“I became a hero in this world. The loud screams that seek me out. My hand, trophy and a gold microphone. But it’s all to reach you. You are the answer to my journey. I’m singing to find you. Now I’m going to spread the map that is you” (Make It Right lyrics).
BTS has presented relatable messages with their albums series over the past six years. They sang about the teenage dreams in the School Trilogy, the story of youth in “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life” series and how people should love themselves in “Love Yourself” series.
Their worry has also deepened in this process. For example, RM and Kim Nam-joon. He wanted to know all about himself between an idol and a young man. That’s why he intuitively looked at himself in their new album, “Map of the Soul: Persona”.
“Look at me. Why don’t you recognize me? / I don’t want to hear other people’s voices. / Your scent is still piercing through and tear me down”.
I got lost at the highest point. People told me to fly toward the sun. But BTS all looked under the clouds. I saw a small flower there and I ran towards it without hesitation.
This is how BTS finds BTS (=ARMY). Dispatch will now open the first chapter of that map.
◆ Persona and Shadow
The intro ‘Persona’ is the confession of leader RM. As bright as the light was, the shadow was thick. RM is an artist, an idol, BTS, Kim Nam-jun, a son…Of all the masks, He wanted to find his real “self.”
The agony is explained in a single line of lyrics.”I don’t know if I’m an individual or a pig yet, but others come and put a pearl necklace on me,” he wrote.
Here we need to take a deep look in RM’s Persona. Psychologist Jung calls the characteristics of one’s ego “Personality No.1” and “Personality No.2”. Personality 2 means innate self, and personality 1 means acquired self.
RM is fully aware of the difference. He carefully distinguishes “young man” Kim Nam-jun from “world star” RM. Always remembering his own temperature is his way to protect RM and Kim Nam-jun.
The sound was also firm. RM used a strong beat to express this. It sampled bits with the “Skool Luv Affair” intro. Especially, the heavy slam of the electric guitar represents his heart and mind.
◆To find ARMY
BTS said that the foundation that has supported them is ARMY. Their source of power. So they wondered and wanted to know all the things about ARMY who has made them themselves. The title track “Boy With Luv” (Korean title: The Poetry for Little Things) is the starting point.
“Listen my baby I’m flying high in the sky./ (With those two wings you gave me then) / Now it’s too high. / I want to fit you in my eyes” (Boy With Luv lyrics).
BTS compared their popularity to “the wings of Icarus.” Despite his father’s warning, Icarus still flew too close to the sun and died because he found flying like a bird very exciting. His wings symbolize human’s yearning for the unknown world.
The members went to the Army, not to the sun. They are the place that BTS wanted to go more than the sun. This was expressed in the song HOME. Whenever they felt tired and lonely, they wanted to go back to my house where the Army is.
This song has a healing and comfort sound. While in “Boy With Luv”, they delivered their feelings with catchy melodies, in “Home,” the members expressed their soft charm with their falsetto.
◆ Self-healing methods
Enlightenment leads to hope. In “Mikrokosmos”, they talked about small humans. People are precious stars and there is a vast universe existing inside each person.
The lyrics are full of inspiring words. They delivered the messages that, ‘We shine in our own way’, ‘I dream about you/ When I see you I breathe.’ Melody is also full of hope, it has a unique rhythm based on the new wave.
“Jamais Vu” is a conclusion to BTS themselves. ‘It’s okay, but it’s not okay. / I told myself I’m used to it, but it always hurts like the first time.’
I know I’ll fall, but I’ll get back on my feet. I’ll keep running and never give up. ‘I’ll run again, I’ll fall again, and I’ll run even if I fall over and over again. Do I want to quit? No. Never.”
J-Hope, Jin and Jungkook have formed a new unit. It’s British pop. J-Hope’s emotional rapping supported the weight of the song. Jin and Jungkook’s appealing vocals also stood out. They made the song more dramatic by using the vocoder.
◆ Map of the BTS
We could see the bottom of BTS’s hearts in the last song “Dionysus.” They expressed their anguish over art. They used the image of Dionysus the god of wine. It was BTS’ most agonizing song.
They expressed the artist’s anguish, saying, “Drink it (the pain of creation)/ One bite(the flow of the era)/ Drink it up (communication with me). J-Hope participated as the top writer of the songwriting. The lyrics were modified more than five times.
BTS’ old school hip-hop style is introduced after a long time since “War of Hormone” and “Rise of Bangtan”. You can enjoy the hip-hop grooves of the ’90s. The strong hip-hop beats and Jin’s excellent locking ad lib really stood out.
BTS has begun a new journey with the Army. Together, the two will find a map of their souls. Sometimes it’s fine to wander and even get lost. Once again, Arny will be the compass for BTS to cross the desert and meet the sea.