counteracted by dance scenes amid classically-inspired architecture, while traditional Korean elements, such as hanboks, classical Korean outfits, and tigers -- the representative animal Korea, its people, and its culture -- also play a main role.
The hybrid styles are apparent not only in the video but also the song itself as BTS declare their self pride. From the very first line where RM declares, "You can call me artist/ You can call me idol" until its very end, “Idol” finds the act taking ownership their identity as Korean “Idol”s. Anthemic in its nature and bolstered by the riotous choral declarations “You can’t stop me loving myself,” the single revels in instruments and vocal chants traditionally heard in gugak, traditional Korean music performances and blends them with impassioned raps, energetic whistles and rhythmic house beats that draw on South African gqom.
Like most BTS’ videos, the choreography plays a major role in “Idol” with swaggering, sweeping moves aimed at the camera as if addressing listeners directly during the verses. Again, the traditional comes into play, with certain moves emulating those seen in traditional Korean dance. Powerful on their own, the members BTS are joined at the end the video by a crowd dancers, in a Bollywood-style ensemble performance to end things f with.
“Idol” comes to a close with the members sitting down and sedately crossing their legs as they peer into the camera, a parallel that fans were quick to note emulates their 2014 video “Just One Day,” as if recalling their early days to express how far they've come: it doesn't matter whether they are called "K-pop idols" or anything else like it may once have done, because in 2018 BTS are undeniably on top the music world.
“Idol” is the lead single f BTS’ newly-released Love Yourself: Answer album. Along with the video version, which can be heard on the physical album, the group also are promoting an alternate, digital-only version the song featuring Nicki Minaj.