by Sydney Lewis
On October 20, BTS’ leader and rapper, RM, also known as Kim Namjoon, surprised his fans with an announcement that he will release a new solo mixtape entitled “mono”. The announcement also included the tracklist of seven songs and the collaborations that he had made with other artists. On October 22, the mixtape was released. Each song on the tracklist contained an emotional background to it.
The first single playlist is ‘Tokyo’, which was produced by RM and Supreme Boi. The song is about a personal reflection to one’s dilemmas in adulthood. It has a slow haunting melody that feels as if it is being ingrained into our souls. It also includes mixes the slow beat and rap to emphasize the meaning and feeling of the song.
The next song is ‘Seoul (Prod. HONNE)’. RM collaborates with Honne, an English electronic duo who specializes in futuristic soul music. This song contrasts the dreariness of ‘Tokyo’, with a more upbeat feel and a positive vibe. It elaborates on RM’s fascination with the city, Seoul, and the coloration that it has with soul. He talks about the harmony that Seoul stands for, which is the duality of happiness and sadness, and love and hate. It creates its own special impression on the track.
Many feel that ‘Moonchild’ highlights the balance of RM’s vocals and rapping skills the most. This song is dedicated to the moonchildren, or people born under the sign of the moon – also known as Cancers – who suffer alone but during extreme crisis they have the power to rise. This songs reminds people that at times it’s okay to be sad and “it’s okay to shed the tears but don’t you tear yourself.”
‘Badbye’ with eAeon, produced by RM and El Capitan, is the shortest song on the album. It has a dark feeling that matches the lyrics which say goodbye. The ‘good’ bye is just a lie and ‘killing them softly’ and ‘have [them] be scattered as fragments.’
‘Uh Good’, is a rendition of the speech that RM had given at United Nations. It’s a confession of living with the untainted self which he does not identify with. On the website CelebMix they say that the song is “putting forth the struggle of embracing one’s self and the uselessness of the saturated message ‘you’re enough’. [It] displays the irony and a difference between one’s wishful thinking and the reality.” The song emphasizes the idea of going on a journey to discover oneself.
‘Everything goes’ featuring NELL, a K-Pop indie rock band, describes the idea that one day everything will have to go. The song states that no matter how we look at it, time does not stop for anyone; accepting that fact will aid anyone to get through the hard times. The lyrics “just wish that all will pass just like a wind, just like a wind pray,” completes the idea that we wish that all the problems will go away like paper in the wind, but we come to the realization that “everything must bear its pain.”
The final song on RM’s Mono is ‘Forever Rain’. It’s contemporary rap that describes the feeling of being an outcast and the struggles with depression and loneliness. In the song, RM says, “If I could kiss the whole world so hard, would someone welcome me, maybe embrace my weary body.” The music video also enhances the meaning of the song by using a black and white setting that portrays the solemn feeling. On the website Genius, they believed that the idea that RM was portraying that the “pouring rain [was] one of his friends, [and] the raindrops were always concerned about how he’s feeling.” The pouring rain being the only thing that could hide the tears that he had cried, emphasizes the idea of that he is so alone and depressed that the only thing that can be there for him and protect him was the rain.
RM’s mixtape Mono, is the combination of seven songs that musically, lyrically, and thematically catch the hearts of its listeners. It is a tack that resembles a coming of age playlist, that depicts the bad and the good of life. The thought of being oneself and accepting everything that comes with it. The mixtape is available on ITunes, and Soundcloud, enjoy this artistic view of life.