At this point, it was expected, although it’s never a guarantee. Maybe it is now? After seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Butter”, BTS has knocked their own song out of the top spot with their new song, “Permission to Dance”. Billboard made it official yesterday:
“Permission to Dance” is the band’s FIFTH #1 on the Hot 100 in just ten months, beginning with the release of “Dynamite” last year – which hasn’t been done since Michael Jackson did in 1987/88 over a period of nine months. They are also the first artists to have replaced themselves atop the Hot 100 since Drake did it in 2018.
As I wrote last week when “Permission to Dance” was released, at this point, BTS is its own competition. And now there’s a dance challenge in partnership with YouTube. YouTube is trying to promote its Shorts feature and yesterday they announced that the challenge will begin this Friday, July 23 through August 14. The goal is to create 15-second YouTube shorts replicating the core dance moves from the music video with the incentive of appearing in an upcoming compilation video that BTS will be putting together presumably before the end of the summer. For YouTube it means BTS’s ARMY access their app and using Shorts, thereby increasing familiarity, and of course for BTS it means that their song continues to generate attention on social media which, of course, contributes to its performance.
During interviews and other promotional opportunities for “Permission to Dance”, RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have shared that the song was meant to uplift people after a f-cked up time that disappointingly hasn’t ended. And while they’ve achieved more professional success than they ever have over the last year, the fact is, they’ve spent this year at home in South Korea, in and out of lockdown, not able to celebrate with a global victory lap world tour. South Korea is in its fourth wave and vaccination rollout has been slow. New restrictions are now in place in Seoul and given how young BTS’s members are, with the current pace of vaccination rollout, it may be some time before the band is fully immunised, meaning travel is out of the question. Which means they will have to continue to innovate from the top – and that obviously hasn’t been a problem for them, but as artists, even though they don’t always show it, it must be so frustrating to have worked this hard and achieved so much but not be able to fully experience it. On tour, with their fans, hearing their own songs sung back to them. That’s the common answer with every musician I’ve interviewed this year – they want to share the music, and through the pandemic, they’ve become more and more desperate to share music in community, to feel the energy of music exchange in a truly live setting. Me too. I love concerts. It’s a major regret that I’ve never seen BTS in concert. Their tickets were already hard to get pre-COVID. Can’t even imagine how much harder they’ll be to get once they can tour again. And yes, this is exactly what it is – I am putting it out there right now to any and all contacts I have to make this happen when it happens.
Yours in gossip,