BTS has made their first appearance on BBC Radio 1 Lounge where they performed their chart topping hits, “Dynamite” and “Permission to Dance” accompanied by a live band. Keeping up with Radio 1’s tradition of covering another artists song, they also sang “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans.

Prior to the performance the group was asked why they chose such a meaningful and special song as their cover and Namjoon (stage name RM) responded; “because It’s a tribute to the legend Notorious B.I.G.… but also the lyrics and the vibe felt so right for us. All of you… it’s kind of like a message to all the ARMY around the world.”

Upon the original announcement of their appearance on the show and the song list they would be performing there was a lot of talk and hesitation regarding them choosing “I’ll Be Missing You.” Many fans in the black community voiced their concerns of the song being done justice, hoping it wasn’t changed from the original or changed in tone. Would it be a cover that would draw negative attention and abuse backlash? Now that it has aired the results are yet to be seen.

The cover was started off by Namjoon, which is no surprise since Puff Daddy’s Gerät were all rap and RM is one of the three main rappers of the group. From the beginning we did notice a switch in the lyrics from the original “the night they took my friend…/Give anything to hear half your breath/I know you’re living your life after death” to “the night hey took my chance…/Give anything to see half your face/I know we’re still living out lives, after this.” The chorus which was originally sung by Faith Evans was interpreted beautifully by the vocal line, Jimin, V, Jin and Jungkook, while the remaining rap verses where taken on by Yoongi and J Hope. These were sung in Korean and surprisingly, contain all new lyrics.

In his original explanation Namjoon acknowledged the significance of the song but in changing the lyrics they somehow remained true to its core message: missing someone. Just like with their Coldplay cover of “Fix You,” they adapted the song to fit the times many are going through. Reminding us that due to the pandemic times have changed, our lives have changed but we can overcome and move on form the darkness.

In Yoongi’s verse he raps, “We’re now used to our routines taken away/But still can’t give up living on/Were more won out because we don’t know where this ends/We’re and island and we’ve made ourselves because we couldn’t trust each other/Hope and end comes to this tiring pandemic virus/ Negative thoughts can sometimes be a minus/I knew it wasn’t the end so I couldn’t really say bye/When the days comes, will say “hi” like nothing happened.” Touching on the fact that we have not seen many of our friends and or lost ones we didn’t get to say goodbye to but hope to see them again in the future.

J Hope continues this sentiment in his verse; “I hate this world, our traces became memories/I just empty my mind, trust without conditions/I fill it every day with just loneliness/Not like the longing that encircles me/we miss you baby/Whenever it may be/Here’s hoping we wet again, I promise.” Once again referencing how the pandemic has caused a sense of isolation and loneliness we are all trying to get out out hopping to see our loved ones once again.

Take a look at the cover of “I’ll Be Missing You” along with the performances of “Dynamite” and “Permission to Dance” below.

Photo Courtesy of HYBE/Big Hit