BTS / Photograph = Reporter Lee Seung-hyun @lsh87

The world has fallen for BTS’s swag.

The remix of BTS’s “MIC Drop” has landed at No. 28 (on the chart dated December 16) on Billboard’s main chart – the Billboard Hot 100. The news was reported by Billboard on December 4 (local date) as it was explained that “the track claims the honor of highest-charting Hot 100 hit by a K-pop group from BTS’s first (and only other) Hot 100 entry, ‘DNA,’ which reached No. 67 on the chart dated Oct. 14.”

The song “MIC Drop – a track that can be found on BTS’s mini album LOVE YOURSELF: Her – was reinterpreted by world-renown DJ Steve Aoki, who remixed the song, and the hot young rapper Desiigner. The trap heavy remix is a more sophisticated version of the original, and also features English lyrics in place of some of the original Korean lyrics – a move that was taken to allow both domestic and overseas fans to enjoy the song.

Needless to say, the remix has been a success. Aside from appearing on the Billboard Hot 100, the “MIC Drop” remix has been setting records on other global charts. With the release of the song, BTS became the first ever K-pop group to top the U.S. iTunes chart, and the song topped the charts in 50 different countries. In addition, the “MIC Drop” remix has appeared on the Global Top 200 and the UNITED STATES Top 200 charts on Spotify, and can also be found on the official music charts of countries like Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and Ireland. The world has officially fallen in love with BTS.

The music video for the remix – a video that features both Steve Aoki and BTS – has also been met with a sizzling response. On YouTube, the video had 10 million views in 14 hours, 20 million views in 45 hours, and 30 million views in just five days. The music video is currently nearing 50 million views. It is the second fastest music video from a K-pop group to make such progress after the video for “DNA.”

BTS landed at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 / Photograph = Billboard

According to BTS’s label Big Hit Entertainment, the “MIC Drop” remix was originally meant to be a gift for the fans. After the group’s mini album LOVE YOURSELF: Her set a major record in Korea by selling 1.37 million copies domestically and appeared simultaneously on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and the Billboard 200, the decision was made to release a remixed version of the song to thank the fans for helping the album to become such a success. 

So, why did BTS choose “MIC Drop” as the track to remix? Through the lyrics in “MIC Drop,” BTS – who has developed from being a group on a mid-sized record label to world stars – takes deliberate jabs at their haters. BTS started working on the song after winning the Top Social Artist award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) in May. According to the group’s leader RM, the inspiration behind the title of the song came from former U.S. president Barack Obama’s famous White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech from April 2016 when Obama dropped his microphone at the end as a way of saying, “My speech was good, wasn’t it?” The lyrics contain references to BTS’s sense of confidence in becoming the first K-pop group to win an award at the BBMAs. In the song, the group introduces themselves as the “center of world business” and tells their haters, “Look at your reality, too bad. Even if I died now, I’d be damn happy.” Through “MIC Drop,” BTS puts a kind of swag on display that only they have.

‘MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)’ by BTS / Photograph = Bit Hit Entertainment

The remixed version of “MIC Drop” shows the group’s swagger in a more straightforward manner. This is thanks to the ample amount of slang in the song’s English lyrics. The use of the English slang infuses the song with a strong and rugged vibe that music fans expect out of hip-hop music. The group presented a completely unexpected side to themselves in comparison to what they showed in tracks like “I NEED U,” “Blood Sweat & Tears,” and “DNA.” Accordingly, there are a plethora of reaction videos that can be found on YouTube that show overseas fans cheering for the “MIC Drop” remix video as they listen in disbelief to the lyrics. The last part of the remix solidifies the group’s identity as a K-pop group as it ends with the original Korean  lyrics that say “No need to see each other ever again / This is my last goodbye / Nothing more left to say / Don’t even apologize,” and “Look closely, look at your pathetic self / We shoot up just like Coca-Cola / Your corneas will be so shocked / Cuz we’re just so cool.”

In addition to “MIC Drop,” BTS has other songs that record their growth as a group. After the release of “MIC Drop,” BTS was officially invited to attend the American Music Awards. The group appeared on the major talk shows of the three largest national broadcasting channels in the U.S. and found themselves on a slew of global music charts. Domestically, the group recently took home the Artist of the Year award for the second straight year at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) and the Song of the Year award at the 2017 Melon Music Awards (MMA). BTS has been growing and developing. That’s the reason behind why there are already expectations in place for the swagger BTS will show in their upcoming songs.

Translated by Jennifer Earwood