After two years of waiting, the proclaimed Gods of SM Entertainment are back from mandatory service in the military. However, if you expect the duo to return quietly, you are gravely mistaken. TVXQ (also known as Dong Bang Shin Ki) are legends within the industry for their talents and also their explosive court case, which would split the then five member unit to the current line up and the remaining three members forming JYJ in C-JeS Entertainment. Since then, leader Yunho and youngest member Changmin has been going from strength to strength and they are finally back with a solo release through SM STATION. Changmin will be releasing his track on the 28th but for now, we can finally witness the “return of the King” through Yunho’s track under his stage name; U-KNOW.
Already the music video states “a new nation has begun”, noting the return of the previous generation that TVXQ resides in. In fact, the entire music video can be seen as Yunho’s rise back to power in a dystopia. He first lies on an altar, decorated with glitter and regal attire but he is surrounded by loyal subjects who slowly begin to start a rebellion in his name and salute their leader. Bear in mind, TVXQ are still considered high up in K-Pop’s history and following among Cassiopeia – their fan group who famously carried the saying “Always Keep The Faith”, a similar method to the subjects who follow Yunho. However, new fans have dismissed the generation of K-Pop that made the genre so famous; including Big Bang, Girls Generation, Super Junior and more. Now Yunho has returned, he appears to be coming back with force. The video for “Drop” sees him as what appears to be a prisoner, under watch and regulation but he soon rallies the fellow prisoners together as a true leader, building on their emotions and driving them into what ultimately will be a rebellion against the system.
One thing to importantly note is that the video relies a lot on choreography to emphasise this image and the power within the entire group and Yunho. Many fans will know that he is highly ranked among Idol dancers so the heavy use of large group choreography is no surprise but done flawlessly. It brings a sense of unity and power, but subtle hints can still how that Yunho is acting as leader – for instance the slight difference in colour in his ‘prison’ uniform as it is a navy blue compared to the back-up dancers who are in a deep grey tone.
Throughout the course of the video, there can be three different sides to Yunho which portray a different side of his leadership; first is him rallying the prisoners who will retaliate, the second is very brief but can be placed after his rebellion. Although this segment can be considered generic with female dancers surrounding him, Yunho portrays a more urban feel in leather to portray a bad boy image, similar to Michael Jackson with the contrast of black and white embellishment. The final look appears throughout the video, starting from his rise back to power. As expected from an idol named as legend in the industry, Yunho is also dressed in a regal fashion – which changes depending on the music video or his recent performances during the SM Town concerts. Although it is a small difference in comparison to his back up dancer, Yunho still stands out in an asymmetrical coat and regal medals or in a marionette style jacket during live shows.
It is also important to note the colour palette throughout. Although many may not take notice to it, the use of the combination of red, black and white during the dance sequences hold more than just for the idol to stand out among their dancer. Red in a form of symbolism links to more than passion and romance, including strength, leadership, courage and determination. Also, red is noted as the official colour of TVXQ’s fan group, Cassiopeia who sports the colour with utmost pride. It makes it even more fitting that the first music video in two years will involve the inclusion of their beloved fans in some shape of form. They are the group’s own army in their eyes, always openly supporting both Yunho and Changmin throughout their military service.
“Drop” isn’t a music video that many would expect to see on UKP’s Music Video Breakdown, but you can’t help but admire how the director and minds behind this concept constructed what would simply be a dance-driven video. Every detail is emphasised to the extreme to make this highly expected return all the more powerful. In combination with the lyrics which speak of corruption and finally breaking out towards a better future, this video and track makes the TVXQ’s leader all the more powerful. One thing is for sure; it is definitely good to see the Gods of the East rise back to power once again.
Note: At the time of this article, the music video is only available through SM Entertainment’s V Live and through NAVER. “Drop” will be available through iTunes, Google Play Music & Spotify in due course. The second release to TVXQ’s comeback; Changmin’s “In A Different Life” will release on Sept 28th, 6:00 PM (KST) on the same platforms.