Let’s Get to Know BTS’ Leader – RM!
BTS has gained so much attention these past years with their music. As a band, they have successfully conquered the international entertainment industry. However, we must highlight that all of the members have their own amazing individual talents. Their leader, RM (standing for Rap Monster), has a special spotlight for his charm but nonetheless stays humble.
Kim Nam-joon (RM’s real name) was born on September 12th, 1994, in Ilsan, South Korea. He is the tallest member, with a height of 181 cm and has a deep voice. Although singing and dancing are not his best abilities, he is really skilled in rapping. He has contributed, produced, and written lots of BTS’ and others’ songs with a total of 80+ tracks accredited to his name by the Korea Music Copyright Association.
With this many credits, it seems like he deserves them all, knowing that he is the ‘brain’ of the band. Not to mention his English skills; he almost sounds like a native speaker. His overflowing charisma somehow can’t get us off from admiring him. In this article, Channel-Korea will share with you more details about the inspiring idol so stay tuned!
Rap Monster a.k.a. Brain Monster
In 2014, RM revealed about his intelligence during his school times. In the Mnet program Beatles Code 3D, he was asked if he was really in the top 1% of the national school grade. RM confirmed by saying that he did a trial university entrance examination for language, foreign language, math, and social studies. The result showed that he was ranked in the top 1.3% of the whole country. He added that he started to do music as a hobby in junior high without dropping the first place in his entire school.
It was also reported that he has an IQ of 148 that makes him a genius and enters the top 0.1% of the population in the world! He has proven it through several programs below.
He was a regular member in tvN’s program Problematic Men for the first 21 episodes. They usually invite celebrities with unique traits and there are also several quizzes to be solved. RM was known for his quickness to answer the quizzes.
In other cases, RM has proven his intelligence through Bangtan Quiz Show where all the members of BTS did some quizzes. At first, he couldn’t answer the guessing games but when it came to more complex quizzes, he really aced them!
Aside from his intelligence, he is known to be fluent in English. It was reported that RM has taken the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) in middle school with such an incredible score, that is 900. He also revealed that he hasn’t taken any English courses and has only learned English by self-learning.
In the interview with Ellen at the ELLEN Show in 2017, he said that he learned English from the 90s American popular sitcom Friends. He said that when he was 15, it was popular among the Korean parents that his mom forced him to watch it. His mom even bought all the seasons in 10 DVDs and gave them to him. He watched it with Korean subtitles at first, then he started to use English subtitles, and then he watched the episodes without any subtitles.
He also studied in New Zealand for quite some time which probably improved his English. Here’s a compilation of his English speaking moments in many shows or interviews.
Now that BTS has reached the American music industry, they don’t have to worry about attending interviews in English, knowing that they have RM as their personal translator. When RM amazingly speaks English, we may or may not notice the other BTS members’ reactions. Let’s check them!
RM’s maturity is unquestionable since he oftentimes gives some wise words of advice. His most popular words are “Teamwork makes the dream work,” which shows us that in a team we need to work together to reach what we dream of.
But there are also many other wise words that have come from him. Channel-Korea made some compilations of his deep and meaningful words, as follows:
- “Too many stars, too many dreams. The reality is that in front of these things, I’m just a speck of dust.”
- “Although youth can be beautiful, it can be short and wander off. Like a shadow, it has a reckless danger to it.”
- “If you want to love others, I think you should love yourself first.“
- “Popularity is a bubble. It’s a mountain: you can go up really hard but walk down really fast.”
- “Happiness is not something that you have to achieve. You can still be happy during the process of achieving something.“
- “I hope the tendency to belittle individuality or a person’s unique way of expression will change. I think how people do their hair or what they wear is up to their tastes.”
- “Even if you’re not perfect you’re limited edition.”
- “Your answers are also inside yourself. You just need to find them.”
- “When we don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, we always say, ‘Oh, I’m so lonely. I want a date,’ or something like that. But I think the biggest love we’re all searching for is the love for one’s self.”
- “Happiness is nowhere but anywhere.”
- “Haters: they will never be satisfied until they succeed to destroy us.”
Speech at UNICEF
On September 24th, 2018, BTS joined the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh and many other global, business, education, and youth leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. The occasion was to launch a new partnership to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030. BTS has become the first K-Pop group to speak at the United Nations. The inspiring speech was spoken by RM for over 6 minutes completely in English.
In his speech, there are things that can be emphasized. He first thanked the Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, and all the guests. He then introduced himself and explained a bit of BTS’ Love Myself campaign and the partnership with UNICEF’s program #ENDviolence and even mentioned the fans. He continued by telling his childhood story of dreaming to be a superhero, saving the world.
He mentioned the lyrics of their previous albums that talk about his heart stopping when he felt like he was none or ten. It was when he started to worry about what people thought of him and see himself through their eyes. “I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into molds that other people made.” He said that he shut himself up and started to listen to others’ voice. “So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts,” he said.
He then realized that music was the one who called him even though it took him a long time. He shared his feelings when he joined BTS and that many people thought they were hopeless back then. He admitted that he wanted to quit sometimes. He felt lucky he didn’t do that and now they have become artists that perform in huge stadiums and successfully sell millions of albums. However, he said that he is still an ordinary twenty-four-year-old guy and that he became successful because of his fellow BTS members and the support from ARMY.
He continued by saying he might have done many mistakes but yesterday’s him is still him just like today. Even the tomorrow’s him who may turn wiser is still him too. These past mistakes were the ones that became the brightest stars in the constellations of his life. “I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become,” he said.
As one last thing, he shared about how their Love Yourself albums and the Love Myself campaign have impacted and helped their fans around the world through their hardships in life. “So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to ‘speak yourself’.” He continued to give encouragement to ‘speak yourself’ and tell him stories no matter who we are, where we’re from, our skin color, gender identity.
He humbly stated his name once again, an artist from a small town in Korea. He admitted he has made mistakes and he had fears and now he started to embrace and love himself little by little. “What is your name? Speak Yourself!” he ended.
Here’s the full video of his speech at the United Nations.
After successfully releasing his first mixtape, RM, in 2015 (featuring many artists, like Wale, Warren G, Gaeko, Krizz Kaliko, MFBTY, and Primary), he released his second mixtape, Mono, on October 22nd, 2018. He then described it as a playlist rather than a mixtape. It contains seven tracks with collaborations in some of the tracks.
The second track, “Seoul,” was produced by the famous electronic music duo from London, HONNE. He also featured other artists, such as eAeon for the fourth track “Bad Bye” and Nell for the sixth track “Everythingoes.” He included his solo tracks, like “Tokyo,” “Moonchild,” “Uhgood,” and “Forever Rain.” The mixtape was ranked 6 on Billboard for The 20 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018: Critics’ Picks.
Big Hit Entertainment also released music videos for “Seoul” and “Forever Rain.”
And here are all the tracks in his mixtape.