Okay, Billboard Hot 100! Okay #1 album, let’s go!
On February 21st, 2020, BTS released their fourth studio album (seventh if we’re counting EVERYTHING they’ve done in the past seven years or so), Map of the Soul: 7. The album is a dedication to the band itself and everything that has brought them to where they are today, both as individuals and as the group. It’s safe to say, there’s a lot of self-reflecting going on throughout the album.
I told myself that a week should give me enough time to pick my favorite tracks from this album, however, I am currently looking at the album on Spotify and wondering how I ended up in this predicament. I will try my best though. Here are my favorite tracks from Map of the Soul:7.
1) Inner Child
I cannot say that I’m an expert when it comes to film, but please try to tell me that this song doesn’t belong in a coming of age film. Actually, don’t tell me, I will definitely disagree with you if you say no. The song “Inner Child” is sung by V (Kim Taehyung), as he looks back on his own childhood and younger days. Current Taehyung is speaking to his younger self and acknowledging the struggles he has faced in the past, but also giving his younger self the hope that it will get better.
Often times, we cringe just thinking about our younger selves, whether it’s because of the way we used to behave, our music and style choices, or maybe even a very specific memory that is forever engraved in our minds that we simply cannot let go of. I will admit that I have not always been kind to my younger self, I’ve always been very critical and have found myself saying things like “why couldn’t you have been better?” or even “you were very insufferable,” but I also forget that there are things that child me went through and she didn’t receive the kindness she needed at the time.
2) My Time
Who is the youngest Korean singer who is number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100? Mr. Jeon Jungkook, who blesses our ears with his song “My Time.” A tiny bit of backstory on Jungkook, aside from the fact that he is the youngest member of the group, he was 13 when he joined the company BigHit Entertainment and about 15 or 16 when BTS themselves debuted. Jungkook acknowledges the overwhelming feeling of the passage of time since he joined the group, and how he himself has changed as he’s grown up.
Along with the passage of time, there’s also the fear of missing out on certain things in life, and there are also times where you question whether you made the right choice for yourself or not. Jungkook gives himself (past, present, and future) hope that he will have the opportunity to do those things, even if time seems fleeting.
Can I get a soulmate? Can I please get a soulmate? I remember when the album came out and it was like 4:30 AM, and I’m half awake and everyone is on Twitter yelling “Vmin soulmates!” “you are my soulmate!” and I was like “yeah, we knew that though”. So, you know, it felt like a regular day on Twitter.com. But then I heard the song and towards the end, I heard the shouts of “you are my soulmate!”. So, in conclusion, Jimin and Taehyung are soulmates.
The song “Friends” is sung by Taehyung and Jimin. Jimin also co-wrote and co-produced the song. Can I get a Prod.JIMIN, please? They sing to each other about their friendship, from the time they were in high school to how they are currently. The song consists of inside jokes and moments of the past, as well as promises that they will stick together and hold on to these memories as their story continues.
4) Outro: EGO
Alright, we’re gonna stop with the tears, because I’m in my feelings now and that’s not allowed. “Outro: EGO” is the second to last song on the album. Ego was the third comeback trailer that was released before the album itself. The beginning of this track takes us back to the beginning, “2 Cool 4 Skool,” the intro to their debut track from the mini-album, with the same title. J-Hope (Jung Hoseok), also does some reflecting from his fears during the debut and the anxiety of failure and doubt throughout his seven years with BTS.
However, if you notice (and it’s hard not to because it’s J-Hope and he never fails to bring some upbeat sounds to his songs), he soothes himself by reminding himself that all the choices he has made are his very own and that he shouldn’t have regrets. While reflecting back on those seven years of anxiety and doubt, he acknowledges the fact that he took those negative emotions and turned them himself into a symbol of hope. Not only for himself but for his members and the fanbase as well. (Okay, maybe I still am in my feelings.)
5) We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal
Welcome to feelings. I have many. This is the third to last track in the album and the one that made me cry at 4 A.M.. Thank you, BTS, for filling my crying quota for the day before the day even begins. Before the album came out and the tracklist was released, many fans speculated that this track was going to be absolutely insane, as the previous two “We Are Bulletproof pt. 1” and “We Are Bulletproof pt. 2” demonstrates their dedication to their work in a pretty hardcore way.
While “We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal” also demonstrates their dedication and work, it’s also a love letter to their fanbase, who have stuck with them through these years. Through times where they thought it wouldn’t work out, to dealing with the criticism of the media (both Korean and Western), the fanbase has stayed and grown. BTS acknowledges their struggles and question why their fanbase has stayed with them as long as they have but are also very grateful for this support. This song is sung by all seven members and Jungkook ends the song with “We are not seven, with you”. ← in case you wanted to cry some more
Honorary Mentions (because I am whipped for this album)
Another Billboard Hot 100 (I’m sorry my ARMY ego is through the roof at the moment) baby, Mr. Park Jimin shows everyone that he knows himself better than he lets on with the song “Filter.” Throughout the song, he makes statements such as “you can pick and choose me” and “which me do you want?” Jimin is a fun human being, I truly love him and I really love this song because he’s letting everyone else know that he is aware of the versatility he has, which demonstrates certain confidence that’s hard to have.
Moon! Moon! Moon! Kim Seokjin puts me right back in my feelings once again! Moon is Jin’s own love letter to the fanbase. He calls himself the moon and that he is always gazing at the Earth (the fanbase). He asks himself whether we see him and whether or not we will ever know his own anguishes, as while they can be very candid with the fanbase, there are still things they might never know. Jin promises us that he will orbit around us and stay by our side in order to be our light.
In conclusion, Kim Seokjin deserves the world, but perhaps we don’t deserve him.
I knew this was going to be a favorite just by the title but when I heard the first shot in the song, I knew. Rap line did that. The song “UGH!”, consists of RM (Kim Namjoon), SUGA (Min Yoongi), and J-Hope, as they call out the antis and media for all the annoying, hateful and derogatory messages they have given to BTS over the years and even currently. The song consists of wonderful onomatopoeia that I just love so much; nothing brings me more joy than that. They talk about their anger about the hate they’ve received over the years and even how often times they end up having to contain it. Basically, they are angry that other people are “angry” (aka just being hateful, and they cannot express that same anger because things would go poorly for everyone involved).
Picking favorite tracks was difficult because no matter how many times I listened to the album, I ended up liking all of the songs and forgetting which were my favorites. They all tell their own story and it’s hard to pick a favorite story. Even if you’re not into K-pop, I would recommend listening to their stories.
*also stream ON!!!
You can listen to their album on Spotify:
And Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/map-of-the-soul-7/1499290546