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PERSONA Comeback Trailer Breaks the Internet

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PERSONA Comeback Trailer Breaks the Internet: Opinion, Theory, and Speculation

BigHit dropped the Map of the Soul: PERSONA “Persona” Comeback Trailer today and thirsty fans everywhere were refreshed with the first sips of the upcoming music.


BTS (방탄소년단) MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA ‘Persona’ Comeback Trailer

The video, which broke 2.5 million views in less than 5 hours (and many more by the time this article is posted), features BTS member and leader RM in a powerful rap. The question “Who am I?” is one of life’s greatest questions and the issue of identity is a popular topic in music. So what makes this song different? RM pushes this question further by exploring where certain aspects of his personality come from and how it affects him.

My shadow, I wrote and called it ‘hesitation’

It has never hesitated after becoming that

It keeps appearing under the stage or the light

Keeps glaring at me scorching like a heat wave”


BTS (방탄소년단) MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA ‘Persona’ Comeback Trailer

He also ventures into self-questioning and self-doubt, taking into consideration that when they first started, he was just happy people were listening to their music but it created insecurities.

Someone like me ain’t good enough for music

Someone like me ain’t good enough for the truth

Someone like me ain’t good enough for a calling

Someone like me ain’t good enough to be a muse

The flaws of mine that I know, maybe that’s all I’ve got really”


BTS (방탄소년단) MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA ‘Persona’ Comeback Trailer

In the past RM has had various scandals such as plagiarism and racist remarks. Many kpop fans still hold these against him and bring it up from time to time using the term “But Namjoon” when another idol makes a mistake. He references this to show that he has overcome these past missteps – basically saying these things are no longer relevant, yet you keep bring them up again and again. The public can call him anything they want and make him whatever they want. He has no control over how the world sees him. He has no control over people who will continue to see him but he’s showing that he’s moving on.

Photo Source: BTS (방탄소년단) MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA ‘Persona’ Comeback Trailer

The song then transitions from “Who am I?” to “Let me tell you who I am” and it gives a sense recognizing thoughts and feelings as his own and embracing them rather than hiding.

Yeah maybe I have been deceiving myself, maybe I’ve been lying

But I’m not embarrassed anymore this is the map of my soul.”


BTS (방탄소년단) MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA ‘Persona’ Comeback Trailer

Not only are the lyrics and delivery powerful, the video itself sends a clear message that RM (and BTS as a whole) has figured out who they are and they are going to show us on this next album. To someone outside the fandom, they may think that the links between songs, videos, and performance is “neat” but ARMY everywhere are searching for clues to the overarching Bangtan Universe. BTS has been dropping clues about PERSONA since the very beginning in lyrics to other songs, numbers and messages in videos, and even in their wardrobe, and this new video is no different.

Photo Source: BTS0715

From the perspective of the viewer, the video seems to broken into three main parts.

Part 1:

The video opens with hints directly in your face by re-using the cartoon imagery from “Intro: Skool Luv Affair” as representation of where they’ve come from. The fact that the whole scene takes place in a classroom is another call back to the days of “N.O” and “Boy in Luv.” The details on the chalk board give insight to the new music and the new direction that the group is heading. PERSONA, SHADOW, and EGO (all part of Jung’s Model of the Psyche) could be letting us know that there might be more than one album in this Map of the Soul series, especially if they follow their previous format from Love Yourself: Her, Tear, and Answer. The words dream, love, and happiness are also on the board in multiple places, and always in that order. There are also details that, without a magnifying glass, are not clear at this time and we may have to wait on more hints to come.

Part 2:

During this part there are scenes where he is in front of a mirror with many versions or “animus” of himself behind him. We have seen this imagery in their videos before where the glass is shattered, but here it is whole – demonstrating the acceptance of his true self. The classroom also changes during this part to a room full of graffiti, likely an extension of the artwork on the chalkboard, and the chairs are also in disarray. This could be representative of insecurities and the chaos those insecurities cause. The introduction of the cartoon effects and more unrealistic like scenes begins when RM says the line “I dreamt of becoming a superhero.” So this could potentially show a shift in reality to a more dream like state – this is also where he begins opening up about his “shadow.” The large animated RM could be a representation of his shadow, as his shadow could be made up of all the insecurities he just listed in the song and according to Jung’s theory, “can appear in dreams or visions and take many forms.” (verywellmind.com) One could also say the size of the animated character and the shadow would match, since a shadow is so much bigger and a looming figure.

Photo Source: verywellmind.com

Part 3:

The last part of the video touches on his role as the leader and further moves from “Who am I?” to “Let me tell you who I am,” or “the ‘me’ that I want myself to be.” The imagery shows him standing in his position of power and offering what he can to the masses. It could be argued that the crowd want different things from him. One group is the men in suits, maybe executives, business leaders, political representatives, to whom he seems to be saying, ‘this is me, like it or not.” And the other crowd could be considered fans, ARMY, with all their own issues and struggles being exposed and he is offering to give them a voice and a shoulder to cry on.

This article is purely opinion and speculation, and there are many, many more ideas. The world BTS is only going to continue to grow in its creativity. All we can do is hold on and enjoy the ride! What are some of your opinions on the hints and theory of PERSONA? Leave a comment below!

Sources:

  • Sami’s (B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Counseling) opinion on BTS and Jung’s theory.
  • Lila’s amazing memory and knowledge of BST history (thank you girl!)
  • Very Well Mind.Com “The 4 Major Jungian Archetypes”
    https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-jungs-4-major-archetypes-2795439

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