In anticipation of Seo’s 25th anniversary in the industry, the boy band released an updated version of the hard-hitting, gangster rap single. BTS’ “Come Back Home” reworked the song by adding new lyrics and expanding the original melody to include a more lyrical vibe while still maintaining its originally intensely dark feeling.
BTS reworked the song’s message to emulate similarly inspirational messages that they’ve expressed in other tracks, emphasizing both life’s hardships and the need to overcome those bad times: “I feel suffocated in my life/ What is blocking my life is my fear towards tomorrow,” raps J-Hope in a grating voice reminiscent of the original. Rap Monster responds, rapping in a swaggering tone during the pre-chorus, “Because we are still young there’s a decent future/ Now wipe those cold tears and come back home.”
“Come Back Home” is BTS’ first song since they won a Billboard Music Awards earlier this year.
The group also released a tension-filled music video that showed several young people struggling with life and expressing themselves through a variety of activities.
Seo Taiji & Boys appeared on the Korean music scene in 1992 with the hit song “Nan Arayo” and revamped the industry by incorporating a variety of genres, including new jack swing and hip-hop, into the dance-focused performance of the song. “Come Back Home” saw major success in 1995, despite parallels to Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain.” (Cypress Hill’s B-Real later said that the group members were aware of the song but were “cool” with it.)
Seo Taiji & Boys, one of whom is YG Entertainment CEO and BIGBANG and 2NE1 creator Yang Hyun Suk, broke up in 1996 after releasing nine albums and having an immense effect on Korean pop culture. Ever since, Seo has pursued a solo career with a focus on rock, synthpop and metal. He is considered one of the most impactful musicians in pop music in Korea and has earned the nickname the “President of Culture.”
BTS is the first act to re-create a Seo Taiji song as part of Seo’s 25th anniversary Time: Traveler project. The band will also perform alongside Seo at his celebratory concert in September. The songs will be performed “exactly as they were performed in the 1990s,” a rep of Seo’s told the Korea Herald last month.
Within a day of its release, BTS’ “Come Back Home” began climbing in the top 100 of the U.S. iTunes chart. As of publishing, the remake is at No. 50.