A dubstep-laden dance track that is built to match the K-pop idol’s dynamic performance style, “DROP” was released on Monday (Sept. 25). Returning Yunho (AKA U-Know Yunho) to a sonic style he thrives in, the new single recalls the past while propelling the star into a new leg of his career.
Kicking off the song, Yunho delivers fierce singsong raps over creeping instrumentals and thundering roars. After the first minute, the track shifts from being a revolutionary anthem into a banger that flits through different genres. With an emphasis on domineering vocals and powerful dance elements, “DROP” feels like it was pulled straight from TVXQ!’s discography circa 2011 and 2012.
Lyrically, “DROP” is incredibly relevant, poising itself as a millennial anthem, declaring itself “The King’s Speech.” A call to arms to create a new world, the K-pop icon begins the song proclaiming, “We live in dangerous times/ This generation has been sucked dry but it was passed down to us,” reflecting the generational anxiety striking young professionals around the world. Post dance-break, Yunho delivers a spitfire rap that begins with the line “It started with candles/ Emotion is not controllable,” that, when paired with the rebellious imagery featured throughout the music video, recall the mass candlelight protests that saw South Korea’s last president incarcerated.
Whereas his last career reset — 2011’s “Keep Your Head Down,” the first single after three members left TVXQ! — began with the verbal proclamation of “This is the return of the king,” this time Yunho uses the staging of the music video to depict his prowess as a leader in the K-pop industry. Dark and dystopian, the singer is depicted as both a dictator and the head of a revolution, leading a team of dancers throughout an industrial setting as he delivers the pounding choreography.
The new single was released as part of a special TVXQ! Week, during which each Yunho and his bandmate Changmin (AKA Max) will put out their first new music since returning from hiatus while serving their mandatory enlistment in South Korea’s military services. As one of the most prominent K-pop boy bands during the ’00s, TVXQ! led K-pop’s growth internationally and remains a popular act in the genre.
Watch the music video for “DROP” here: