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BTS’ j-hope and Becky G Bring A Multicultural Twist To ‘Chicken Noodle Soup’

The South Korean rapper and Mexican-American singer unveil their interpretation of the 2006 hip-hop track

Riddhi Chakraborty Sep 27, 2019

j-hope and Becky G in the video for "Chicken Noodle Soup."

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After surprising their fans with the announcement that they would be collaborating, BTS‘ rapper j-hope and Mexican-American pop singer Becky G have dropped their new single “Chicken Noodle Soup.” The duo teased the collaboration on Twitter yesterday with Becky G tweeting, “Soooo… #BeckyHasAnotherSecret.” BTS members’ official account replied with a ominous, “Hey @iambeckyg, I have a secret, too.. #CNS,” revealing a hint towards the song’s title.

“Chicken Noodle Soup” is a remake of the 2006 hit by American producer DJ Webstar, featuring rappers Young B and Voice of Harlem. The track gained popularity for paying tribute to the Harlem neighborhood’s powerful hip-hop culture and also made waves with it’s viral associated ‘chicken dance.’ In j-hope’s version, the rapper swaps out some of the original English verses for self-written Korean ones, while Becky G adds a Spanish verse of her own, keeping the iconic refrain ‘Let it rain and clear it out’ and ‘Chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side’ intact. j-hope’s rap is mainly about how his drive and his love for dance led him to success, while Becky G takes pride in her Latin-American heritage, femininity, and rise to the top. The beat jumps between funk, soul and pop but maintains a powerful bass-heavy hip-hop beat running throughout. j-hope makes a final powerful mark on the entire track by adding his signature echoing background adlibs (prominent in many of BTS’ tracks.)

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Directed by BTS’ frequent collaborator YongSeok Choi aka Lumpens, 2019’s “Chicken Noodle Soup” video keeps it old school and stays true to the original 2007 video with groups of dancers in urban settings. The dancers alternate between performing original choreography as well as the popular “Chicken Noodle Soup” dance associated with the track in an empty parking lot. j-hope comes into frame first with smooth and confident moves, before being joined by Becky G who drives up to him in a bright red car. In a one-take shot, the two artists take turns to perform their respective verses before coming together with their dancers to hit the track’s refrain and group choreography. The clip finally makes a smooth transition to nighttime at the same parking lot, and the dancers display their individual moves before j-hope ends the video with a sharp solo freestyle.

The rapper followed up the release of the video by dropping a clip of him doing the “Chicken Noodle Soup” dance on BTS’ newly-launched TikTok profile, and urging fans to do the same, dubbing it the #CNSChallenge.

The entire track and video are a multicultural celebration of dance and hip-hop and j-hope is absolutely in his element, thriving on the energy the menacing but funky beat exudes. It’s a great example of the global evolution of hip-hop as well as music’s power to unite cultures and create new spaces for people of color. “Chicken Noodle Soup” marks the first release from a BTS member after the group’s month-long hiatus, and the band will reportedly make a comeback together later this year.

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