BTS just dropped their new album and music video, and I will be posting ‘Boy With Luv’ in a separate post here today, but I first wanna talk about the new album’s “trailer” that came out a few weeks back…which actually turned out to be a full blown video for RM’s solo song ‘Persona’, which is the intro track on the new album.
The song itself is amazing, but why I wanted to post about it is all the subtle messages that RM is sending. This post might be a little longer than my other video posts, but bare with me.
Firstly, the whole video is a throwback to the Skool Luv Affair era. The opening sequence is almost identical to their previous comback trailer, RM is standing in from of a blackboard with similar writing (which probably has hidden meanings in it itself if you wanna go that deep), and the whole classroom just feels the same. Also, their new single is ‘Boy With Luv’ and the single from the Skool Luv Affair era was ‘Boy In Luv’. It seems the boys have grown up into men and found the love they were looking for.
Second, he talks about those who feel BTS doesn’t deserve what they’ve worked hard for. If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘pearls on a pig’, then you’ll see where I’m going. If not, I’ll explain it. The phrase means to make something valuable (pearls) worthless buy giving it to something people view as worthless (the pig). RM raps:
“I’m still not so sure if I’m a dog or a pig or what else
But then other people come out and put the pearl necklace on me”
My personal take at first was all the hateful comments some people would leave about how other groups deserved worldwide recognition more than BTS. However, it could be even deeper than that. While reading over the translated lyrics on Genius Annotations, two contributors had this theory (again, these are their words, I just had to share):
“The mention of dogs and pigs could be a reference to the the controversial comments made in mid-2016 by the head of Korea’s Ministry of Education’s policy bureau, Na Hyang-wook. He claimed that 99% of South Korea’s people could be treated “like dogs and pigs” because they had no ability to move up in the world, therefore were simply being fed and kept alive. This caused an uproar in South Korea at the time and drew attention to the extremely classist and elitist structure of their government. This topic has also been addressed by BTS in their song “Am I Wrong?” off their 2016 Wings album. By questioning whether he falls into this system or something else entirely, RM continues his own self reflection to discover his identity.”
Lastly, RM just went after all the haters using the phrase “But Namjoon”. If you don’t know what that means, it’s a phrase that people who don’t like BTS will say when their favorite idols get into trouble to pass the focus off of them (in the past when the group was still trying to break out, Namjoon has done a few things that may seem questionable, like wearing dreadlocks which is seen as cultural appropriation. He has admitted to all of these things and grew from it, which personal growth is a message in many BTS songs). RM must be well aware of the phrase and goes after it with these translated lyrics:
“The three syllables of my name and the word ‘but’ that should come before any of those”
There are plenty more hidden messages, but I’d be here literally all day. Check out the video. It may be labeled as a trailer, but honey this is a BOP.