Today, Dec. 2 is a special day for BTS ARMY worldwide as the group’s leader Kim Namjoon a.k.a. RM will be releasing his first full studio album Indigo. Said to be documentation of the last remaining days of his 20s, listeners will surely be in for a treat especially those who are curious about how he's been really feeling in the past years.
In celebration of Indigo’s upcoming release, let us take a look back at some of RM’s solo tracks perfect for "Namjooning," which refers to "the act of living as Kim Namjoon." This includes "taking walks through parks, admiring nature, hanging out with crabs, and having fun with friends." In short, it is also a term for taking a break and relaxing by doing what you really want without the pressure of society.
Among the members of BTS, only RM doesn’t have a driver’s license, but he loved riding the bicycle. Released as a special gift for the ARMY during the FESTA 2021 celebration, RM wrote the lyrics while riding a bicycle as he wandered in different places between February and March that year. Physically, riding the bicycle makes him feel free. It is the perfect song to play when starting a journey, be it through cycling, walking, or even driving a car.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with the city you’re in? If yes, then you can relate to RM’s Seoul.
None of the BTS members were born and raised in the capital city of South Korea. All of them took the risk and embarked on a journey by joining Big Hit Entertainment. With RM (then known as Rap Monster) being the first member recruited in the group, Seoul is definitely a special place to him.
In the song, he plays with "Seoul" and "Soul," where he also admits to starting to embrace the things he used to despise in the big city that he now calls home. This song is perfect to be played when you’re traveling via train, bus, or car while reflecting on the bustling, city life. Why am I really thriving in this polluted city anyway? What is it in this big city that I unconsciously love that make me stay?
Voice is part of RM’s 2015 mixtape. In the song, he reflects on how music became a big part of his teenage years. It's no secret that RM excelled in his academics back then and the pressure he felt was discussed in some of the early BTS tracks like No and Baepsae. Eventually, he embraced music and started his career as the underground rapper Runch Randa before becoming Rap Monster (2013-2017). If you had a lot of angst about society when you were younger, you will probably relate to this song.
Tokyo is the only all-English track in the Mono mixtape. It depicts waking up in Tokyo and being in a state of longing. It's applicable to missing someone, something, or the mere thought of being comforted. Just like in the track Seoul, the background city noise contributes to that feeling of longing or missing something while you are in a big city that is supposedly full of people and things that will ideally make a person happy.
One thing I admire most about RM is his transparency towards his feelings that are often reflected in the songs he penned for BTS and for his solo work. While the majority write about romantic love or money and riches, RM and the group are more open in writing about relatable concerns such as loneliness and depression.
Forever Rain served as the lead single of Mono in 2018. The music video captures the theme of loneliness. There are people who love it when it rains as it also symbolizes the "cleansing" of someone’s sorrows and worries. In the song, RM longs for the rain to keep pouring so that his tears won’t be noticed by the public. We all have those days when we find comfort when it is raining.
Now, let us lighten things up by simply singing and rapping about L-O-V-E!
Trivia: Love is one of the new tracks featured in the repackaged Love Yourself: Answer album, which serves as RM’s solo song. Honestly, watching his live performance of this track made him my bias wrecker especially when I read the English translation.
Compared to the tracks he wrote in the earlier days, fans were able to take a glimpse of RM’s romantic side with this song. The way he played with the words while expressing the simplicity of falling in love will simply make one’s heart flutter. Is this love? Yes.
Last but not the least, Everythinggoes. The last track of the Mono mixtape, it is an uplifting song where RM assures that everything in life–including hardships and loneliness—will pass.
Everythinggoes is one of RM’s personal favorite tracks from Mono and Bang PD wanted to include the song in a BTS album, but RM decided to keep it for himself. In a way, this track reminds me of the BTS song Zero O’ Clock from the 2020 Map of the Soul:7 album. This is the perfect finale track while Namjooning as it inspires you to start anew and be ready to deal with the challenges of life again.
RM is set to release the Indigo album on Friday, Dec. 2, with Wild Flower as the lead single. Are you excited to update your Namjooning playlist with new tracks?