Their remixed ‘MIC Drop’ also hit the iTunes #1 spot in over 65 countries
South Korea’s seven-member group BTS have experienced a heated rush of mainstream interest in the USA with recent appearances on The Ellen Show, The Late Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! alongside a bold, effortless performance of “DNA” (from their recent album Love Yourself: Her) that stole the show at the American Music Awards. It’s this growing omnipresence that’s helped them make a serious, and seriously impressive, dent on the UK and US singles charts with the release of “MIC Drop”.
Despite zero promotion and no additions to radio playlists in Britain, the Steve Aoki-remixed version of “MIC Drop”, also featuring New York rapper Desiigner, scaled its way onto the mid-week UK Singles Chart at #30, the first track ever by a K-Pop group to break into the Top 40, before coming to settle at #46. But its biggest achievement is a meteoric blaze into the US Hot100 at #28, nearly 40 spots above their September single, “DNA”, making them the only Korean group to have ever broken into the Top 30.
Having been a stand out album track from “Her” (which landed at record breaking #14 on the UK Album Chart), the new cut of “MIC Drop” comes in strong with English lines, both translated and new additions, Desiigner's rapid fire spitting on the opener and Aoki's teeth-rattling hype beat to induce a fresh headrush.
Just as the song is what you could call quintessential Bangtan – no-holds-barred lyrics that, here, taunt their naysayers and anti-fans, while reconfiguring the weighty punchiness of tracks like “Baepsae”, “Spine Breaker” or their Cypher series – so too the music video looks over its shoulder as it muscles forward. Like a glowed up successor to “Fire”, with scattered cars blazing wildly behind the slick choreography, and a few aesthetic nods to “N.O” and “Not Today”, the performance-lead visual has also slayed the numbers game, clocking over 49 million views since its release on November 24.
With “MIC Drop” reaching #1 on iTunes in over 65 countries, including the US, and now added to fistfuls of American radio stations, 2017 will end as another game-changer for the group who debuted in 2013 and slowly and steadily climbed the proverbial ladder to become South Korean pop's biggest international success in years. But with a major world tour potentially on the cards for 2018, global media reporting their every move and the band widely presumed to have signed with US label, Sony RED, next year already feels like it will see BTS absolutely flatten the pop world as we know it.