Kim Namjoon, also known as RM, of BTS, has surprised fans once again! On December 2nd, 2022, the Korean rapper finally released his first solo album, Indigo, after the announcement of BTS going on an indefinite hiatus. Now with more time on his hands, Namjoon is set to create a lasting impression before his mandatory military service in 2024.
While many around the world are familiar with his work from BTS’s global stardom, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the young man from South Korea. Keep on reading to find out the lyrical genius that is, Kim Namjoon!
Don’t Knock It Till You Try It
It wasn’t until 2019 that I got into the world of K-pop. While I was hesitant at first, it was a great decision in the long run. With any new album or artist, you’re entering a world of knowledge and appreciation for different art forms. Listening to music from other countries and cultures allows you the opportunity to see life from a different lens. And with the work that Kim Namjoon does, he brings you all the way in, not shying away from displaying the beauty, but also the darker parts of his life.
Talented From the Start
Before BTS, Kim Namjoon was already a well-established rapper in the underground scene in South Korea. From his childhood, music and poetry came naturally to him. And as his skills strengthened, Namjoon would become one of the main contributors to BTS’s discography. As the leader of the group, Namjoon has had to find a balance between his personal life and his image as an idol. The way he could heal that separation was through his music.
This isn’t the first time that Namjoon has released music on his own. In 2015, he released his first mixtape, RM. But it was his 2018 mixtape, Mono that showcased his skills as a poet, producer, and complex lyricist. One of his most popular songs on the mixtape, “everythingoes” is a prime example of the insight Kim Namjoon has into the progression of life.
Just like the night leaves and the morning comes
The spring leaves and summer comes, but
Just like the flower wilts and the fruit grows ripe
Everything needs to go through pain
Embrace the world and suck in a breath
That prickling air that fills up your lungs says everything
Yeah, back when I wished to drink it in innumerable times
Underneath those old times when I, a fool, grew dull.”Kim Namjoon, “everythingoes”
A Master of Wordplay
Many might think that having to balance English and Korean would be a setback, but Kim Namjoon uses his bilingualism to his advantage. I’ve truly never listened to other artists who are able to interchangeably go between languages while rapping at a fast pace before. His skills are unlike any other musicians that I’ve seen.
By rhyming words in both English and Korean, intertwining languages, and harking back to literary influences from Korea and the rest of the world, Kim Namjoon has propped himself up to be a unique songwriter that infuses his many talents into his work.
Finding Freedom in Indigo
In his new album, Indigo, Namjoon has stated that this new release is, “the last archive of his 20’s.” As an introspective album, Namjoon takes time to reflect on his place and purpose, especially being a public icon to many around the world. In an interview with The Atlantic, he said:
“My whole life was an exhibition…Unconsciously, or maybe consciously, I’ve been exhibiting my life for decades. So [I said], Okay, then let’s make it into a real exhibition.”Kim Namjoon, The Atlantic
Putting everything out on the line seemed to pay off for the songwriter. With tracks featuring other artists like Erykah Badu, Anderson .Paak, Kim Sawol, and Tablo, Kim Namjoon expanded his creativity even further to create a story of his young adulthood. While you should go listen to the album right now, you can get a taste of his music down below with his music video, “Wild Flower”
Some may only ever view him as RM of BTS, but to me, he’s so much more. He’s a creative soul that is desperate to tell his story of truth, heartbreak, and healing. So, don’t let the language barrier get in the way. Kim Namjoon’s writing is able to transcend all obstacles.
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