BTS is back with a new, all-English language single that has the group’s fans, affectionately known as ARMY, melting like… butter.
It’s the second song from BTS released entirely in English. The group’s last single in English propelled the septet to new heights: “Dynamite” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned BTS a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. It was BTS’ first chart-topping single in the States and marked the first time a Korean pop act received a Grammy nod.
And the group, speaking through translators to media both in-person and online from South Korea at a press conference Friday, didn’t shy away from their lofty hopes and expectations for “Butter.”
“No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 … I think we can do it,” Suga responded when asked if BTS thinks the song can duplicate the chart success of “Dynamite.” “I think it’ll make it.”
“We are thinking of the Grammys,” said RM when posed with a question about “Butter” receiving recognition from the Recording Academy. “We will do whatever we can to set (winning a Grammy) as a goal.”
There are certainly comparisons to “Dynamite.” “Butter” is also an earworm of a single with an up-tempo beat and playful lyrics about getting “high like the moon” and sweeping you up “like a robber.”
“’Butter’ is a very fun song, very lively,” Jungkook said. “The melody too, it’s very addictive.”
Jimin added that the song is “cute” and that there isn’t a profound meaning behind it; the goal was for “Butter” to be “easy to listen to.” J-Hope added the adjective “mischievous” when describing the song’s choreography. BTS will perform “Butter” for the first time on TV Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards, where the group is a finalist in four categories.
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The chorus includes the lyrics, “Smooth like butter // Like a criminal undercover.” In the music video, all seven members are shown in suits holding placards with their stage names and birthdates, a lá a mug shot.
In “Dynamite,” NBA great LeBron James received a shout-out. This time, the group paid homage to an R&B icon. “Don’t need no Usher / to remind me you got it bad,” name-checking both the singer and his 2001 chart-topper, “U Got It Bad.”
There’s also reference to BTS’ dedicated fandom, ARMY. In the video, as RM raps, “All the playas get movin’ when the bass low // Got ARMY right behind us when we say so,” Jin, Jungkook, Suga, V, J-Hope and Jimin form an A, R, M and Y.
“I’m so grateful that they’re always waiting for us and always there in spirit,” Jin said of ARMY. He credited the messages in BTS’ music, particularly in addressing hardships, with how well the group has resonated with fans.
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“Dynamite” eventually led to BTS’ fifth Korean-language LP, “Be.” During the press conference, V noted that the members are currently working on their next album.
RM, the leader of BTS, is a co-writer on the track. The artist said “Butter” was chosen “among many, many songs.” RM noted that some parts of the original were changed to better sync with BTS’ style and that he ended up writing about half of the rap.
“It’s not my native language, so there is a gap in approaching this song,” RM said of his participation in the song’s creation. In previous interviews, he’s credited his viewership of the TV show “Friends” with learning English. “There weren’t a lot of rap parts that we needed to work on (so) it came together really quickly.”
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