After months of anticipation, South Korean superstars BTS — who obviously have no regard for anyone's productivity or blood pressure — finally gave fans a taste of what’s to come in their forthcoming album, Map of the Soul: Persona. The teaser reveals the album's first track, "Persona" — a colourful, dynamic song delivered by none other than RM, the band’s leader and main rapper.
This opening track samples BTS' 2014 song "Intro: Skool Luv Affair" and features the same animated intro in the visual, nodding to the band's coming-of-age and self-discovery themes that run through much of the initial work they produced following their 2013 debut. But while "Persona" certainly flexes BTS' growth and maturity since then — Rap Monster is now RM, and the band has certainly graduated since 2 Cool 4 Skool — it also makes a point to acknowledge that even in adulthood, many of our same struggles with self-perception and identity persist.
"The 'me' that I want myself to be/ The 'me' that people want me to be/ The 'me' that you love/ And the 'me' that I create/ The 'me' that's smiling/ The 'me' that's sometimes in tears/[...] Persona,” raps RM in the final verse.
The song — and likely, the album as a whole — is inspired by Carl Jung's theories of psychology, in which "persona" is an archetype of the human mind that deals with public image, or who we present ourselves to the world.
ARMY (BTS's fandom name), who are the world's best detectives, have already produced very robust theories as to what the next Map of the Soul era will bring. And now that they've gotten a glimpse of Map of the Soul: Persona, they've already begun stringing together more clues.
After taking a closer look at the chalkboard in the background of the "Persona" trailer, ARMY is much more convinced of the fact that, like the Love Yourself series, Map of the Soul will be a trilogy, and the next two albums will be called Shadow and Ego (also Jung archetypes). But there were three new words on the board lined up near them, which may be names of key tracks from each new album: "Dream," "Love," and "Happiness."
I was looking at the things written on the board and this quote caught my attention. This quote is from Carl Jung a famous psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. His model of the psyche had 9 concepts and PERSONA was one of them #MAP_OF_SOUL_PERSONA pic.twitter.com/Z7rdDhBdfY— 𝒦𝒾𝓈𝓈𝒶 (@gucciqueenkissa) March 27, 2019
Additionally, ARMY has synthesized some of RM's lyrics in "Persona."
"돼지에게 진주목걸이"— Jayelle_Kdiamond (@JL_Kdiamond) March 27, 2019
Literal words: Pearl necklace on a pig
Proverb: Casting pearls before swine
=to offer something valuable/good to someone who doesn't know its value.
RM saying he hasn't figured out himself yet others put their own values on him.#RM #BTS #PERSONA @BTS_twt pic.twitter.com/1G6bWVjNm8
In Korea, when people say to look at the big picture, they say "look at the forest".— Jayelle_Kdiamond (@JL_Kdiamond) March 27, 2019
When they want to say to value small things, they say "look at the wild flower".
RM talking about people telling him what to do comparing two different point of view.#RM #PERSONA #BTS @BTS_twt pic.twitter.com/itZXFPnvE5
And they've pointed out some of the visual's callbacks to BTS' previous work, proving the theories that BTS are always planning years ahead and that ARMY just don't blink.
Map of the Soul: Persona is due to release on April 12, and BTS will be playing SNL (and potentially showcasing their new music) the following day.