“Dope” is one of BTS’ secondary singles on their album titled The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1. The album is BTS’ third extended play (EP) album. It was released on April 29, 2015, as a part of the EP album. “Dope” was also released on June 24, 2015, as a single. The label records for “Dope” are Big Hit Entertainment, Loen, Pony Canyon, and Universal Music Taiwan. This song was a high success. It has been certified once and charted several times, both on weekly charts and year-end charts. People remember the song because of its lyrics that represent the early struggles of the members.

Background of “DOPE”

In the early days of April 2015, BTS announced their comeback date and revealed that they participated in writing several songs for the upcoming album. This announcement was made on April 6, and the comeback date would be on April 29. An animated album trailer was unveiled by Big Hit Entertainment on April 17. But, at that time, they hadn’t revealed the album title. They announced the title two days later after the album trailer. From this announcement, we learned that the title of the album would be The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1. On April 23, Big Hit Entertainment released the first music video teaser for the lead single “I Need You.” Three days later (April 26), the album’s tracklist was revealed. The EP album was released officially on April 29, and the lead single “I Need You” was also released on that day, too. Entering the month of June 2015, BTS posted several concept photos for “Dope.” They shared those photos through their official Facebook account on June 14. Ten days later (June 24), “Dope” was released officially in the form of a digital single. Since then, the members promoted “Dope” on various K-pop music programs.

Story of “DOPE”

The writers of “Dope” were Pdogg, “Hitman” Bang, and Gwis Bang Mang. Besides those three, the members Rap Monster, Suga, and J-Hope also participated in writing “Dope.” Aside from being a writer, Pdogg also produced the song. The song’s genre is K-pop and EDM (electronic dance music). Literally, the word dope has the same meaning as the word cool. So, we can see that this track lyrically talks about “something cool.” If we go deeper into the lyrics, we can see that the song talks about them. Through “Dope,” they emphasize the real meaning of hard work. While the others are having fun in clubs, they are working hard and getting sweaty every day. Even though sometimes they feel sick with their workloads, they are quite optimistic and still hoping for further success. They also mention that they spent half of their days and lost their normal youth life only to practice choreographies in their dance studio. And now, when we see the rise of BTS, they are already on top. This rise has caused BTS to get more collaborations with many brands and other singers, and no one will be able to refuse the golden chance to collaborate with BTS. Also in this song, they criticize the media and the old generation who cursed BTS. But, at the same time, they had ignited a fire under them. They did not have the slightest thought about giving up.

MV of “DOPE”

The MV for “Dope” was released by Big Hit Entertainment on June 24, 2015. The director and the producer of the “Dope” MV was GDW. In the MV, the BTS members are dressed up in different styles to represent various jobs such as police or office workers. In the MV, they emphasize their intense and energetic choreography. The choreographer of “Dope” was an American choreographer named Keone Madrid. After the release of “Dope,” Madrid collaborated again with BTS to make more choreography for other BTS songs. The “Dope” MV is the first BTS MV to reach 100 million views on YouTube. On October 19, 2021, the MV for “Dope” had more than 670 million views on YouTube. Even though this MV can be considered an old one, the amount of viewers is still increasing rapidly. Soon, this MV will have 680 million views on YouTube.

“DOPE” Performances

There were so many events that gave BTS the chance to perform “Dope.” These are several events where BTS performed “Dope” live. On June 13, 2015, BTS announced their plans to hold a follow-up promotion of the album on several music show programs. They first performed “Dope” on an M Countdown comeback stage on June 25, 2015.

They performed again on Music Bank on July 3, 2015, and Show Music Core on July 4, 2015.

The next program was Inkigayo where the members performed “Dope” again on July 5, 2015. They showed a live version of “Dope” again at KBS’ Song Festival on July 19, 2015.

Entering the year 2016, BTS members were given chances to perform “Dope” at KCON 2016. Two years later, BTS members performed “Dope” again on JBTV Music Television on March 8, 2018.

BTS members also performed “Dope” at SBS’ Gayo Daejeon Music Festival. They sang “Dope” right on Christmas day on December 25, 2018.

“DOPE” Achievements

“Dope” has charted on several song charts. For more details, check the table below for the song’s peak positions on every chart.

Weekly Charts

Year-End Charts

  This song was listed in Medium as “The Best 25 K-Pop Songs of the 2010s.” On that website, this song ranked 8th out of 25 K-pop songs released from 2010. This song was also certified by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). RIAJ gave a silver certification for “Dope” for reaching 30,000,000 digital streams. Until October 18, 2021, “Dope” has been listened to more than 220 million times on Spotify.

The Controversy of “Dope”

“Dope” was one of BTS’ songs that were banned from TV stations and others K-pop programs. This banning was caused by many reasons, mostly because of the vulgar lyrics. At that time, many Koreans and international ARMY believed that the judgments toward the lyrics were too much and seemed too subjective. Some also said that the banning was so silly. They thought that there were no vulgar lyrics in “Dope” and also said that “Dope” shouldn’t be banned from TV stations.

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