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Kim Namjoon connects to his fans via his “mono.” album

By Yoeli Romero

Staff Writer

Kim Namjoon, better known as RM of the K-pop group BTS, is a rapper, producer, and songwriter. RM has written and produced many of BTS’s title and sidetracks alongside some of his other members and songwriters/producers.

RM has produced many songs for BTS but he’s also produced his own solo albums, including “RM” in 2015 and “mono.” in 2018. When “mono.” was released, many fans and even non-fans of the artist fell in love with its concept and the lyrics’ deep meaning. 

According to Odyssey, “mono.” went big on the iTunes charts’, reaching the no. 1 spot in the United States and in another 85 other countries. Many praise this album because it was able to be both visually and musically appealing to the audience.

“Mono.” gained a lot of attention from people around the world because of its meaningful lyrics, which were also paired with either a soft and slow or a fast yet calm vibe. Some of the songs off of “mono.” feature a few of RM’s close friends, including Honne, Nell, eAeon, and Mot, who worked alongside him while producing, writing and singing this masterpiece. 

RM wrote this album as a way to express his struggles through meaningful lyrics and a melody that seems almost melancholy. For example, in “moonchild,” RM wrote: “We’re born to be sad, sad, sad, sad. Suffer to be glad, glad, glad, glad.” These lyrics show how many people are not born happy, but instead they have to struggle through many sad and painful experiences before they can achieve happiness.

RM was able to connect to many of his fans via this album by talking about the struggles he and many other people might face. Some fans speculated that RM made “mono.” as a “comfort playlist” for the people who are struggling with depression as a way to make them feel less alone. If that assumption is entirely true, then RM was definitely able to achieve that purpose.

RM is known for producing and writing songs with good beats and deep meanings, which can be clearly seen with the “mono.” album and the other pieces he’s done for BTS. It seems as if RM really enjoys producing and writing music that can reach people’s hearts.

If we compare “mono.” to his other mixtape, “RM”, we can see how different the rhythms are from each other. “RM” was made up of more intense beats and was matched with a lot of rapping within the album, while “mono.” was the complete opposite. Now, when we listen to “mono.”, we can see how his style has changed to a more subtle tone instead of a more hype tone. According to RM, “mono.” actually means “Monster No more”, as in his old stage name, Rap Monster. He wanted to change his stage name from Rap Monster to RM since, at the time, he was being disloyal to his true identity by trying to be someone who he was not.

“Mono.” is what helped him find his own voice or identity. People express their emotions through many forms of art and RM has found a way to express his, which is through producing music.

“Mono.” is one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to so far. Everything about it caught my attention, from the musical rhythm to the meaningful lyrics, it was a beautiful piece of art. My top 4 favorite tracks in the album are “tokyo,” “moonchild,” and the track title, “forever rain.” Each song has very meaningful lyrics and melodies that touch my heart, which is why I enjoy them so much.

The first track in “mono.” is “tokyo”; the song “tokyo” is a song about feeling lonely, incomplete and homesick. The first lyric, “Wake up in Tokyo / Feel like a torso / I know it’s time to go” shows how RM is feeling incomplete and homesick since he’s in a foreign place. By using this metaphor, the listener can get the idea that RM feels incomplete (just a torso). People can relate to “tokyo” since they might get those same exact feelings when traveling to faraway locations, which is why he wrote the song.

“Moonchild” is the third track in “mono.,” which is my personal favorite track. According to Bookish Theories, a well-known creator who analyzes lyrics on YouTube, moonchild refers to the people that are “more emotionally perceptible and often tend to find comfort in their own imagination. Moonchildren are basically dreamers, but a particular type of one.” She continues saying how moonchildren tend to “feel more, love more, and are more susceptible to the sadness and pain of the world that surrounds them.” They tend to dream more during the night since the peace, quiet, and darkness allows them to recharge.

RM had written the lines “It’s okay to shed the tears, but don’t you tear yourself” to let the moonchild know that it’s okay to cry as long as they don’t break under pressure and sorrow. He produced this song to let people know that he understands their struggles and he’ll always be there to comfort them. The lyrics of the song really touched my heart, and it’s soft tune really attached me to the song, which is why it’s my favorite off of the whole album.

The final track off of “mono.” is “forever rain,” which also has a music video to go along with. “Forever rain” talks about the feeling of wanting to be indulged in sadness and loneliness, which is what RM feels. It seems as if RM is never really able to express his true emotions, which is why he wrote this album. He was hoping that this album could comfort others through their hardships and struggles.

A line that stood out to me was “When it rains / I Get a little feeling that I do have a friend / Keeps knocking on my windows / Asks me if I’m doing well” since RM was talking about the rain as if it was a close friend of his. He feels as if the rain is his only friend since it seems to understand his sorrows and suffering. Since RM’s lyrics show how he views the rain as a close friend and as an actual person, it shows the loneliness he struggles with. Loneliness is a problem many people struggle with, and this song was produced to help those people know that there are others struggling with that same problem, which could possibly bring them comfort. 

RM was able to convey such strong emotions with these beautiful lyrics and touching melodies. He was able to talk about his struggles and connect with thousands of people through this album, which is incredible. 

Conversely, even though the lyrics are deep, many people might not understand them since it’s in Korean. The language barrier could be a bit difficult for some people to enjoy the music since they don’t understand the language. It might be a hassle for some to try to listen to music while reading the translation. If they have to read and listen at the same time, it might take a bit of the beauty away, so they can’t really appreciate that much.

Although the language barrier might stop some from listening to the whole album, the fans still seem to enjoy it either way. 

People should care about RM’s “mono.” album because it helps individuals feel comfortable knowing how RM is always there for them and he understands their struggles. 

The “mono.” album is the type of album that’ll capture the listener’s heart and take their breath away. Its melancholy lyrics and melody will surely capture anyone’s attention. 

I’d recommend “mono.” to anyone, especially the people that enjoy a softer and sadder tone to their music. This album has stuck with me ever since it was released. It really caught my attention with its beats and deep lyrics and I bet it’ll catch other listeners’ too.

Featured Image (at the top of this post): This is the cover of RM’s “mono.” album. PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

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