Song of the Week delves into the new songs we just can’t get out of our heads. Find these tracks and more in our Spotify Top Songs playlist, and for our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, BTS’s Jung Kook made a splash with his official debut single, “Seven.”
There’s a concept in K-pop called bisexuality which BTS’s Jung Kook absurdly sums up – the idea of being able to slip back and forth between the cute side of personality and the sexiest side; An artist’s edgy personality on stage and sweetness off stage.
With his official global solo debut, Jung Kook takes duality to its limits: “Seven,” featuring rapper Latto, is one of the most explicit songs ever released by an artist who grew up in the K-pop world. It also arrives with a very funny and charming music video that takes a comedic approach to the song. There is a clean version and an uncensored version on streaming services. we Good morning America Today, Jung Kook performed the track with some bold and confident choreography, and also joined the host for a sweet, lively conversation that made the viewer want to squeeze their cheeks. If you’re somewhat new to the BTS game, get ready to embrace the slam dunk — this throwback between the two extremes is Jung Kook, encapsulated.
Since BTS announced their second chapter just over a year ago, confirming that they intend to remain active as a group but also take time to embrace individual endeavors in the midst of completing their mandatory military service, Jung Kook’s classmates have explored a range of topics through solo projects – officially leaving the guys behind, and working through anger and grief, tackling self-image and scrutiny, as well as heavy, deeply personal themes that didn’t always feel right in the music from all seven members. On “Seven,” Jung Kook took the opportunity to remind the listener that BTS has never been afraid to break the rules.
When BTS debuted, Jung Kook was only 15 years old. From the jump, the band was located on a small island—in a recent book, the members reflect on the difficulties they faced locally as a group that wasn’t exactly a full-fledged hip-hop crew, but they weren’t. They act as a more traditional South Korean idol group. BTS are no strangers to blunt language in their music, and they spent their early years researching topics around mental health and belonging that were still taboos for K-pop acts a decade ago. Since their debut in 2013, they’ve rewritten the rules as they go, and in doing so, have carved out their own corner of the global industry.
So while the lyrics to “Seven” by Jung Kook and Latto wouldn’t raise any eyebrows coming from a high-profile superstar outside the US, there is an unspoken challenge from the younger BTS to release this song as his international single. For a long time, most K-pop stars have been encouraged to avoid breaking the sense of fantasy usually evoked in this niche of the music industry, allowing fans to always imagine that they might be the one being sung. It’s rare to see someone like Jung Kook not only hinting, but fully affirming, his wants and desires to spend time with a lover and partner.