Idol
by BTS (featuring Nicki Minaj)

Album: Love Yourself: Answer (2018)
Charted: 21 11
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • BTS have a lot to be proud about. Their third full album, Love Yourself: Tear, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the first ever K-pop album to top the chart. In June 2017, Time magazine named BTS one of the 25 most influential people on the internet and later in the year the group were revealed to be the most tweeted about celebrity in 2017, being liked or retweeted over half a billion times worldwide.

    This anthemic song finds the band declaring their pride as they take ownership of being South Korea's most powerful and influential celebrities. (BTS were ranked number one on Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list for 2018). The hook translates as:

    Keep on chit-chatting, saying this and that
    I do what I do, so you do you
    You can't stop me lovin' myself
  • Musically, "Idol" combines different classical Korean instruments, including the gakgung, with a modern hip-hop beat that draws on South African gqom (a style of house music that originated in Durban). This mix of ancient and modern illustrates how BTS themselves have been able to bridge different cultures.
  • An alternative version of the song, which features Nicki Minaj, is included as a bonus track on the digital version of the album. According to the Seoul Economic Daily, BTS reached out to the American rapper after completing the record. Minaj readily accepted their offer to appear as a featured vocalist.
  • During Minaj's verse, she references singer-songwriter John Mayer and interpolates a line from his 2002 song "Your Body Is A Wonderland."

    I'm here word to John Mayer
    Barbie's a wonderland my face is top tier
  • The song's music clip was released on August 24, 2018. The visual was viewed over 45 million times in its first day, breaking the record for the biggest music video debut held by Taylor Swift's visual for "Look What You Made Me Do," which recorded 43.2 million views in its first 24 hours.
  • BTS became the first K-pop group to score a Top 40 single on the UK's Official Singles Chart when "Idol" debuted at #21 on the tally dated August 21, 2018. The song beat their previous chart high of #42 set by "Fake Love" in May 2018.
  • So what's the meaning of the Love Yourself: Answer album title? BTS member RM explained during the band's appearance on BBC's The Graham Norton Show: "Life always has the dilemmas, and we have to have the pain inside because when the light comes, we always have shadows and we cannot avoid that. So, I just wanted to tell that we should find the way to love ourselves. Especially the youth, we can be more happy and we can live a good life."
  • The song was written by American songwriters Ali Tamposi (Camila Cabello's "Havana") and Roman Campolo. The pair previously co-penned BTS' Love Yourself: Tear track "Airplane pt. 2."

    Tamposi told Billboard the Korean boy band's rep told them she wanted the melodies to be more intense than "Airplane Pt. 2."

    For "Airplane Pt. 2," she did want the lane of , "'Havana' and all that, something in that area," she said, "but for this one go as far left as you can."
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