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Hot like summer: BTS' new anthem 'Butter' is breaking records

Receiving over 1 million likes in less than an hour, BTS' summer smash-hit "Butter" is topping charts and breaking records, making it one of the band's most notable comebacks to date.  – Photo by Bighit Music / Twitter

Just a couple hours before the release of BTS’ new single, Butter, the group’s leader RM confessed on social media that he was dying for the chance to sing the song out loud, but was having a hard time biting his tongue to avoid spoiling it. After hearing what is inevitably destined to be the song of the summer, it’s now clear why — “Butter” is an absolute banger and unbelievably catchy. 

Coming off the heels of their top-selling album “BE” and three No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including the group’s record-breaking, Grammy-nominated, first English-language song “Dynamite,” BTS’ next move was highly anticipated. With “Butter,” another English track that was co-written by RM, the seven-member group is showing that even after eight years, they’ve still got more tricks up their sleeve. 

For those who thought “Dynamite” was the group’s peak, “Butter” is quickly proving them wrong. The music video premiere had approximately 3.89 million viewers at the time of its release and became the fastest music video to hit 1 million likes (40 minutes before the premiere), both of which were records previously held by “Dynamite.” At the time of writing this, 20 hours after its premiere, the video has more than 97 million views.

BTS described “Butter” as a track that shows their charms, and it’s clear throughout both the song and video that the members know they’re the s***. The video itself has very few props and relatively simple sets, and is instead centered around the members having fun — with bright hair colors, an array of funky fashion choices and a number of both group and solo dance breaks, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by their sheer star power.

The catchy lyrics are bursting with self-assuredness. With Jin and Jimin proclaiming they’ve got a “superstar glow,” or lyrics like “Hot like summer/Yeah, I’m makin’ you sweat like that,” the song radiates a kind of matured confidence that is sure to define BTS’ current era of global stardom.

What is most striking to many BTS fans, known as ARMY, were the ways the group sought to include them in the song and video. In RM’s verse, he proudly reminds the audience that they’ve “Got ARMY right behind us when we say so,” backed up in the video by the other six members adorably spelling “ARMY” with their bodies.

More subtle references present themselves in other parts of the video, such as the fanbase logos on the elevator buttons, or the date of their first concert on Jimin’s mock mugshot.

While BTS has begun seeing more attention from the Western music industry after the release of “Dynamite,” these little motifs in “Butter” serve as a reminder of who they’re really doing this all for: their fans.

Even after achieving so much in their careers, V himself said the members’ primary concern is not with awards or breaking records, but with “ARMY’s reaction, and to see them happy.” 

Of course, with talent and charisma that is indeed “smooth like butter,” such accolades and mainstream success are only inevitable. BTS is set to perform “Butter” at the Billboard Music Awards this Sunday, bringing pop perfection straight to millions of viewers and soon-to-be-fans.

With summer 2021 beginning amid so many uncertainties and life still not fully back to normal, “Butter” is the hit we all need to keep the party going — even if it's only in our bedroom.

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