BTS Drop Ominous New Comeback Trailer ‘Interlude: Shadow’
The track marks the first album intro by the group’s rapper Suga since 2015’s “Never Mind” and sees him ponder the consequences of fame
K-pop titans BTS have marked the beginning of a new era today with the release of their first comeback trailer of the decade titled, “Interlude: Shadow.” The track will serve as the opener to their upcoming studio album Map of the Soul: 7.
“Interlude: Shadow” is BTS making a full circle of sorts, with lead rapper and songwriter Suga taking the reins again for the first time on a solo intro since 2015’s “Never Mind,” the first track on the group’s multi-award winning the LP The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (the record which marked the start of their journey to becoming household names.) On “Interlude: Shadow,” Suga ponders his journey to the top, the dreams and wishes he had when he was younger which eventually led him to becoming a world star. He repeatedly questions the price of fame, spitting raw, melancholic verses that compare stardom to a shadow or a burden that hangs above his head: “I’m afraid, flying high is terrifying/No one told me/How lonely it is up here.” He ponders how shallow and fleeting fame is, how a single mistake can mean a painful fall from a pedestal as he says, “I can leap in the air but also plunge… People say there’s a splendor in that bright light/But my growing shadow swallows me and becomes a monster.”
The emotions embedded in “Interlude: Shadow” are somewhat reminiscent of “The Last,” a powerful track about depression from Suga’s 2016 soul-baring solo mixtape Agust D. Like most of the rapper’s songwriting, this track is glance of his vulnerability, so as the intro to a new era, it might be a hint that BTS as a whole will be opening up to their fans more than they ever have before.
The music video is dark and harrowing, beginning with a zoom in on Suga standing at the end of a corridor as seven masked figures stand along the hallway facing seven doorways. The scene changes and the rapper is alone as he begins the track, stating, “I wanna be a rap star/I wanna be the top/I wanna be a rock star.” As the music swells to slow-rolling trap and the track progresses, masked and hooded figures begin chasing after him, increasing in number as Suga begins his climb to the top. At first they are able to touch and grab on to him, but soon barriers arise as he gets more famous, keeping the figures at bay but also creating a distance. The titled of BTS’ 2013 EP O!RUL8,2? flashes across the screen repeatedly in fragments before he leaps onto a stage, standing alone on top with hundreds of masked figures looking up at him, recording him on cellphones. The camera pans away to reveal a second Suga in the audience, observing his ‘idol’ self onstage. This Suga is more subdued, free of the dyed-hair ‘K-pop star’ look, and clad in the same black clothes as the figures around him. The beat on “Interlude: Shadow” changes, getting more agitated with increased bass and up-tempo percussion, and the second Suga takes over, facing his idol self and admitting that no matter how frustrated he gets, there is no undoing this journey to the top and what he has become. The non-idol, ‘ordinary’ Suga then disappears, consumed by the flash of cameras around him.
Map Of The Soul: 7 is the follow up to BTS’ 2019 EP Map of the Soul: Persona and their fourth full-length studio album. The LP is set for a February 21st release and pre-orders started early this morning (IST.) BTS’ label BigHit Entertainment also released a ‘comeback map’ with a list of scheduled releases, concept photos, events and tracks that are set to drop over the next two months.