Decoding all the references in BTS’s “IDOL”


Did you spot all the easter eggs?

Here are a few you might have missed...

Image: BigHit Entertainment

BTS’s latest album “Love Yourself: Answer” was released on Friday. But that was not the only event for ARMYs. “IDOL” MV came out and Nicky Minaj made a collaboration with BTS for digital only version of it.

“IDOL” is a celebration of BTS and all they’ve come to stand for. It has an interesting mix of traditional Korean rhythms from percussion instruments such as the ggwenggarijing and janggu and South African house music beats.


BTS "IDOL " Cultural References

1. The lyrics also contain century-old Korean “response words” such as:








Dunkiduk kungduruhruh

It is a word used in Pansori—a Korean musical storytelling tradition from the Joseon Dynasty. The music is performed by a singer and a drummer. While the singer chants the story the drummer responds with “얼쑤” or “Ursoo,” romanized as “Eolssu.” English equivalent terms are “uh-huh,” “okay,” “That’s right” and “Yep.”

It is an onomatopoeia of Korean drums in traditional songs. Which apparently RM already sang a part of in the summer package.

2. The lions represent both a Korean and a Afro-Brazilian tradition:

3. They do the "Gwara Gwara" dance which was also featured in Childish Gambino's "This is America"

4. The moon rabbit


There are many legends around the world about this rabbit. It has been a popular Chinese legend for many centuries, has appeared in traditional Native American stories, and was even discussed during the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

5. The Han character '囍' on top of the "Gyeonghoeru" pavilion:



Sino-Korean word from 囍 (“double happiness”) from 喜 (happiness). Hangeul form: 희.

It is a Chinese traditional ornament design, commonly used as a decoration and symbol of marriage.

The "Gyeonghoeru" pavilion was used for entertainment when important foreign visitors visited the palace.

BTS "IDOL" - BTS References

1. The word Love



"Love" in Korean translates to "사랑" (sarang). This is refering to BTS's last three albums "Love Yourself: Her", "Love Yourself: Tear" and "Love Yourself: Answer"


2.  That scenes in “IDOL” are recreating iconic moments from past BTS music videos.

3. J-Hope's song "Airplane"


Now it's time to rewatch BTS's "IDOL" MV and notice all the thing you missed before!