BTS Drop Victorious Second Comeback Trailer ‘Outro: Ego’
Rapper and producer J-Hope takes the reins to map out the South Korean group’s journey to the top
BTS continue the build-up towards their upcoming studio album Map Of The Soul: 7 with the release of a brand new comeback trailer titled “Outro: Ego” on February 2nd (IST). The track features the group’s rapper, producer and main dancer J-Hope, who takes the reins of a comeback trailer for the first time since “Boy Meets Evil” from the group’s 2016 LP WINGS.
“Outro: Ego” is the exact opposite of the group’s previous comeback trailer, “Interlude: Shadow”; where Suga examined the side-effects of fame and pondered the price of his position at the top, J-Hope celebrates it, viewing it as the ultimate fruit of all his labor. The rapper turns to the roots of who he is as an individual, mapping his solo emotional and artistic journey, as well as that with BTS. While there is sadness in the lyrics, it’s a memory: “Life not of J-Hope but Jeong Ho-Seok flashes by/It must have been full of regret with no hope till I die/My dancing was chasing ghosts/Blaming my dream, asking why I live and breathe.” J-Hope recalls the pain and anguish of BTS’ early days, where success seemed like a dream and quitting was an option he almost chose. “Outro: Ego” is an ode to perseverance however, and J-Hope goes on to express his pride in trusting his own judgement and decision to keep working on his dream, “Seven years of anguish come out finally/Oppressions all resolved/Into my heart come answers from my most trusted…Only one and unchanging me.” The line ‘Just trust myself ‘ is especially powerful, driving in J-Hope’s message about about having faith in yourself, trusting yourself to do what is right for you and keep working towards your goals with the self as the biggest support system.
“Outro: Ego” is a jazzy, energetic blend of pop and African rhythm, sampling beats from the intro of BTS’ debut album 2 COOL 4 SKOOL (2013), and drips with swag and positivity–an energy that is uniquely J-Hope’s within the group. The video echoes this, drenched in vibrant colors reminiscent of the rapper’s 2018 music video for “Hope World,” and begins with a flashback reel of BTS’ videos over the past seven years as well as clips from J-Hope’s solo ventures. As the clip progresses, the rapper is the picture of cool confidence, strolling through a green-screened boulevard before ‘collapsing’ and being rushed to a hospital–he raps about his past struggles at this point, touching upon what could be an experience with depression (“Almost forgotten memories return/Touch of the devil, fateful recall/I still wonder, why did they beckon again?”), before the shock from a defibrillator zaps him into a more chilled-out avatar, driving a convertible and cruising away from all the pain.
It’s smooth sailing from here on with flashbacks to J-Hope’s childhood, numerous references to BTS’ artistry, as well as a possible relationship with spirituality–symbolised by him standing before an altar with his hands joined in prayer. As the video progresses, it pushes further the idea of celebrating the self; J-Hope seems proud that he and BTS have carved a space for themselves in history–images of his face replacing those of several iconic figures in mythology (including Norse god Odin and the Egyptian sun god Ra) flash across the screen. The video finally ends with J-Hope surveying a futuristic city where billboards and neon signs bearing his lyrics and image glow endlessly. “Outro: Ego” is the third chapter in the group’s releases directly inspired by psychologist Carl Jung’s Model of the Psyche–leader RM’s “Persona” being the first and Suga’s “Interlude: Shadow” the second.
BTS’ fandom ARMY began trending hashtags such as #EgoIsComing, #EgoComebackTrailer, #EgoIsHere, #CheckYourEgo and #EgoByJhope on Twitter prior to the track’s release to celebrate. “Outro: Ego” is the third single and music video off the upcoming Map Of The Soul: 7, preceded by “Interlude: Shadow” and “Black Swan.” A yet unnamed lead single will follow, set to release on February 21st, the same day as the LP. BTS are also set to kick-off their world tour in April, with four dates in their native Seoul, South Korea at Olympic Stadium, 15 dates in North America and dates in Japan and Europe. Additional shows will be announced later.