BTS is ready to make a splash this summer with their new English single, “Butter.” “Butter” follows in the footsteps of the group’s 2020 chart-topping releases: their first English single and Grammy-nominated track “Dynamite”; their “Savage Love” remix with Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo; and “Life Goes On” from their fifth Korean studio album Be. The seven-member group received countless accolades last year and 2021 will be no exception.
Upon its release on May 21, “Butter” shattered records for the biggest YouTube music video premiere with over 3.9 million concurrent views, overtaking the “Dynamite” music video premiere which accumulated over 3 million concurrent viewers last August. On May 22, the YouTube Music Team officially confirmed that BTS had achieved yet another new record, “BTS (방탄소년단) ‘Butter’ Official MV has set a new all time 24 hour record of 108.2 million views, surpassing their own 101.1 million view record for “Dynamite” in the first 24 hours. The band now holds the #1 and #2 record spots on YouTube’s All-Time Top 24 Hour Music Debuts.” Furthermore, BTS took to Twitter to announce their recent Spotify achievement – that “Butter” became “the biggest single day record [in] Spotify history!”
“Butter” is an exciting dance-pop track with catchy melodies and an addictive baseline that pays homage to QUEEN’s 1980’s hit, “Another One Bites The Dust.” RM is credited for having participated in the making of the song’s lyrics and the rap verses. “Butter” is laced with confident, witty lyrics about melting listeners’ hearts with BTS’ cute and chic charisma.
“Butter” also marks Suga’s first comeback since his shoulder surgery. Late last year, Suga underwent surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum that he had sustained before BTS debuted. The procedure required ample rest and rehabilitation, leading him to be absent from the group’s Be promotions.
In the song, the group makes both direct and indirect references to musical icons. The most direct reference appears in V’s verse, “Don’t need no Usher / to remind me you got it bad.” The lyrics reference Usher’s 2001 song, “U Got It Bad.” Listeners also took note of Jungkook’s opening lines, “Smooth like butter, like a criminal undercover” a tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” hit. The group had previously incorporated some of Jackson’s iconic dance moves in the “Dynamite” music video, which received praise from the icon’s nephew Taj Jackson on Twitter, and during the special dance break in last year’s stunning Melon Music Awards performance.
In the music video, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook take on the role of “smooth criminals” set on capturing people’s hearts. The video starts off in a chic, black and white color scheme with the septet standing in a police lineup for their mug shots. They’re all holding name placards with their birthdates and a unique set of numbers. In BTS’ “Butter Butter Bubutter” V Live, the members unveiled the meaning behind the numbers: RM’s represented his old apartment and room number; Jungkook’s was the date he first moved into the dorms; J-Hope’s is the pager code for “kiss”; V’s meant that he’ll “be number 1”; Jimin’s was the date of their first-ever concert; and Jin’s and Suga’s were simply the result of keyboard smashing random numbers together. While subtle in detail, the numbers added a nice, personal touch to the music video.
As the video progresses, rich, warm color tones are introduced, emphasizing the song’s retro theme and upbeat vibes and the members are shown dancing their way through various vibrant film sets. The chorus introduces the group’s energetic choreography that’s filled with charming highlights such as the subtle hand kisses, playful smirks, and sleeking their hair back in a suave manner. The minute touches play to the song’s message that the boys will surely captivate listeners with their new song.
A highlight from the music video was when the BTS members showed off their individual charms through their impromptu dance solos. During the song’s instrumental break, each member is spotlighted freestyling in an elevator. The moves in the music video were completely improvised, allowing each member’s personalities to shine through. Another highlight in the video was during RM’s ending verse. As he raps “Got ARMY right behind us when we say so,” the camera pans back and reveals the septet spelling out “ARMY” with their bodies. It’s a sweet dedication to the group’s loyal and passionate fanbase. Jin and Jungkook’s “A” pose in particular also seems reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” anti-gravity dance move.
BTS will debut the live performance of “Butter” later today at the Billboard Music Awards. The group is currently nominated for four categories – “Top Duo or Group,” “Top Song Sales Artist,” “Top Social Artist,” and “Top Selling Song.”
“Butter” is on it’s way to becoming THE summer anthem of 2021. Check out the music video below and stream the single on Spotify below!