Kim Namjoon: Meet the Brilliant Man Leading BTS to World Music Domination

Kim Namjoon (photo credit: Big Hit Music, formerly Big Hit Entertainment) / Article written by: Jennifer Schadel (posted June 10, 2021)

In the world of music, one of the most riveting stories is the auspicious start, persistence, and phenomenal success of BTS, with the aid and unfailing support of the band leader Kim Namjoon. BTS was on a rise to fortune, fame and success, which the band intended to celebrate in their 7th year with the release of their album, “Map of the Soul: 7” with a world tour in 2020. Yet after the derailment of BTS’s tour and plans for 2020, due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, this smart, savvy and talented band turned a distressing year for the entire world into a year of laughter, joy — and the best feeling of all — they gave the gift of hope. And it all began with one man, Kim Namjoon aka: RM.

RM’s Beginning
RM was born Kim Namjoon on September 12, 1994, in the Dongjak District (Dongjak-gu) of Seoul, South Korea. The symbol of Dongjak District is the snowy heron which symbolizes the “clean, beautiful, and noble spirit” of Dongjak’s people, which is the perfect description of the man who RM has grown to be. RM’s genuine love and concern for all people, his devotion and his plea for each person to love themselves, and his pursuit of making the world a better place are noticeable in all he exemplifies.

RM and his family moved to Ilsan when he was four, where he was raised. In his formative years, RM tested at an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) level of 148. The average IQ score is 100, so anything measured above 116 is considered “above average” and the top 2% of intelligent minds in the world are those with an IQ level above 132. Thus, objectively, RM is considered to be a highly intelligent man and can be classified as a genius.

When RM was a young teenager, and trying to keep up with his high IQ, his mother bought him the DVDs for the popular US television series “Friends”. As RM has stated in many interviews, he first watched the series with Korean subtitles, then with the English subtitles, and finally watched the series without any subtitles. With the help of the “Friends” DVD series, RM became proficient in English by the age of fifteen and his intelligence has been ranked in the top 1% for language, math, foreign language, and social studies. He passed the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) in junior high and recently retook the test “just for fun” to raise his score and achieved this by scoring 915 out of 990. RM admits that, as a young man, he did not have any dreams, so his father told him that if he wanted to succeed then he must study hard and then in the future he could choose what he wanted. So RM studied hard so that in the future he could choose what he wanted. Thus, he studied even though he did not know what he wanted for his future. What captivated RM’s attention as a youth was poetry, art, and music, and all three of these have proved to be important influences in his young life and into adulthood.

Kim Namjoon (photo credit: Big Hit Music, formerly Big Hit Entertainment) / Article written by: Jennifer Schadel (posted June 10, 2021)

Rise of BTS
Although RM received moderate attention for his poetry, he started to receive more attention and praise for his rapping skills, writing of lyrics, and production of music. RM’s parents did not support him in his musical pursuits as a rapper, but he had a passion to become a “rap monster” meaning that he “raps non-stop”. As with many young South Korean musicians and dancers, RM trained for three years with Big Hit Entertainment to become the singer and performer we know today. During those three years, RM trained with BTS’s other two rappers Suga (Min Yoongi) and J-Hope (Jung Hoseok). For a glimpse of the amazing abilities of RM and his fellow rappers displaying their accomplished abilities, watch the video for “Outro: Tear”, the song that can be found on both the “Love Yourself: Tear” and “Love Yourself: Answer” albums.

BTS’s other four members, Jin (Kim Seokjin), Jimin (Park Jimin), V (Kim Taehyung), and Jungkook (Jeon Jungkook), were added to the band during this time. These are referred to as “The Trainee Years” where BTS went through vigorous training in vocals, music, dance, and choreography. Trainees also work on their physical appearance and begin establishing their image as far as looks, personality, and the roles they would take on within the band. Even though RM is not the oldest member of BTS, he was declared the leader as he had the leadership qualities of drive, motivation, and intelligence to lead. In addition to all the video interviews and performances, BTS put out videos of their daily lives regularly, including the “Run BTS” web series, and RM always appears to be the “lead” influence. He is the calm, level-headed, and quiet observer who is constantly looking out for and herding his bandmates in the direction they should be going.

RM crafted BTS from inception through the present. He selected his bandmates and helped to guide and train them into the talented musicians and performers they are today. You can see the sense of responsibility that RM has for BTS and its members — the determination that he has to make BTS the most successful band in the world. Without RM, there would be no BTS. And thanks to RM, BTS is the most successful band in the world.

Transformation of RM and BTS
RM no longer relates to the name of Rap Monster but I would give him the title of “Rap Master” or “Rap Genius” as Kim Namjoon is a talented and brilliant rapper. Kim Namjoon is one of the fastest rappers in the world, bringing the phonetically pleasing sound of combining the rapping sensation of aesthetically-perfect verbiage. From his technique to song lyrics, this phenomenal writer and performer is unstoppable. In 2017, RM changed his name from “Rap Monster” to “RM” because “Rap Monster” was no longer a representation of who he was as a man or performer, and he now simply goes by RM, the man he has grown and transformed himself to be.

RM released his first revealing solo mixtape “RM” in 2015, which expressed the pain and rage of a young man who had been denied the recognition and praise that were rightly deserved from both his home country and the hip hop/rap industry of Los Angeles. BTS went to Los Angeles in 2014 to film the reality show “American Hustle Life,” which should have documented BTS’s rise from trainees in South Korea to international phenomenon stars within the US hip-hop and rap industry. This did not happen and led to the overhaul and complete redefinition of BTS. RM realized that the path BTS was on would be unsuccessful and he realigned his expectations of what the band was and what BTS could be. Upon returning back to South Korea, BTS underwent a musical, physical, visual, and psychological transformation.

BTS needed to change their sound, their look, and their direction from a predominately hip-hop and rap band to instead relying heavily on their lyrical vocal line. Fortunately, the lyrical vocal line of BTS is comprised of 4 exceptional vocalists, who were willing to rise to the challenge and worked with the equally talented rap vocal line to produce extraordinary vocals. Not only did the lyrical and vocal styles change, the band changed their visual appeal as well. They went from the hip-hop style clothing representing hip-hop and “gangster” styles to the eye-catching brocades, suits, and gentlemen’s clothing. Most noticeably, the BTS comeback video for their 2016 song “Blood, Sweat and Tears” was filmed as an art gallery among classical paintings with stunning choreography, gorgeous costuming — and the most obvious of the transformation — BTS themselves went from what many viewed as young “punks” to sensual and stunning young men.

The naysayers were no longer laughing at BTS as the entire world sat up and took notice.  Critics suddenly started paying close attention to BTS and what they were producing. And not only did critics take notice of this phenomenal transformation, BTS’s biggest audience at that time and what continues to grow by leaps-and-bounds daily have taken notice… women. BTS has a strong following both male and female, but its ARMY of fans is predominately women — and women of all ages across the planet have become avid and devoted fans and followers, who have proven to be a financial and internet-force to be reckoned with, as any product sold by BTS becomes an instant “must have” product. Whether it is their own merchandise being sold at the Weverse Shop online or a brand they have become ambassadors of, demand becomes high for these brands and items, as ARMY wants to have anything and everything that BTS is selling.

Financial Power of BTS
The sheer volume of sales and the amount of money that BTS brings to its management company Big Hit Music/HYBE, the country of South Korea, and all the cities that BTS performs concerts have made BTS one of the most powerful economic forces on earth. They earned the capital for HYBE to buy out Ithaca Records with cash and the financial ability to secure many more big business deals that have been happening so fast it’s made my head spin. South Korea has become reliant on the taxes and tourism that BTS brings into their country so much so, that South Korea changed the age of their Mandatory Military Service for all South Korean males in December of 2020 from 28 to 30-years-old and it is no coincidence that the eldest member of BTS Jin turned 28 in December of 2020. South Korea changed a longstanding law so that BTS could remain together to keep generating income for the country. In addition, countries around the world are clamoring for BTS to perform in their cities to lure BTS’s ARMY of fans who spend huge sums of money to fly, drive, book hotels, eat at restaurants, producing thousands, if not millions, of dollars of revenue for each city in which they perform. And as the demand for BTS tickets is so high and sell out so quickly that BTS frequently performs two nights in many cities during their tours. The financial power of BTS is astronomical.

BTS is a financial powerhouse, but they also have their ARMY of fans standing right behind them when it comes to internet, social media, and anywhere BTS needs to be promoted. This power has been proven by the number of music awards BTS has won over the past eight years and was recently displayed by the Billboard Hot 100 Billboard Global charts. Simultaneously, ARMY worked tirelessly to make sure BTS’s newest song “Butter” was at the top of all the Billboard charts and when the Billboard results were posted on June 1, 2021, showing BTS claimed all 4 of the top music chart spots globally, social media went wild and when the BTS members themselves took to WeVerse (Big Hit Music’s social media platform) and Twitter to celebrate and thank their fans, #ButterNo1Party was the top trending hashtag as the celebration continued throughout the day all around the world. It was a powerful moment to watch history in the making.

BTS and ARMY Relationship
BTS’s love for and relationship with their fans is one of the keys to what has made this band so successful. I have never seen a more committed, connected, and organized fan base than the BTS fan base of ARMY (Adorable Representative MC for Youth, the official fandom name for BTS). This fan base has millions of loyal followers, frequently overloading social media server capabilities, and have collectively ensured that BTS crushed many of the world’s music industry records. With the aid of BTS’s colossal wave — overcoming everything within the music industry — and ARMY’s unquenchable thirst to raise BTS to the top of the world, this symbiotic relationship between BTS and ARMY is an unstoppable force that has continued to steamroll over everything within their path. There is no stopping BTS in collaboration with its ARMY fan base.

Search for Identity: RM and ARMY
Calling ARMY a fan club is an understatement and dismissive of what ARMY truly is. ARMY is not just a club for fans, but a community and, for many, offering family, friendship, love, support, with many different and varied facets of camaraderie and relationships. Many members of ARMY have found the warmth and acceptance that they cannot find within their own family, schools, communities, and society. In ARMY, all are accepted and loved. The love ARMY has for BTS is equally reciprocated by BTS’s love for ARMY as BTS recognizes that they would not be where they are today without the unfailing support of ARMY. Whenever BTS receive public recognition, whether from press or at an awards ceremony, BTS passionately recognize and thank ARMY for every accolade they have received, for ARMY is not just a fan club for BTS, they are a part of BTS and BTS regularly acknowledges this and humbly thanks ARMY for the support and love ARMY has provided them throughout the years. This mutually beneficial relationship has led to an enduring, steadfast, and heartwarming relationship between BTS and ARMY that we all want to be a part of.

RM summed it up perfectly with his words, “It’s never intended, but it feels like I am using you guys to love myself. So I want to say one thing: please, please use me. Please use BTS to love yourself. Because you guys taught me how to love myself, every day.” This invitation of love, acceptance, and support has been accepted by millions all over the world. RM and BTS have the ability to provide music that persuades their fellow humans to reevaluate their current circumstances and to help them out of anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts. There is no greater power on earth than the power of BTS.

I digress and must go back to the most integral part of BTS, their leader and the force behind BTS: RM. In 2018, RM released his second solo album, “mono,”, which was, in my opinion, the complete opposite of his first solo album, “RM”. The first album was a strong and combative album about the injustices and bitterness of trying to rise up against an antiquated and unimaginative music industry, as well as the negativity and obstruction of those who were against him. RM rightfully took out his angst and frustration against these negative forces with his first solo album.

RM’s second album exuded the calmness and maturity of a man who had to come to be at peace in this unfair and judgmental world. He had matured and invited us into the tranquil, restful nirvana that he himself had discovered. RM regularly spends time out in nature to think, reflect, and be inspired by nature itself, which inspires him to post photos of mountains, rivers, trees, flowers, and landscapes. This thoughtfulness and self-reflection were mirrored in his second mixtape. While in his first mixtape RM fought the oppression of a rigid, conformist music institution and world in general, his second mixtape illustrated how to be at peace in this complex and misunderstanding world. He encouraged fans and listeners to find inner peace in the sometimes cruel and unaccepting world and reminded us that if you look for and pursue it, you can find contentment and fulfillment. You can find the everyday joy and reassurance that nature and humanity, at their core, have to offer. “mono”, the album as well as the person RM, provide an unconditional offering of graciousness and acceptance unknown in most of the world.

Kim Namjoon (photo credit: Big Hit Music, formerly Big Hit Entertainment) / Article written by: Jennifer Schadel (posted June 10, 2021)

Genius’ Gauntlet
RM is a singer and performer, and through his mixtapes and all the BTS albums, he has exposed himself to be a true genius in songwriting, music composition and music production. The complexities of the lyrics that he writes inspire listeners to research the deeper meanings and connections through each of BTS’s songs. When I say “connections,” I mean that literally, as RM is a storyteller, and the BTS songs link together to create a beautiful and complicatedly illustrated world. The songs and the music videos for these songs are woven together like a tapestry to create stories that continue through to this day. There are eight years of storytelling that older ARMY fans watched be written and created over the course of nearly a decade.

For new fans, studying the interconnected media world of BTS’s discography, videos, and books is equivalent to taking an upper-level college course. You need to study regularly, in depth, and be prepared to fall down the “rabbit hole” of the BTS Universe with a fascination that borders on obsession. RM is a genius who has created an amazing interwoven world that is more entertaining and brilliant than any movie I have seen or book I have read. If this does not prove challenging enough for you, RM does enjoy reading and there are many posted photos of him holding books.  RM is essentially throwing down the figurative gauntlet to inquisitive BTS fans seeking a more immersive experience, so BookDB created a list of the books RM has mentioned and/or was seen holding or reading that many refer to as “RM’s Booklist”. At last count, there were 34 books on this list. Finally, there are RM’s social media posts. Most are selcas of himself or photos of his nature explorations, but to fans, some of these are puzzles that you are invited to decipher and figure out. I equate trying to figure out Kim Namjoon’s mind to playing 12-dimensional chess, and you are in for some serious competition. Imagine having RM’s IQ and all the things you could do with it.  If it were me, at the top of my list would be world domination, and that is exactly what RM is achieving with BTS.

BTS is breaking all of the world’s music chart records with their music and have acquired the largest and most devoted fandom in the world. Exact numbers on the size of ARMY are hard to come by but my rough estimate is 350 million fans worldwide. But, even now, I think this number is low as it continues to grow exponentially. It took a genius to help formulate and guide BTS to recognize that they needed to change directions to survive when things did not work out as originally planned, and continuously build the momentum that propelled this band onto the world stage. By now, everyone on earth has heard the name BTS and knows who they are.

I believe RM regularly through his music, videos, and social media throws down the gauntlet and challenges us to explore the world within his mind. It can be difficult trying to keep up with this genius, but it also broadens our own thinking and understanding. I find it fascinating and a lot of fun to explore this wonderland that RM has created. I encourage everyone to take up this gauntlet, discover all the “rabbit holes” (aka intellectual challenges) you can fall down, and experience one of the most rewarding journeys you can go on.

BTS’s Cultural Impact: Lessons In Love
One of BTS’s greatest achievements, beyond their worldwide music and interactions with ARMY, has been BTS’s global impact. The speech that BTS gave (as presented by RM) at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly to discuss the “Love Myself” Campaign remains an inspirational speech for all of us. That speech challenged us to not only love ourselves and be better people to ourselves and others within this world, but also to help and assist those less fortunate than us. It helped us to understand that we can make a difference in this world — no matter how small the impact we believe we have, it can lead to a bigger and an even greater impact than we can imagine. It inspires us to believe that we have the power to make a great impact in this world and that we can help to assist and change lives we come into contact with throughout our daily lives and even the lives of those around the world.

BTS worked with UNICEF to start the “Love Myself” Campaign based on their belief that “true love first begins with loving myself”, and continues to be one of the most inspirational and powerful speeches I have ever heard and I encourage everyone to listen this passionate plea to love, accept, and be yourself. During his speech, RM stated, “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself”. Not only does BTS want you to love yourself, they want you to find your voice and speak yourself.

Bearing the Burden
RM is the leader and force behind BTS. He started this band and built it into a global phenomenon and the success that it is today. Starting with his own talents as writer, producer, and performer, and building it into the biggest band in the world. He cultivated and formulated the perfect trifecta of performance, singing abilities, and visual sensory dominance. I believe there is no greater mastermind in this modern age of music, visual arts, and creative genius than Kim Namjoon. He has taken six extraordinarily gifted men of music, voice, dance and raw talent to create an unstoppable force.

Previously we had seen The Fab Four, now we have The Sensational Seven. I call them The Sensational Seven because of all the positive and jubilant sensations they bring into our lives: music, entertainment, creativity, happiness, joy, hope, love, and many other glorious feelings. That is what BTS is: wonderful experiences of sensory and emotional depths that we had not previously delved into or even felt comfortable trying to perceive. BTS has encouraged us to not be tentative, but fully and tenaciously immerse ourselves into the depths of who we each can fully be. They have allowed us this creative individuality not previously explored in the world around us. We have been given a license to be all we believe ourselves to truly be. Whether it is our public lives, private lives, or secret lives, we have been given permission to cultivate and express these areas of our lives without judgement and with open acceptance.

This is the power of BTS and the power of ARMY. We can all be the best perception and expectation of who we believe ourselves to be. We can all be “Anpanman”, the BTS song that spotlights a superhero, who is not the world’s perfect view of a superhero, but has a pure heart and protects the world from evil. I believe RM and BTS parallel themselves with the authenticity of Anpanman. Bringing hope and peace into areas many thought unreachable. This level of love and acceptance that BTS and RM bring into their lives came at a high price — not just the years of intense training they endured to become successful, but the uphill battle they fought with many outside forces.

BTS had the support of their management agency Big Hit Entertainment, but many within the music industry, press, and the public did not take them seriously. BTS had to earn the respect that they now receive and there were many painful moments for this band. Surprisingly, the most scathing comments and opponents to BTS were from the general public. Anti-fans and trolls were vocal about anything they did not like about BTS. Whether it was the music, lyrics, looks, or anything these anti-fans perceived as noteworthy to be attacked, they did attack and they attacked viciously. Each BTS member received hate mail or the equivalent of this and the one member to receive the majority of these attacks was their leader, RM.

It has even been reported that as the only English speaking and reading member of the band, RM would “translate” the negative hate mail to his fellow band members as words of positivity and encouragement. He took these painful messages of hate and turned them into letters of love so that his bandmates would be protected from anything that could adversely affect them at such a formative and vulnerable time in the progression of their careers. The amount of love and belief RM had in his bandmates and BTS was displayed through this level of self-sacrifice RM was willing to endure on their behalf. RM must have experienced deep mental and emotional pain and anguish from this, but he willingly placed this pain upon himself to protect his six bandmates.

RM’s commitment and endurance paid off for the band and made him a kinder and more compassionate man. BTS’s Love Myself Campaign is a direct result of RM’s actions and his own journey of having to push through the pain and to learn to love himself. At the final Wings Tour concert in December 2017 RM said, “If we helped your dream and your life a bit by our existence, our music, our performance, our pictures or videos, if all of that can help you even just a little, if we could lessen your pain from 100 to 99, 98, or 97, with that the value of our existence is enough.” RM is a man who knows pain and is doing everything within his power to decrease this for the rest of the world. I read a ARMY quote that sums it up perfectly, “I had 99 problems when I met BTS and BTS solved 1,000 of them.”

Kim Namjoon (photo credit: Big Hit Music, formerly Big Hit Entertainment) / Article written by: Jennifer Schadel (posted June 10, 2021)

Embracing the Light
While living during the era of a pandemic that rocked the entire world, most of us were focused on our daily lives and how we would cope and survive this ordeal. We were all going through unknown events and changes that no one else had encountered before. We had no roadmap of what to do and how to react. It was during this life changing event that many of us discovered BTS as we were searching for peace during this chaotic time. BTS had released their album “Map of the Soul: 7” on February 21, 2020, just two weeks before the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 global pandemic on March 11, 2020. This stopped all events BTS had planned to promote their new album and their worldwide tour. A band who had only known music, dance, touring, and interacting with their fans had their career, and the lives that they lived and knew, come to a complete stop.

What was a time of distress and uncertainty for many of us, BTS turned into a time of hope. Their album, “Map of the Soul: 7”, provided the world with the songs that were lighthearted and fun like “Boy With Luv” and “Moon”, while some were reflective and deeper such as “We are Bulletproof : the Eternal” and “Louder Than Bombs”. The entire album is entertaining and enjoyable to listen to (my personal favorite is “Dionysus”). And while this album was inspiring us to remember all the good things in life during this tumultuous time, BTS went back to writing and the studio to give us the gift of a second album during this historic year, “BE”, which was released on November 20, 2020. While “Map of the Soul: 7” gave us fun and happiness during 2020, “BE” would be the album that soothed our weary souls during this trying time. Their song “Life Goes On” became the anthem and declaration that this pandemic would not define our lives and would just be a small mark on the timeline of our lives. “Blue & Grey” were the words of how we were all feeling and expressed those emotions perfectly. And then there was the Grammy nominated smash hit “Dynamite”.

“Dynamite” was released earlier than the album on August 21, 2020, and toppled worldwide music records left and right. With its energetic sound that we all had to get up and dance to when it came on, it became the declaration that we would find happiness during the pandemic. Fans all over the world were singing along to it, learning and repeating the choreography, and embracing the joy that could be found within the song. Celebrities across the globe were recording snippets of video either singing or reading the lyrics to this jubilant song and the entire world fell in love with it. For many of us, BTS turned the worst year of our lives into one of the best.

RM recently changed his hair color…again. The changing of hair and eye color (via contacts) is nothing new for BTS. They are constantly evolving and changing their sound, appearance, and public personas. But this time, it was different. RM had previously proclaimed that he would not go back to the color pink for his hair color. He had emphatically proclaimed this in an interview when asked the question if he would go back to pink hair and he responded with “Oh, I don’t, I don’t do pink”. So, when their 2021 hit song “Butter” was being prepared to roll out and RM posted a pic on Twitter with his puppy Rapmon, with pink hair, many were quick to point out that RM had previously stated that he would not have pink hair again. RM gave in several interviews the perfectly prophetic answer as to why he changed his mind, “People change.”

In a judgmental world that do not allow us to change our minds, RM reminded all of us that we can change, we can change our minds. We do not have to hold to the strictures that our world has enveloped us in and we are allowed to change. We can change our minds, our appearances, and can become the people we perceive ourselves to be at that moment in our lives. We do not have to conform to our societies, the world, or even the boundaries we had previously put upon ourselves. Not only do people change, we are allowed to change and continue to grow into the person we want to be. RM continues to lead by example, “People change.”

Path to the Future
BTS has received every music award possible except for one, the Grammy. Many of us believed BTS would receive their first Grammy for their chart topping Grammy nominated song “Dynamite”, but were disappointed the night of the Grammy’s when they did not receive it. BTS wasted no time being disappointed over this loss and went straight to work on what should be their next Grammy nominated song, “Butter”. BTS has once again provided a smash hit that has the world singing and dancing along to it. “Butter” has BTS beating their own previous music records for “Dynamite” on all the music record charts across the globe. “Butter” has obliterated all song records on music charts, social media outlets, and should earn BTS their first Grammy.

As BTS did not win the Grammy the first time that they were nominated, ARMY has taken this personally and is doing everything within their power to make it clear that BTS has an ARMY behind them to back them up. ARMY has proven this financially by buying multiple versions of the “Butter” song as well as its music videos that are selling on multiple platforms. They took YouTube by storm and the “Butter” video broke the record for the most viewers for the premiere of a music video with over 108.2 million views within the first 24 hours. Music providers Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, etc… all have records that were broken by “Butter”. Social media platforms WeVerse, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and more can vouch for the popularity of BTS and “Butter” as some have even crashed due to the promotion of “Butter” by ARMY.

Only one band on the planet has inspired millions upon millions of people and it is time for the world to take notice. BTS has musically invaded almost every country and their next big target is one of the most difficult, the United States of America. As the US only accounts for approximately 8% of the BTS fandom, it is time we take notice and find the fun and excitement that can only be found within BTS. Once the US discovers the joy of BTS, they will become as addicted to this band as the rest of the world and I can vouch that it is a wonderful place to be. You will laugh, smile, and find unimaginable joy and hope all through this one band that I call “lightening in a bottle”. It’s a rare event and will only happen, maybe once, in your lifetime. The trials and circumstances that BTS has been through, their history and plights as a band, each individual member who are all geniuses in their own rights…it will never happen again. No band will be able to reproduce what BTS has created as their unique journey has brought them to this moment in time. It is fantastic and awe inspiring to be able to witness what BTS is doing as they are, literally, creating history.

One thing is clear about BTS’s path to the future, it will continue to get even brighter and bigger. RM has already been writing for and doing collaborations with other artists. He will continue to be in demand within the music industry, both with BTS and as a solo artist, for the duration of his life. All doors within the music industry will be open to him and he will have the flexibility to pick and choose which projects he would like to do.

The largest challenge for RM, and all the members of BTS, will be South Korea’s mandatory military service. All South Korean men are required to enlist in mandatory military service prior to the age of 30 and it lasts for about 18 months. With Jin turning 29 this year, that date is quickly approaching. Now would be, maybe not the ideal time, but the best time for the older members of BTS, if not all of BTS, to do their required service.

With the world still locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and BTS unable to tour, now would be a time when enlisting would have the least amount of impact on BTS touring. Fans of both Kpop members and Korean actors have proven over the years that their idols do not lose their appeal during this time away. Fans avidly await the return date of their idols and these idols come back from their mandatory military service even more popular than ever. ARMY will be anxiously awaiting the return of BTS with open arms. And knowing BTS resilience and tenacity, they will come back and continue on their path of global domination.

I expectantly await to see what Kim Namjoon does next. Whether it is writing new lyrics, posting a selfie for our enjoyment, mandatory military services, or whatever business endeavor he chooses to become a part of. His future will be glorious and I cannot wait to see where he goes and what he continues to create.

10 Things I Love About RM

    1.    RM’s Mind: There is no more brilliant writer or entertainer that Kim Namjoon. He put his mind prowess and genius into the lyrics, music videos, and determination to make this band the greatest on the planet and it worked. I have much respect for this great mind who is a genius.

    2.    RM’s Determination: When so many would have given up and conformed to this world, RM refused to accept the defeat and future laid out before BTS and himself. He overcame.

    3.    RM’s Rapping Skills:  He is one of the fastest rappers, as far as speed, and the context of his lyrics are unparalleled. RM is a phenomenal rapper.

    4.    RM’s Voice: As a bass line vocalist, he can sing and harmonize beautifully with the vocal line. Yet, he sings so gently and powerfully on his mixed tapes. RM’s voice is hypnotizing.

    5.    RM’s Unconditional Love for BTS: No person has loved and encouraged a group of young men more than RM. He saw the greatest potential and greatness for each BTS member and helped them to achieve this accomplishment. There is no greater love.

    6.    RM’s Unconditional Love for ARMY: RM knows the value of his fans who have supported and come along side him to achieve the accolades and fame that he has reached. He also knows the impact and value of ARMY to each other. We all need the love and support that ARMY provide to BTS and to each other.

    7.    RM’s Witticism: Amongst the angst of everyday life, we all need a wizard of words who can combine what appears to be irreverence alongside the pure genius of deep meanings, joy and happiness (hello, Mad Hatter). Whether it be a puzzle disguised in an unremarkable tweet  to solve or a poem posted in Hangul that we fans are encouraged to translate, RM will continue to propel us into mind excellence.

    8.    RM’s teaching of appreciation and finding enjoyment in the simple things. He has encouraged us to embrace nature in the minutest of ways. Find the small crabs amongst the rocks, look at the blooming flowers along the tree, and enjoy the wind whipping through your hair along the scenes of a bike ride. RM has taught us to appreciate and enjoy life.

    9.    RM taught us to never accept failure and view obstacles as mountains to be overcome. Yes, the climb will be great but you can succeed and achieve the heights you wish to obtain. BTS was unrecognized and under appreciated. RM saw this not as a hindrance, but a challenge he accepted. And, he won!

    10. A picture is worth a thousand words…

Kim Namjoon (photo credit: Big Hit Music / “Butter” MV) (article written by Jennifer Schadel, posted June 10, 2021)

Article written by: Jennifer Schadel (Twitter @JenniferSchadel)

Kim Namjoon (photo credit: Big Hit Music, formerly Big Hit Entertainment) / Article written by: Jennifer Schadel (posted June 10, 2021)


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17 thoughts on “Kim Namjoon: Meet the Brilliant Man Leading BTS to World Music Domination

  1. Thank you. This is so beautifully written. RM deserves all the praises. This tribute to his genius mind and beautiful soul is so precious. He really saved so many of us.

  2. What a beautiful Article! In all my years of being ARMY and denying to myself that I am so until recently, I have never read something so beautifully written. And the writer has done the ground work so well, knows Namjoon and BTS that so well am amazed. I’ve watched and seen people get embarrassed on TV and writings when they dont know what to say.
    I realised that Namjoon got hate to be honest as you have rightly pointed it out.
    As a Namjoon biased ARMY I have always seen him to be the embodiment of beautiful, noble, calm and genius.
    Thank you appreciating our Joon. In ARMY world we call what I just did to the Article (read), Namjooning. Its part of Joonieverse.
    Am onto reading more about JK, Jin, JHope, Tae and Suga am quite sure they will fantastic like this.
    Thank you for appreciating Namjoon the human, the man, the artist and rapper, the genius, the BTS leader and member.

  3. Qué maravilla de artículo. Namjoon de ser el lider de bts al que tanto apreció pasó a ser una de las personas que más admiro a medida que lo conocí más. Por eso me hace muy feliz saber que un hombre como él tenga una masiva influencia en las futuras generaciones.

  4. Amazing thank you so much for writing this I really enjoy it, and our precious Kim Namjoon deserve the all love in this world💜💜💜💜

  5. Namjoon is a wonderful person and deserves all the best. I wish him success in his life💜💜

  6. I love reading all of these thoughtful appreciation reading peace celebrating every mind-blowing achievements the genius Kim Namjoon have :’) what a great man he is. I love him so much.

  7. RM tiene mucho talento y ha hecho mucho por BTS, me encanta como lo reconocen en este artículo

  8. Este articulo habla sobre lo buena persona que es nuestro kim namjoon (RM) el lider de BTS .
    Es un ejemplo a seguir , sus habilidades son unicas y increible en lo que siempre demuestra.

  9. This article is so good.. I love everything you have written here . Thank you so much .

  10. Amo este artículo… Una cosa que estoy agradecida de BTS y en especial de RM es que su mensaje es tan profundo y tan empático, lo cual fue totalmente inesperado para mi encontrarlo en un grupo de Kpop.

  11. It is the best article that I have read in my life, beyond being a fan of bts, you can see the potential that 7 young people have, they are excellent artists, the reason for many people’s smiles, thank you, thank you very much for the article

  12. The more you think abt RM the more it makes you write and be greatfull and wonder that such a perfect man actually exists. It’s a good read

  13. Estou maravilhada pelas suas palavras, nunca li um artigo tão incrível sobre o mais incrível ainda RM… Obrigada por esse texto maravilhoso! 사랑해 💜

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