BTS comes back with a boom in K-pop band’s latest all-English single/music video, ‘Dynamite’

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Ngan Dang

An artist’s re-creation of a scene from the YouTube released music video of BTS’ latest single, “Dynamite.”

Esther Oh

Three years ago, BTS entered the U.S. mainstream, attending the Billboard Music Awards and performing its “DNA” song at the American Music Awards later that November.

Then last year, the K-pop band exploded in the United States. By then, the seven-member boy band had recorded songs in their native Korean tongue as well as a mixture of Japanese tunes.

Its U.S. concerts had a Beatlesque feel as Asian and non-Asian fans (also known as the ARMY) came out in droves to watch them perform — though they were still singing in mostly Korean, their choreographed dances and rap gestures on the stage kept audiences mesmerized.

BTS then performed in such American venues as “Saturday Night Live” and the Grammy’s (a song alongside rapper Lil Nas but still making history in early 2020 as the first time a Korean group performed there).

So it was inevitable that BTS would produce an all-English song followed by a music video.

Released on Aug. 20 on the YouTube channel, Big Hit Labels, the “Dynamite” music video reached over 3 million concurrent viewers at its peak level and has since continued to break record after record on YouTube, including the biggest 24-hour debut with 101.1 million views.

As of Sept.12, the music video has 345.9 million views.

“Dynamite” explodes in a sense with six of the seven members wearing pastel-colored outfits in front of a pink, clouded sky. They all stand in front of the seventh member, Jimin, who is eventually revealed and makes a gun gesture with his hand, possibly to light this “Dynamite” of a song.

The nearly four-minute production, directed by Lumpens (“Fake Love”), gives cheerful and comforting vibes with bright rainbow colors and lots of energy from the band. 

“Dynamite” also features the members singing and playing around, a break from their typical dancing to sharp choreography. The scenes of them goofing off and having fun with each other are a refreshing take compared with their previous works, showing viewers that this is meant to be entertaining rather than serious.

While their older productions, such as “ON” from the most recent album, Map of the Soul: 7, narrate a short story through intricate choreography and lyrics, BTS’ latest work takes on a more lighthearted theme that viewers can relax and enjoy for the aesthetically pleasing visuals.

It’s also interesting that the director chooses to base the setting of the video on the 20th century and then subtly adding record shops and dining locales from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. It especially syncs well with such lyrics as “shining through the city with a little funk and soul.”

During the song’s chorus, the music video showcases the band members’ dance moves inspired from the 20th century, including a nod to Michael Jackson.

Although the entire video is enjoyable, one specific part highlights each of the members’ good looks and charismatic features. At times, they dress in outfits from the ‘70s, smiling and grooving along with the music at a disco party dance floor. 

The band does go a bit overboard on the American assimilation, as one scene shows a band member eating a donut — a classic U.S. treat — while another one stands in front of an ice cream truck.

Despite not being able to speak English well, with the exception of group leader and rapper RM, the members’ pronunciation of English lyrics are easy to make out and understand as early as the first listen. Given the millions of views so far for this video, many in the ARMY want the group to stick to its original roots and release tracks with Korean and English mixed into them.

In the meantime, they’ll still have a blast with “Dynamite.”