First of all, if you’ve not yet taken the time to check out BTS’s new music video for “Dynamite,” you should get on that before reading any further.
Here you go!
In a bid to help beat the 24-hour view record (which we did, btw) and stream across multiple platforms, I listened to “Dynamite” and watched the music video plenty of times. Certainly more than enough to form a very concrete opinion about BTS’s first-ever English single!
So what were my thoughts on it?
First Thought: BTS Is Amazing, No Matter What The Language Is
It seems plenty of non-ARMY are finally learning what many fandom members have known for years now: BTS is a group of very talented music professionals who can bring it in any language!
“Dynamite” is a fun bop that works because BTS has a strong pop sensibility that allows them to convincingly channel the days of disco and Michael Jackson. Speaking of which, there was no shortage of tributes to the King of Pop throughout the video.
BTS was able to pay respect to American pop music of the past while retaining their unique musical identifies. “Dynamite” demonstrates that not only do BTS understand the American music market, but they’re also fully integrated into it as leading music stars.
But here’s the thing: This would be true no matter what language they chose for recording “Dynamite.”
Language has never been at the heart of what makes BTS a successful group!
The great irony is that many of the people so eager to support this new English language single joined the ARMY fandom long before there was a decision to release a fully English song for the US music market.
Bottom line? BTS’s music is great in any language. Personally, I’m hoping that this means BTS feels free to experiment with songs in Spanish, Portuguese and French, or whatever language they feel like.
Second Thought: America Does Not Deserve BTS, But We Definitely Need Them
I’m of two minds about the strong reaction to “Dynamite.” First, I’m glad that BTS seems to finally have finally gotten the fair shake that ARMY knows they always deserved. Still, I’m admittedly disgusted that it took an English language single for that to happen.
I’m sure some people will answer with, “America is mainly an English-speaking country!” as an excuse to justify the double standards and blatant xenophobia. To that, I ask, “Why is it we don’t see American artists being pressured or expected to learn non-English languages before entering non-English speaking markets?”
From an American perspective, there seems to be this neverending expectation and entitlement that the expectation that all foreigners appreciate American tastes as inherently superior and English-language music as so obviously good, no one should bother reaching out in other languages. In many ways, this attitude persists even as BTS demonstrates over and over and over again that language isn’t a barrier to American popularity!
I honestly have no issue with what language BTS decides on when releasing new music. Even so, I feel embarrassed that BTS was held back in my country for obviously xenophobic and racist reasons. It’s especially shameful when you consider BTS is a perfect reflection of the American Dream.
BTS are also representations of authentic star power. They’re not a consequence of industry hype. That’s why they have millions of people all over the world who are working together to keep them at the top of the industry. They NEED to be here, reshaping racism-tainted perspectives of what a megastar gets to look like and what language he or she must speak.
BTS gives hope and inspiration to a lot of people, and if you haven’t been paying attention to our political dumpster fire lately, we Americans can use so much of that right now. If I can put aside my fears and anger for a few minutes and escape into a window of time when Trump’s America seemed implausible to anyone, I’ll gladly take the respite.
That BTS gave American fans this gift in the form of an homage to our past selves and as a reminder of the happiness music can bring is the ultimate act of selflessness. Contrasted with how BTS has been treated by the US music industry and members of the media from day one, we don’t deserve it.
Even so, I’m thankful for it.
Third Thought: Let Me Try Out My Inner Fan Theorist Real Quick…
What does Michael Jackson, the 1970s, and the Wizard of Oz have in common? “The Wiz,” an African-American version of The Wizard of Oz. In that version, Michael Jackson played The Scarecrow.
As a matter of fact, after thinking about it “Dynamite” contained a similar level of exuberance to “Everybody Rejoice.”
I’m definitely not the only person who’s considered this:
In fact, I saw someone mention it on my timeline (before being lost forever to the constant flow of information…ugh), and I think it’s a fan theory that’s growing in popularity. BTS has been playing with Wizard of Oz-related references for a while now.
But there’s another series of presumed references that some of us are wondering about: Space Jam.
In addition to the Space Jam Tune Squad jersey and basketball court featured in the music video, “Dynamite” references LeBron James by name. In case you missed it, LeBron was cast in Space Jam 2.
Is “Dynamite” going to be on the upcoming Space Jam 2 soundtrack? Is it a reference to a completely NEW song for that soundtrack? Is it ARMY Clown hours?! I don’t know.
In any case, I’m excited to see where the Wizard of Oz
and maybe Space Jam? references lead.
I really love this song. It’s the burst of happiness we need in 2020, a year that has rained crap on the parades of almost everyone. It’s fun, danceable, and absolutely addictive. The end of “Dynamite” is among my favorite closing moments to a pop song ever. Those final 40 seconds bring an incredible rush of dopamine.
I’ve got my fingers crossed for #1 on Hot 100. In the meantime, I’m streaming my butt off!
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF “DYNAMITE?” SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW!
IMAGES: BTS/Big Hit Labels/YouTube