K-Pop Songs: A – Always by Rap Monster

I may as well say this at the start of this series: the amount of love I have for everything BTS is indescribable and I’ll go out on a limb and say that if I had it my way, there’d be a BTS song for every letter of the alphabet. But that defeats the purpose of why I’m doing this in the first place. In saying this though, there are a few BTS song in this series, just know that I really did try.

ARTIST: Rap Monster (BTS)

ALBUM: BTS SoundCloud

This song was released on the BTS SoundCloud account on January 1 2017, maybe as a new years gift for his fans. While Rap Monster is obviously known for his rapping talent he is a talented vocalist as well.

The song starts off with suspenseful chords before slowly introducing a basic piano melody. Once his voice kicks in a simplistic 3-beat bass kicks in. You can clearly tell that his voice has been altered – maybe he didn’t feel confident with his vocals just by themselves but for some reason it makes his voice and the haunting music melt in to one. Once the chorus hits, his vocals are almost entirely by themselves without any kind of musicality in the background except for the haunting sounds heard at the very start. As he starts singing the chorus while singing “Always” he goes into his higher register before the music kicks back in, this time covered with synth effects.

As I mentioned above, this song was almost like a gift from him for new years but when I found out what the translation was… well, let’s just say I was upset.

One morning, I opened my eyes
And wished I was dead
I want someone to kill me
In this loud silence
I live to understand the world
But the world has never understood me, why
No, that half is missing
It’s trying to hurt me
I miss me miss me baby
I miss me miss me baby
I wish me I wish me baby
Wish I could choose me

If I ever meet God, I would tell him this
That life is coffee that I never ordered
I would grab him by the collar and tell him
Death is an americano you can’t refill
Are you sure that you’re alive
Then, let’s prove it somehow
When I exhale, I see my breath
On the window, there’s condensation
You are dead
You are dad, but you are dead
Dead dad you don’t listen to me
Dad please listen to me

If that wasn’t enough to make me cry my eyes out I went online and found an interview with him about the song.

When I wrote the song, I decided not to release the song. I thought the status described in the lyrics would go forever. So, (I’m) blaming others. Not others, but the world. I thought my status would be the same and I would not release the song. The reason why I released this song is because I no longer feel like the one (the character) in the lyrics. That’s why I was able to release the song. Many fans felt sad about it. However, by releasing the song, it was like saying bye to myself. To myself who had been sad in 2016 and 2015. That’s how I felt.

… After a series of the incidents that were ugly, I had a lot of thoughts. I did, in the beginning, when others talked about me in a criticizing way, rather, when others gave me unfavorable feedbacks or advice. It could be criticism, it could be condemnation. When I heard so, I felt like this in the beginning, “Why? I did it for a reason” Because I thought I have been like this. I thought I’ve never caused any trouble or inconvenience to others. I’ve never thought that way. Because I studied hard when I was young, I worked hard on music, I performed hard. I liked playing games. That’s what consisted of my life. At school, I was an obedient student, I did well at school so teachers liked me. I never fought with classmates and I was around with friends. I’ve never thought that my behaviors or my music or words could hurt others or inconvenience toward others. I never thought about it that way.

As I went through the year of 2016, I came to think about that. My words or my behaviors, regardless of my intentions, could cause troubles and hurt others’ feelings. In the process, I thought I need to hold responsibility for that and I need to think about such things. What I said or did would not be undone, I thought so. Then I learned how to admit myself. It was hard to admit that I could hurt others’ feelings. It took a long time. It was hard because I’ve never felt that way. Now, I feel much better about my feelings and emotions. Now, when I hear something about me, even if it’s criticism or condemnation, I am able to think about what made them say so. “What did I do wrong? What did I cause others to feel uncomfortable? What made them criticize me?” I am now able to think like that. For now, I can’t talk about what was changed in detail. Still, I may have another chance to talk about it later.

That’s why I was able to release “Always”. The lyrics are very defensive. I wrote the lyrics a year ago or so when I felt stressed. I am now able to release it because I no longer feel that way.

– excerpt from Rap Monsters V Live broadcast “RM’s Hello 2017”

As you can imagine, reading lyrics like this and then words straight from one of your favourite idols mouth can be hard to handle. My initial love for this song was only amplified by the sentimentality and importance of it – my description towards every BTS song.

Yes, the emotive and sentimentality of this song is enough to mess someone up but my initial attraction to this song was the vocals provided by someone who raps. For a living. He raps for a living yet he’s out here singing an entire song about a dark time in his past. If that’s not enough to support him, regardless if you’re a fan or not, then I don’t know what will. Watch the fan made MV below and show your support and celebration for this young man’s light at the end of the tunnel.

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