"Mic Drop" (stylized as "MIC Drop") is a song recorded in two languages (
Japanese) by South Korean
boy bandBTS. The Korean version was originally included as a
B-side track on the band's fifth
extended play, Love Yourself: Her (2017), and later
remixed by American producer and
DJSteve Aoki. The remix was released as the second
single from the EP on November 24, 2017 by
Big Hit Entertainment and features a guest appearance by American rapper
Desiigner. It was serviced to US
contemporary hit radio on December 5, 2017, as a single in that country. The Japanese-language version of "Mic Drop" was released on December 6, 2017 by
Def Jam Recordings and
Virgin Music as a triple A-side
single album that included "
DNA" and a new, original song "
Crystal Snow", both also in Japanese. Both the Korean and Japanese versions of the song were written by Supreme Boi,
Pdogg, with the latter of the five solely handling production. The remix version was also written by the same songwriters, with additional songwriting by Aoki, Desiigner,
Flowsik, and Shae Jacobs. It was produced by Aoki, with Pdogg providing additional production. A
hip hop song, the lyrics celebrate BTS' numerous achievements.
music videos were filmed for "Mic Drop", one for the Korean remix version and one for the Japanese version. Woogie Kim directed the music video for the Korean version which premiered on Big Hit's
YouTube channel at the same time as the song's release. The video for the Japanese version was uploaded to Universal Music Japan's YouTube channel on December 5, 2017. Both videos depict the band performing powerful choreography in various settings. Following the release of Love Yourself: Her, BTS appeared on several South Korean
music programs including M! Countdown, Music Bank, and Inkigayo. They promoted the remix version of the song with performances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Saturday Night Live, amongst others. It was also included on the setlist for the band's
Love Yourself World Tour (2018–19).
"Mic Drop" was released for
digital download and
streaming in various countries by
Big Hit Entertainment on November 24, 2017, as the second single from Love Yourself: Her. Big Hit and
RED Music later serviced the song to
contemporary hit radio in the US on December 5, 2017. An extended version of the remix appears on the band's third
compilation albumLove Yourself: Answer (2018). A
Japanese version of the song was digitally released for purchase on December 6, 2017 by
Universal Music Japan as the band's eighth Japanese-language
single album, together with the Japanese version of previously released Korean single "
DNA" and a new, original Japanese track "
Crystal Snow". It was also released as a four-version
CD single in Japan on the same day, with a regular edition and three different limited editions: A, B and C. All four editions contain "Mic Drop", "DNA" and "Crystal Snow" as a triple A-side. Individually, edition A includes a
DVD with the
music video for the Japanese version of "Mic Drop" and a dance version video of the song, edition B comes with a DVD that contains
behind the scenes footage of the music video for "Mic Drop" and the making of album jacket photos, and edition C contains a 36-page photobook. The Japanese version was later included on the band's third Japanese-language studio album Face Yourself (2018).
Musically, the album version of "Mic Drop" has been described as a
groovyhip hop number backed by heavy
bass and sampled gunshots. The remix version introduces
trap-infused beats over the original hip hop melody. In terms of
musical notation, the original version was composed in the
F♯ major, while the remix was composed in
A♯ minor. Both versions have a
tempo of 170 beats per minute and last for 3:58. Two versions of the remix were released: the studio version released on digital streaming platforms featured Desiigner, while the version accompanying the music video replaced the rapper's intro with Korean verses from the original album version. Both the original
Korean and Japanese versions were written by Pdogg, Supreme Boi,
"Hitman" Bang, and band members
RM, with production handled solely by Pdogg. The remixed version was also created by the same songwriters, with additional writing by Aoki, Desiigner,
Flowsik, and Shae Jacobs. The latter was produced by Aoki, with additional production from Pdogg who also served as one of the
recording engineers of the track. Band member
Jungkook provided backing vocals for the song, alongside Supreme Boi, Docskim, Hiss Noise and Pdogg. It was
Jaycen Joshua with assistance from David Nakaj and Ben Milchev at the
Larrabee Sound Studios in
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, while
mastering was handled by
Randy Merrill at
Sterling Sound in
New York City.
According to RM, "Mic Drop" was inspired by former US president
mic drop at his last
White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2016. Speaking about the song in an interview, Desiigner said: "What ["Mic Drop"] means to me is definitely—like when you really amazingly, tremendously kill the beat. And you just drop the mic after that. You just know that you did your thing on that." In the song's lyrics, BTS celebrate their global popularity, narrating their hard work and numerous achievements through lines like: "Another trophy, my hands carry 'em / Too many that I can't even count 'em (turn it up now) / Mic drop, mic drop / Be careful of your feet, be careful of what you say."[a]
Upon release, "Mic Drop" was met with generally favourable reviews from
music critics. Writing for The Malaysia Star, Chester Chin praised the song as "a brilliant display of artistry," calling it "an explosive and menacing track with some dirty bass to boot." Jeff Benjamin from
Fuse lauded the cohesiveness of the song's diverse musical styles, writing that the Steve Aoki remix "wasn't just brilliant for its blending of different genres and styles, but how all those elements enhance one another." He further stated, "Desiigner's ridiculously awesome flow fits perfectly alongside BTS' braggadocio, with it all backed by a mainstream-accessible Aoki beat." Reviewing for Clash, Taylor Glasby viewed the track as a "scorching, hater-baiting" song and deemed it as the "sonic outlier" of Love Yourself: Her. Rhian Daly of NME regarded the song as "a swag-filled rap-led track full of their very own mic drop moments." In his review for The Korea Herald, Dam-young Hong cited the track as "an artwork, offering listeners a flash of footprints BTS have left in the K-pop scene over the past few months." Music critic Sunmi Ahn also wrote an article for the same publication where she praised the song's production and lyrical content writing, "With a killer beat and smart yet frank lyrics, it's a song that describes how BTS got to the top."IZM's Do-heon Kim favoured the aggressive guitar riff in the production, likening it to that of
'90s South Korean music group
Seo Taiji and Boys. Mike Nied of
Idolator deemed the song "one of the hardest hitting on an album of iridescent pop hits."
Reviewing for Vulture, Kim Youngdae and Park T.K. wrote, "The beat is distinctive, making every part of this song instantly recognizable." In The New York Times, Jon Caramanica shared a similar view, favouring the sound of the song and labelling it as "a fantastically squelchy beat."Billboard's Caitlin Kelley cited it as one of the best songs of BTS and wrote, "the intensity of the song is the product of a potent mixture: an ominous, trap-infused beat rages against boastful lyricism befitting a world class act." Emlyn Travis of PopCrush called "Mic Drop" BTS' "quintessential hip hop track", noting that it evolved the band's sound "while keeping their old roots intact." Chris DeVille from Stereogum viewed the song as "tensely jittery" in which the band "never cease sounding like a boy band even as they lean liberally into hip-hop." In a mixed review for Spin, Monique Melendez felt that the song is "inspiring in its lyrical confidence" but "doesn't push any musical boundaries."
The original version of "Mic Drop" debuted at number 17 on the
Gaon Digital Chart and at number 14 on the component
Download Chart on the issue date of September 23, 2017. The song peaked at number six on the BillboardK-pop Hot 100 chart and number seven on the US
World Digital Song Sales chart. The remix of "Mic Drop" debuted at number 28 on the US
Billboard Hot 100 for the chart issue dated December 16, 2017, becoming the first top 40 entry by a K-pop group on the chart. It also became BTS' first top 40 hit. The single debuted at number one on the US World Digital Songs chart, becoming the band's sixth number one on the chart, and entered the US
Digital Song Sales chart at number four. The song charted at number 37 on the
Canadian Hot 100 and appeared at number 46 on the
UK Singles Chart. Additionally, it peaked at number 5 in Malaysia, number 33 in France, number 26 in Scotland, number 39 in South Korea, number 50 in Australia, and number 71 in Germany. On February 3, 2018, the song was
certified gold by the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for track equivalent sales of 500,000 units, making BTS the first Korean group to have a song certified in the United States. The song eventually received
platinum certification from the RIAA in November 2018 for track-equivalent sales of one million units, making BTS the first Korean group to achieve this. In April 2019, it was certified gold by the
Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for track-equivalent sales of 35,000 units in Australia.
Following the release of the song as a single album in Japan, "Mic Drop / DNA / Crystal Snow" topped the
Oricon Daily Singles Chart on its first day of release, selling 269,861 copies. The single remained at number one on the daily chart for the next six days, selling 365,096 physical copies in its first week. By doing so, the band became the first foreign artist to surpass 300,000 copies in a week. "Mic Drop / DNA / Crystal Snow" peaked at number one on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart for the chart issue dated December 4–10, 2017. For the year end chart, it was the 13th best-selling single of 2017 in the country. "Mic Drop" peaked at number one on the
Billboard Japan Hot 100 for the chart issue date of December 18, 2017. On January 15, 2018, the single received double platinum certification from the
Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), denoting shipments of 500,000 copies, making BTS the only foreign artist to achieve this for a single released in 2017.
music video for "Mic Drop" directed by Woogie Kim of GDW, premiered on Big Hit's official
YouTube channel at 18:00
PST) on November 24, 2017; it was preceded by a 59-second teaser released on the same platform on November 16. Hyunwoo Nam was credited as the
director of photography and Cathy Kim as the producer. The visual is almost four-minutes long and features several
VFX shots. The video opens with Aoki walking towards a console, set against a backdrop of neon-lights. The clip then cuts to show the band inside an interrogation room with several cameras pointed at them. They remain seated before a table which is occupied with microphones. In the following scene, Aoki puts on a pair of headphones and starts DJ-ing. J-Hope jumps over the table and lines up with the rest of the band to perform the song's powerful choreography. The clip is interspersed with scenes featuring the band dancing in multiple settings. In some of these scenes, the band dances in a darkened room with Aoki's figure looming over them in the background, while in others they are in a grungy hallway or inside a prison. Over the course of the video, several black-hooded figures are seen rioting as the band continue to dance in military-style outfits while surrounded by burning cars. The visual ends with the band disappearing from the interrogation room as Suga performs the
titular mic drop. A closing shot of Aoki removing his headphones is shown before the clip goes black and the song's title is displayed in red against it. Commenting on the setting of the music video, the director stated in an interview: "Listening to the song, the first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted to lock BTS in an interrogation room. Then I wanted to show the viewers how they managed to escape and free themselves with music."
Critics associated the visual with the theme of rebellion.Stereogum's Tom Breihan listed the visual as one of the five best music videos of its release week. Jennifer Drysdal from Entertainment Tonight called the video "epic" and praised the band's performance writing that the members "command the screen with electrifying dance sequences." Writing for Vice magazine, Phil Witmer deemed the visual as "objectively incredible." The clip was an instant success on YouTube, achieving over 10 million views in 14 hours. "Mic Drop" was the ninth most watched K-pop video of 2017 on YouTube. As of January 2023, the visual has garnered over 1.3 billion views.
An accompanying music video for the Japanese version of the song was uploaded to Universal Music Japan's YouTube channel on December 5, 2017. The setting of the visual is almost identical to the remix music video, except for Aoki's figure, which was replaced by a hooded silhouette with glowing red eyes.
BTS performed the remix version of "Mic Drop" live for the first time on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on November 27, 2017. The band performed an "energetic" rendition of the song, trading off vocals and rapping verses on a "stark" stage decorated with flashing lights. Ryan Reed of Rolling Stone praised the performance, calling it "intricately choreographed." They performed the remix again on the November 30 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! as part of the
Mercedes-BenzLive! concert series, and at the
2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong on December 1. Additionally, BTS gave a pre-recorded performance of the song on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on December 31, 2017. On April 13, 2019, BTS performed it together with their 2019 single "
Boy with Luv" on Saturday Night Live, becoming the first K-pop group to perform on the show. For the performance, the band wore casual and colourful outfits from
Virgil Abloh's first menswear collection for
Louis Vuitton. It received widespread acclaim in the media as one of the most-anticipated performances in the show's history.Stephen Thompson of
NPR wrote: "Lots of bands can seem strangely diminished by the SNL stage on TV, but on Saturday night, BTS filled every inch of the frame with flashy motion — tight choreography, bright colors, bold energy." Tyler Watamanuk of GQ praised "the crooning vocals, precise choreography, and charismatic swagger" while also lauding the "expert-level" on-stage fashion style of the band. Crystal Bell of
MTV labelled the performance as "a fiery coronation" and "an epic, electrifying dance break," adding: "Sure, they can be playful, but they're also fierce and they have swagger — and they can dance." Writing for Elle, Alyssa Bailey cited the performance as "real show-stopping." On December 7, 2019, the band performed the song as the opening act of the 2019
iHeartRadioJingle Ball concert at
Los Angeles. "Mic Drop" was included on the setlist of BTS'
Love Yourself World Tour (2018–19). For performances of the song during the
Love Yourself: Speak Yourself stadium extension of the tour, the band wore "
retro-futuristic" outfits created by
Dior artistic director and fashion designer
Kim Jones, from his 2019 menswear pre-fall collection.
^유튜브 글로벌 K-POP 뮤직비디오 순위 [YouTube Global K-POP Music Video Rankings – Blackpink, BTS, TWICE]. The Science Monitor (in Korean). December 19, 2018.
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^Kim, Joo-ae (December 6, 2017).
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^Kim, Eun-ae (December 12, 2017).
방탄소년단, 日 오리콘 주간 싱글 차트 1위…해외 아티스트 최초 '30만 포인트' 돌파 [BTS ranks #1 on Japanese Oricon Weekly Single Chart ... First foreign artist to break through '300,000 points']. Osen (in Korean).
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^月次認定作品 認定年月：2017年 12月(Click or tap '認定年月:' (Certification date) button to view drop-down menu of certification dates categorized by month. Select '2017年12月' (December 2017) to access "Mic Drop" certification details.) (in Japanese).
Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). January 15, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
^Sun, Mi-kyung (January 15, 2018).
"해외 아티스트 유일"…방탄소년단 日싱글, '더블 플래티넘' 달성 [[Official recognition] BTS Japanese Single achieves Double Platinum ...'The only foreign artist']. Osen (in Korean).
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^Hwang, Hye-Jin (January 16, 2018).
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'엠카' 방탄소년단, 전세계 사로잡은 퍼포먼스..'DNA' ['M Countdown' BTS' performances captured around the world..'DNA'] (in Korean). Herald Corporation.
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'인기가요' 방탄소년단, 역대급 컴백무대로 증명한 우월 'DNA' ['Inkigayo' BTS, superior 'DNA' proved to be the best comeback stage of all time.] (in Korean). Herald Corporation.
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