In a return to their grittier stylings, B.A.P release the anthemic “Hands Up.” A call-to-arms for the Self, the song and music video remind us what is so great about this group.

Ego is defined as a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance, so it seems fitting that B.A.P’s eighth single album of the same name is led by “Hands Up,” a song that speaks to pushing past failures and reaching for your dreams, to stepping outside the narrow mindsets of society and walking a path of your own choosing.

Unlike the previous single, “Honeymoon,” with the lush blues and greens of its tropical locale, “Hands Up” is set in a rougher, more worn-down neighborhood. Marked by wide aerial shots, we see B.A.P and a group of hooded individuals rolling through the choreography and answering the call by throwing their hands to the sky. Perhaps in an ode to rebellion (or just because they look amazing), many of the members are decked out in facial mods — septum rings (Jongup), lip rings (Daehyun) and snakebites (Yongguk). Jongup, Zelo and Youngjae’s leather pants and Himchan’s leather jacket are notable as well. Even the female dancers are dressed all in black, completing the overall darker look of the music video.

From “Wake Me Up” to “Honeymoon” to “Hands Up,” this year has been a definitive one for B.A.P. There’s been a very obvious focus on the individual, on self-actualization, within their music that feels much more personal than previously seen. It’s a shift in tone that may be a result of Yongguk’s own struggles with mental health issues prior to the release of March’s “Rose.”

While perhaps not as strong a single as the others released in 2017, “Hands Up” is still an extremely solid ending for the year. Zelo and Yongguk continue to bring consistent, intense verses, wholly supported by the group’s vocal line, who only seem to get better as time passes.

Here’s to looking forward to what 2018 brings!


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