K-pop boy band B.A.P returned to its origins with the seditious “Hands Up” on Wednesday (Dec. 13).
The new single, one of three new songs released on the band’s eighth single album Ego, brings the six-member act back to the aggressive electro-hip-hop styling that they explored in their earliest releases.
With a propulsive, assertive chorus chant of “Go, Hands Up!” guiding the song from its intro, B.A.P’s latest is a layered battle cry for believing in and finding yourself. With each verse delivered over tempo-shifting electronica quirks and thick bass, the single offers up a matured revival of the powerful B.A.P that was introduced through the likes of their earliest singles, “Warrior” and “Power.”
The song is intentionally reminiscent of B.A.P’s early days, with a blurb on the music video for “Hands Up” describing Ego as a whole as being “based on the idea that B.A.P returns to itself.”
The video features the members of B.A.P as rebels in a run-down city leading a crowd of people to stand up for themselves as the song suggests. Like the music drawing on the act’s early days, the clip’s visuals also hearken back to the past; youngest member Zelo is seen with curly blond hair, a look he sported at the group’s beginning back in 2012.
“Hands Up” is the latest B.A.P song to include a motivational message within it, but it’s not their first. In April, the group told Billboard that “Wake Me Up,” a song and music video that depicted people struggling with daily life, mental illness and addiction, was one attempt by the team to show listeners through their music that they are part of the millennial generation.
Ego is B.A.P’s third single album of the year, a follow up to March’s Rose and September’s Blue. Along with “Hands Up,” it also features the a woozy electro-R&B hybrid “Moondance” and the tropical house song “Think Hole.”
Watch the music video for “Hands Up” below: