BTS Just Dropped a Stunning Surprise Music Video for ‘Black Swan’

There truly is no rest in the BTS fandom. Just when promotions for Map of the Soul: 7 were winding down, Big Hit Entertainment released a surprise music video for BTS’s song “Black Swan.” It wasn’t included on the comeback map, but that doesn’t matter. Everything BTS touches at this point is art, so fans don’t need preparation to know whatever BTS releases will be good.

BTS | Photo by Cindy Ord/WireImage

The music video release was a complete surprise

The comeback map for Map of the Soul: 7 ended on Feb. 28 when BTS released the official music video for “ON.” After promoting the album in the U.S. the day of its release, BTS returned to South Korea for album promotions.

For the album’s lead single, BTS released two separate music videos. BTS ‘ON’ Kinetic Manifesto Film : Come Prima showcased the song’s choreography and BTS’s performance style. The official music video for “ON” dropped on Feb. 28 and was a cinematic story that showed BTS’s musical journey.

“Black Swan” was the first single released from Map of the Soul: 7, and was released with an accompanying art film by MN Dance Company. BTS then performed the song for the first time on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The surprise release of the official music video for “Black Swan” comes just days after BTS achieved their fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.

How ‘Black Swan’ fits on the album

Map of the Soul: 7 is an introspective album that follows BTS’s journey as artists from the past seven years. An overarching theme on the album is perseverance, and the BTS members acknowledge the challenges they overcame to get to where they are today. With “Black Swan,” BTS explore their relationship with music. It captures the fear performers feel from their commitment to their art.

BTS’s newest album is a culmination of the group’s Map of the Soul series, which incorporates Carl Jung’s psychological theories about personality archetypes. On Map of the Soul: 7, BTS relate Jung’s theories to their own journey.

“For Map of the Soul: 7 as well, as part of the Map of the Soul series, we built the track list in a way that organically connects Persona, Shadow, and Ego. For example, our pre-release track ‘Black Swan’ is a confession of our fears as artists,” J-Hope said at a press conference. “On the other hand, ‘We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal’ embodies BTS’s determination and our ‘ego’ that we will keep going forward even when faced with hardships.”

On the album, “Black Swan” appears at the start of BTS’s exploration of their Shadow. It’s a moving confession, and BTS’s official music video for “Black Swan” puts the focus on what they want their music to be viewed as: art.

BTS undergo a transformation in the ‘Black Swan’ music video

The music video opens with the BTS members wearing white suits similar to their outfits from the first set of concept photos from Map of the Soul: 7. They represent “white swans” before their descent into the darkness.

As Suga raps onstage at what appears to be the Los Angeles Theatre, his shadow dances behind him. Unlike the video’s opening, he’s wearing black. After RM muses about his fear of experiencing his first death as a performer, there is a shot of Jimin wearing white with black feathers sprouting from his outfit.

Shots with the members of BTS are interspersed with scenes of Jimin dancing, showing off his contemporary dance skills. On Weverse and while watching the art film, the BTS members hinted they wanted to see Jimin embrace the “black swan” persona given his background in contemporary dance. Midway through the song, Jimin unleashes a large set of wings, signaling that he has transformed into the “black swan.”

As the members of BTS vow to continue their music despite their fear, all of them don black outfits similar to the album’s second set of concept photos. They embrace their shadows, and Suga walks up to his shadow on the wall and reaches out to it.

“But I’ll never get dragged away again / Inside / I saw myself, myself,” he raps.

After the song ends, Jungkook stands in the audience and looks onto the stage at his shadow. His shadow then falls away and disappears. Jungkook turns away, his shadow no longer threatening his art. It signals the BTS members will all overcome their shadows, and continue their journey to where they are today.