On
by BTS

Album: Map of the Soul: 7 (2020)
Charted: 21 4
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Songfacts®:

  • "N.O" (or "No Offense") was BTS' first single to reach the Top 100 of the Gaon Music chart back in 2013. This hyperactive song, released February 21, 2020, is its sequel (BTS call it a "reboot").
  • The explosive rallying cry finds the seven group members ruminating on how pain and fear can become motivational. BTS leader RM compared "On" to a diary of the first seven years they've been together, telling Apple Music it's a shrunken version of the K-Pop group's identity. "It's kind of about how we could stumble from time to time but we get back up," he explained. "It's like a declaration that we have admitted to our destiny, all the pains and shadows."
  • Speaking on MTV's Fresh out Live, Jungkook revealed it was his idea to title the song "On."

    "The name of the track wasn't 'On' in the beginning, but we came together and we had a meeting trying to decide what we wanted the title track to be and what we wanted to call it," he said. "Because this was a reboot, we wanted to take our old song 'N.O' and turn into 'On,' so I just threw that out, and we really liked it, talked about 'bring the pain on,' and we put that into the lyrics - and that's how we came up with the title track."
  • The song's dramatic marching band-style drums are courtesy of The University of Southern California marching band. The band is best known in pop circles for their contribution to Fleetwood Mac's 1979 single "Tusk."
  • BTS gave the debut performance of the song at Grand Central Station on the February 24, 2020 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
  • An alternative version featuring Sia can be found on the digital version of Map of the Soul: 7. The Australian singer-songwriter's vocals play a supporting role similar to Halsey's on "Boy With Luv." According to BTS' label, Big Hit Entertainment, the group themselves organized the collaboration.
  • The epic video has RM, Jimin, Suga, V, Jin, J-Hope and Jungkook translating the impact of the lyrics into a fierce choreography. Officially titled 'Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima,' the clip shows the group clad in black and white, dancing in an abandoned urban landscape complete with 30 black uniformed dancers and 12 marching band members.
  • BTS released a second big-budget video for the song, during which each band member has a distinct adventure. Each of them alludes to well-known stories and Biblical events, including The Hunger Games, The Handsmaid Tale and Noah's Ark. At the end of the clip, the septet reconnect, perform a dance break and scale Pride Rock from The Lion King. The visual ends with the text "No More Dream," which turns into "Dream," a reference to BTS' 2013 debut single "No More Dream."
  • This won for Best K-Pop and Best Choreography at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, where BTS also won for Best Group.

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