Jimin just proved that he’s a true all-around performer by releasing his pre-release single “Set Me Free Pt. 2” on March 17, prior to the release of his highly anticipated solo debut with the mini-album Face. The song emphasizes Jimin’s desire for freedom, and the ability to metaphorically set himself free.
Many fans speculated that “Set Me Free Pt. 2” was a possible nod to fellow band member Suga and his track “Interlude: Set Me Free” from his 2020 mixtape, D-2. Jimin acknowledged the similarities between the two tracks and confirmed that Suga’s release was a form of inspiration in an interview with Consequence, saying, “There isn’t a connection, and we weren’t trying to divide part one or part two. But since it turns out my song talks about freedom and moving forward, and SUGA’s song talks about some of the stories that come before, I thought it would be good to come after that.”
The similarities in names were not the only type of comparisons discovered in Jimin’s “Set me Free Pt. 2,” however. Fans noticed that there could also be an underlying meaning and connection to another BTS music video: “ON.”
JIMIN MENTIONed “ON” WHEN EXPLAINING THE MEANING OF “SET ME FREE PT. 2.”
In the same Consequence interview, Jimin discussed how he wanted to portray freeing himself and overcoming the constraints and fear that were holding him back, saying, “‘Set me free’ means setting myself free, so I thought it was important that I be the one to set myself free — not someone else. In the end, I’m the one who has to set myself free,” he shared. “There is a song called ‘ON’ by BTS. I think you can feel the same vibe watching the ‘ON’ performance as you will watching this performance. You’ll feel that feeling once again.”
“ON” was different from previous BTS music videos; called a “kinetic manifesto film,” it focused entirely on the choreography and performance of the song. The members were almost engulfed by the other performers in the choreography, and the dancers’ moves also helped with the progression of the lyrics in the storyline BTS was attempting to convey. The inclusion of a marching band in the performance raised the intensity and demonstrated the power of attempting to break free from one’s hypothetical shadow in the song’s lyrics, or more specifically, BTS overcoming their past selves.
The concept of breaking free from one’s shadow is also highlighted in Jimin’s release of “Set Me Free Pt. 2.” The dancers began by circling around Jimin while he walks aimlessly in the middle. As the song progresses, the dancers form a spiral into which Jimin walks while singing the verse, “I’m standing at the edge/Not yet, Not yet/I won’t look back,” before he breaks the spiral with the line “Fly away, butterfly,” implying that Jimin will continue to move forward while leaving his past behind him.
“ON” AND “SET ME FREE PT. 2” BOTH express a fight AGAINST a PAST SELF.
The idea of becoming a better version of yourself than you were before has been a major theme for BTS as their career has reached new heights. “ON” discusses their evolution and growth over the years, as well as their initial fear as artists when they first started out, not knowing where the future would take them.
“Look at my feet, look down/The shadow resembles me/Is it the shadow that’s shaking/Or is it my feet that’s trembling,” one lyric rapped by RM says. According to a Seventeen article breaking down the meaning found within the song’s lyrics, the verse represents BTS’ initial fear of failure in the past, which continues to haunt them in the present despite all of their wins and successes. In the end, it’s up to the members to keep pushing forward and moving.
With the “Set Me Free Pt. 2” lyric “Look at me now (Me now)/I won’t hide anymore, even if it hurts/Going insane to stay sane/Raise your hands for the past me,” Jimin plays with the idea of moving forward and leaving his past behind. The verse illustrates Jimin’s desire to fully embrace himself and to be completely expressive of who he is, even if it means facing criticism. The final section of the verse demonstrates his acknowledgment and appreciation for the past.
JIMIN INCLUDES A DIRECT LYRIC FROM “ON” IN “Set Me Free Pt. 2.”
The line “Going insane to stay sane” from Jimin’s release is also a direct quote from “ON.” “Gotta go insane to stay sane/Throw myself whole into both worlds/Can’t hold me down ‘cuz you know I’m a fighter/Carried myself into this beautiful prison/Find me and I’m going to live with ya,” the verse in “ON” says.
It’s also worth noting the slight difference in the lyric parallels: “ON” says “gotta go” while “Set me Free Pt. 2” says “going”; the shift from future to present may reflect Jimin’s current journey of discovering himself and becoming brave in order to keep himself “sane.”
Fans immediately recognized the line connections and overall similarities from “ON” and jumped right into their own theories and opinions about the two stories.