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BTS performing at the 2021 Grammy Awards
BTS performing at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Photo by Cliff Lipson / CBS
Culture > Entertainment

A Look Into “Paradise” by BTS

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

BTS, or 방탄소년단, is no longer a band that passes unnoticed. After their recent rise to fame with their hit English songs, BTS have become a renown, worldwide band. 

BTS has been an active K-Pop group from South Korea since their debut on June 13, 2013. Some of its band members have had musical experience before their debut and several have released multiple solo albums over the course of their nine, soon to be ten-year career. Their discography, of ample creative liberty and involvement, deals with themes of love, loss, youth, mental health, coming of age, among many other topics. Therefore it comes as no surprise that BTS’ lyrics have deep symbolism and meanings to dissect, and Paradise, or 낙원, is no exception. Paradise has been the subject of attention for ARMY, the name for BTS’ fans, for many years because it is one of the very few songs that the group has never performed live despite its popularity amongst the fans.

Kim Namjoon or RM, the band’s leader and one of the members with the most writing and producing credits among the group’s songs, used to host lives after the releases of their albums and speak about the creative process that went into them. In the live for the Love Yourself: Tear album, starting from 22:35, he speaks directly about the inspirations behind the song Paradise. RM says that the words “love” and “dream” are of great significance with a variety of definitions but also of very specific connotations. During this same live video, he also discussed how in the albums during the Love Yourself era, they explore the ugly side of love because of the thought that people perceive love as this exclusively beautiful and happy feeling, when in reality that’s not necessarily the whole picture. Paradise follows a similar thought process in regards to dreams. Capitalistic societies push the norm that you need to run the race towards a dream, a goal, or Paradise. However, as BTS state in the lyrics, we are not taught to dream, but rather thrust into the race regardless of the aim; running towards an unknown future and ignoring the present.


The song’s pre-chorus and chorus state the previous, while the verses performed by RM, SUGA, and J-Hope, delve into individual perspectives. RM’s verse starts by establishing how often a dream becomes a burden because we do not know what dream it is we are running towards or whether we are running towards someone else’s dream. RM’s verse’s point becomes: “It’s okay to have different names to your dream,” that is, it’s okay to have small or different dreams than what is expected, like buying a new laptop or having a good meal. “We deserve a life // Whether it’s big or small, you’re still just you,” whether your dream is big or small, whether you have one or not, the important thing is to be happy.

SUGA’s verse explores what it feels to not have or want to have a dream: “Sometimes I’m scared to dream.” He expresses the pressure of finding a dream, achieving it, completing it, and starting over again. He says: “Just to live like this // and to survive like this, that’s a small dream for me.” However, he ends his verse by saying how the world, society, curses at him i.e., berates him for this sentiment.

Finally, J-Hope’s verse picks up with words of encouragement and support: “The world has no right to curse at me” because it has not taught us how to dream. His comfort and support wakes you up from the dream that has transformed into a nightmare and was causing you pain, and brings you into the real paradise: life, happiness, and the freedom to choose whether or not to have a dream and which one you’d like to run for.  

Through their wonderfully crafted lyrics and heavenly voices, BTS urges the listener to “stop runnin’ for nothin’” and encourages us to seek the real paradise, which isn’t achieving the dream that society has dictated for you to achieve but rather the simplicity and beauty of life.

Zaidi Gonzalez is the Editor-in-Chief and a Co-Campus Correspondent at the Her Campus at UPRRP Chapter. They edit everything but they’re partial to anything entertainment, especially books. Aside from Her Campus, Zaidi makes sure to be available as an editor and proofreader to their peers and family. Their courses at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus have been focused on improving their understanding of literature, grammar, and the English language. They’re in the process of a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and hope to extend their studies into the Linguistics discipline. Zaidi enjoys reading anything fiction, from fantasy to horror to fan made. When they’re not reading or deciding what to read next, they might be starting that new show they were recommended. Or maybe they’re realizing they have a deadline to meet in two days while they’re in the middle of a 100k word fan-fiction that simply can not be put down.