In honor of BAP’s comeback after their grueling year-long hiatus and legal struggle, I’ve decided to write my first post in 2.5 years! I just had so many thoughts and emotions running through my body when I was watching this video that I felt compelled to put it on paper. Or wordpress. Whatever.
First off, this music video is more than just a music video. It’s an announcement that BAP has finally returned and is meant, more than anything, to give us that first glimpse back into the BAP world. And so of course it has a gratuitous amount of close-ups and scene changes for extra wardrobe and styling opportunities.
It makes me immensely happy to report that no one got dramatically uglier in the year BAP was gone, and that they all look just a bit older, wiser, and er…”refined”. (Especially Zelo).
What’s interesting about this music video is that they chose to stay away from any choreography and focused instead on what I like to think of as BAP’s strongest suits; It starts off with Himchan’s face (he is after all, “the visual”), flashes of Bang Yongguk’s lyrics, throws in (very randomly) a few clips of Jonggup and Zelo’s wild dancing:
shots of Daehyun and Jonggup’s…unbridled joy:
and a very, very gratuitous sequence of Zelo taking off his shirt.
Given all of that though, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. The music video, while I’m sure wasn’t cheap, definitely felt rushed and messy concept-wise. the MV just did not make much sense because it was basically trying to jam a year’s worth of content and aesthetic into one video. First they are proclaiming their freedom. Then they are throwing paint on each other and laughing. Then they’re in school uniforms. Then they go away from splashing paint to throwing colored powder. And then Youngjae finds his own dead body in a coffin! How is this not just every classic K-pop trope thrown together? And yes, I’m sure you could weave together some sort of narrative about the lion representing TS Entertainment and the coffin representing the old BAP and how at the end of all this struggle BAP is now this new entity destined to become the kings of k-pop but…no. I’m not buying it. Here’s more likely how it happened. The producers of the music video were like:
“Ok, so the name of this song is Young Wild and Free. Alright for ‘young’, we’re going to put them in school uniforms. Check. For ‘wild’, hmm…oh I know let’s throw in a lion!
Check. ‘Free’…let’s have them throw paint at each other! That’s a very youthful and liberating activity.
Check. Great, then at the end let’s sit them on some thrones as we zoom out and pan to black. Cut and wrap; good job everybody!”
I’m not really complaining though; at this point just getting to see BAP’s faces is enough for me.
And let’s be real here, the song itself is amazing. Just the beginning with Bang Yongguk’s “Yeah let’s rock this” sends chills down my spine. It’s so very classic BAP, with the heavy guitar synth and booming rock beat, but also features some very interesting rap cadences that disrupt the flow just enough to keep the song from feeling too generic. The chorus is hella catchy too; one of those you listen to once and it’s in your head for the rest of the day. And as an added bonus, we get just a little bit of Youngjae’s falsetto, which in my opinion is a rare treat. Curiously enough, there was no classic Daehyun power belting climax near the end of the song, which I always look forward to in any BAP song. But that’s OK he was probably destroying his vocal cords with those anyway.
Anyway, at the end of the day, this MV gets the message across; BAP the king is back.y’all.