While the whole world is talking about all the records the Korean boyband BTS is breaking with their latest English single “Butter”, let’s talk about something just a little different.
“Butter” was the first song I heard on May 21st 2021, the day of its release. As a fan (army), it was a good new summer song to begin your day with – the boys were dressed their best, with stunning new colored hair, like Jungkook in electric violet, Jimim with purple strands. “Butter” has pretty much the same happy, bubbly & cheery vibe like their first all-English song ‘Dynamite’.
After about an hour, YouTube suggested me a new song by American singer Lil Nas X and I thought to myself “oh wow, BTS & Lil Nas releasing music on the same day… what a co-incidence!”. The song titled “Sun Goes Down” was a completely different mood. It was poignant, personal and emotional. Nas in the new single gives us a glimpse into his younger self – a closeted gay black man struggling to come to terms with his identity.
In the video Nas sings “I wanna run away,” while he is at a prom party, feeling lost & alone. So he goes to the bathroom & starts to cry. That scene is heart-breaking and would have connected with so many people – haven’t we all at some point in our lives sought cover in the bathroom? To drown our sorrows, wash our faces and hope nobody would notice?
But Nas’ video ends in a hopeful tone, he goes back to the party, shakes off the blues and starts dancing with joy. He realises he is enough, he doesn’t need a “partner” to make prom night special. And it’s such a strong unsaid message – LOVE YOURSELF. Which also happens to be a dominant message of BTS.
Despite both songs being two worlds apart, they still share a unified theme – of being confident in your skin. In ‘Butter’, the boys are already self-assured pop-stars, sure of getting whatever they want. In the other song, Nas is on the road to getting there – where he can dance with abandon too.
It’s interesting to remember that the BTS boys had made their debut Grammy performance with Lil Nas, singing along his hit number “Old Town Road”. And BTS fans around the world know how it had been a big dream of all the seven icons – RM, Jim, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Jungkook, Taehyung – to be on that stage.
As a music fan, one only wishes that Lil Nas’ new song gets all the love it deserves. Both ‘Butter’ & ‘Sun Goes Down’ were released an hour apart, hours later, the difference in the views is staggering. While the ‘Butter’ video raked up over 80 million views in less than 17 hours on YouTube, ‘Sun Goes Down’ garnered over 2 million views in the same time.
Well, Lil Nas X the musician sure knows how grab eyeballs and his latest song will get there soon enough. The new single might not have instantly broken records & charts, but was quick to win over hearts.
Love from a random fan, to both BTS & Nas.