Open main menu

"Intro: Persona", also known as "Persona", is a song by South Korean boy band BTS, rapped as a solo by member RM. It was released digitally on April 12, 2019, as part of the extended play Map of the Soul: Persona.

"Intro: Persona"
Song by BTS
from the album Map of the Soul: Persona
LanguageKorean
ReleasedApril 12, 2019 (2019-04-12)
Format
Genre
Length2:54
LabelBig Hit

Background and releaseEdit

The song was used as a comeback trailer for the album Map of the Soul: Persona. The music video was released March 27, 2019 with it slated to be released digitally on April 12, 2019.[1]

During a press release, Big Hit Entertainment called the comeback trailer a taste of what the upcoming album would sound like.[2]

PromotionEdit

Big Hit promoted the song in a tweet upon release. There are plans to also promote the song, along with the album, on the upcoming Speak Yourself tour.[3]

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by Choi Yong-seok and co-directed by Guzza of Lumpens. Yoon Ji-hye and Park Hye-jeong, also from Lumpens, were the assistant directors, and Nam Hyun-woo of GDW was the Director of Photography. The Art Directors were Park Jin-sil Park and Kim Bo-na while the art assistant team was Ahn Ye-min and Kim Gyu-hee. The Gaffer was Song Hyun-suk of Real Lighting and Artist Management was Kim Shin-gyu, Kim Se-in, Kim Dae-young, Kim Su-bin, Bang Min-wook, Lee Jung-min, An Da-sol, and Park Jun-tae. The Visual Creative team was Kim Sung Hyun, Lee Sun-kyoung, Kim Ga-eun, and Lee Hye-ri.[4]

The video references various visuals and sounds from their "Skool Luv Affair" concept they had in 2014.[5] Throughout it RM can be seen rapping in an empty classroom and addressing a squadron of cyborgs.[6] RM is confronted with various versions of himself with words such as "persona," "shadow," and "ego" which references Carl Jung's theories of psychology. In the song he rapped, "My shadow, I wrote and called it 'hesitation.'" According to Jung's theories, a "shadow" represents the dark side of one's personality. RM appears to start rapping from the perspective of his shadow, telling his flaws over the beat of a guitar. But RM also finds power in reclaiming these insecurities.[7] Additionally, he wears a jacket that has emblemed on it, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” which could reference Jung's teachings about having two versions of oneself: the person who everyone sees, and the person behind the curtain that is hidden.[8]

The robots pictured in the music video were made by 3D Humanoid and the CGI RM was made through motion capture.[9] The video reached five million views in seven hours.[10]

Composition and lyricsEdit

The song is in the hip hop and trap genre, and features guitar. It also samples the song "Intro: Skool Luv Affair" from the 2014 EP of the same name.[9]

The first half of the song's lyrics ask introspective questions about RM's existence and flaws, while the second half encourages him to embrace these qualities. The phrasing is similar to that of a diary entry.[11] RM also mentions past controversies in the lyrics of "Persona",[12] rapping “Three syllables of my name, and the word ‘but’ that should come before any of those”.[note 1] The words "But Namjoon" (RM's birth name) have been used by some fans in K-pop circles to direct criticism away from another artist and instead focus it on RM. According to Kelly Wynne of Newsweek, "the action of taking back 'but Namjoon' [...] can be compared to other artists using hateful speech against them to their own creative advantage", such as Taylor Swift reclaiming the snake emoji and using it as a symbol of personal power.[13] Wynne also called the song an, "outright analysis into definition of self", imposing questions of oneself upon listeners also.[14]

ReceptionEdit

Natalie Morin of Refinery29 called the song colorful and dynamic,[15] while Kelly Wynne from Newsweek said the track was a "fitting opener" for the album and that it was "bold and confident.[16]

ChartsEdit

Chart (2019) Peak
position
Hungary (Single Top 40)[17] 22
Malaysia (RIM)[18] 14
Philippines (PARI)[19] 8
South Korea (Gaon)[20] 34
UK Independent Singles[21] 17

NotesEdit

  1. ^ These original lines are in Korean. The Hangul is as follows: "이 시간에 원래 질문에 대해 생각할 때마다 / 내 이름과 그 앞에 형용사". The translation is taken from the listed Newsweek source.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rowley, Glenn (March 27, 2019). "BTS A.R.M.Y. Reacts to 'Map Of The Soul: Persona' Trailer: 'A Masterpiece'". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Boyle, Kellie (March 27, 2019). "This Video Of BTS' RM's 'Map Of The Soul: Persona' Comeback Trailer Has ARMYs Flipping Out". Elite Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Martin, Annie (March 27, 2019). "BTS shares 'Map of the Soul: Persona' trailer starring RM". UPI. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "BTS (방탄소년단) MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA 'Persona' Comeback Trailer" (in English and Korean). ibighit. March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Kelley, Caitlin (March 29, 2019). "BTS Revisit Earlier Days In Comeback Trailer For 'Persona'". Forbes. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  6. ^ Maicki, Salvatore (March 27, 2019). "RM raps to a squadron of dancing cyborgs in trailer for BTS's new album 'Map of the Soul: Persona'". Fader. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Bell, Crystal (March 27, 2019). "BTS' RM RECLAIMS HIS NARRATIVE IN SCORCHING MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA ALBUM TEASER". MTV. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  8. ^ Mylrea, Hannah (March 31, 2019). "All the fan theories about BTS' new album 'Map of the Soul: Persona'". NME. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "방탄소년단 컴백 트레일러, 팬들 홀리는 RM의 래핑". Naver (in Korean). Newsen. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  10. ^ "BTS' new trailer draws more than 5 mln views in 7 hrs". Yonhap News. March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  11. ^ "BTS: Watch: Korean septet group embrace their 'Persona' with feisty introduction track". Bangalore Mirror. March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  12. ^ Aquilina, Tyler (March 27, 2019). "BTS release music video trailer for Map of the Soul: Persona album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  13. ^ Wynne, Kelly (March 27, 2019). "BTS 'MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA' TRAILER DROPS SPICY 'BUT NAMJOON' LINE". Newsweek. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  14. ^ Wynne, Kelly (April 8, 2019). "Who Is Dionysus? BTS Fans Predict Album Content After 'Map of the Soul: Persona' Give Greek God Name". Newsweek. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  15. ^ Morin, Natalie (March 27, 2019). "BTS' RM Literally Spits Fire & Drops Clues In New Map of the Soul: Persona Teaser". Refinery29. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Wynne, Kelly (April 12, 2019). "Every Song on BTS' New Album, 'Map of the Soul: Persona,' Ranked". newsweek. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  17. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "Top 20 Most Streamed International & Domestic Singles In Malaysia" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Malaysia. Recording Industry Association of Malaysia. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  19. ^ "Top 30 Singles Chart Philippines". Musicweekly.asia. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Digital Chart – Week 16 of 2019". Gaon Chart (in Korean). Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  21. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". officialcharts.com. Retrieved April 20, 2019.