The album’s title alludes to both the number of members in the band and the time since the group made their debut.
The song “ON” is “like a diary of our past seven years”, member RM told Apple Music before the release.
“We stumble from time to time but we got back up,” he said. “It’s like a declaration that we have admitted our destiny.”
The group had managed to “expand out musical spectrum”, RM added.
“In 2013 we had a performance in front of 300 people, 500 people. But now we are doing stadium tours, so everything’s got bigger and happier.”
“Map of the Soul: 7” was the most pre-ordered South Korean album of all time, with more than four million copies sold before its release.
The group had rolled out a 30-second preview “ON” exclusively on TikTok Thursday, momentarily causing the app to crash.
They are the first band to introduce a single via the short-form video platform, and the snippet offered a challenge calling on fans to use the music to create their own videos.
More than 33,000 videos were made using the track by Friday morning, showing fans dancing to the song in classrooms, bedrooms, airport terminals and elsewhere.
But one dark cloud on the band’s otherwise stellar horizon has emerged: a high-profile concert initially scheduled for March 8 in Daegu has been canceled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the city.