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Rapper RM Lets the Monsters in His Head Roam Wild in Right Place, Wrong Person

Momentarily freeing himself of the burden of being BTS’ leader to find his true self, Kim Namjoon cracks down on what the world demands of him through this experimental, discordant stroke of genius

“I think everyone feels like this at least once. Whether they’re in an organization in society or this industry, or in families and teams. Am I the only one that’s strange here? Am I the wrong person? Because there are times when everything else seems to be going well, but you feel like you’re out of place.”

Right Place, Wrong Person | @bts.bighitofficial

So says Kim Namjoon aka RM on Mini & Moni Music, a short YouTube segment he filmed with fellow BTS member Jimin, where the two discuss what RM was going through when he ultimately decided to green light his third endeavor as a solo artist.

For about a year and three months, RM was at an impasse, struggling to find his footing with his military enlistment looming ahead, as well as other experiences he alluded to, but did not explicitly disclose. Working on Indigo did not grant the peace he had been starving for; he grew restless, and the itch to wander intensified. And so RM put some physical distance between himself and the other members, admitting to Jimin that he had to stop thinking about BTS to see himself for who he really is. 

“I love BTS because of our music, but if I kept caring about what everyone else thought, if I kept going like this, I just felt like I would want to die.” 

Grace came in the form of San Yawn of the group Balming Tiger, who invited RM as a featured artist for their single “Sexy Nukim” in 2022—a sort of Virgil to RM’s Dante, to reference Dante Alighieri’s classic “Inferno.” Intrigued by RM’s contradictory personality, San Yawn suggested that he sift through his turmoil and translate it into music: create a record of who he was at that moment in time. RM shelved his plans to enlist alongside j-hope and began to lay down the foundations for what would become ‘Right Place, Wrong Person’, teased to all of ARMYdom through what was revealed to be team RM’s Instagram account: @rpwprpwprpwp

And now, we all know what it stands for: Right Place, Wrong Person.

RM explores the grey areas of life by playing ping-pong with the ideas of what can be considered ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ throughout the 11-track record. Though the album is titled Right Place, Wrong Person, he emphasizes that the script can easily be flipped: that you can be the right person but the place you’re in is wrong, which often leads to feeling lost, hence the title track. “LOST!” is a quirky, catchy, disorienting little bop you’d love to loop in the background while cleaning your room or tearing through the claustrophobic hallways of your hypothetical place of employment, much like what RM and his other selves end up doing in the accompanying music video, which, alongside that of “Come back to me”, is a cinematic experience that deserves plenty of attention. But that’s a story for another day. 

RPWP must be listened to in order, from track one to track 11, with absolutely no skipping in between. The rapper revealed that we meet him at his angriest in the first three tracks: the mood setting “Right People, Wrong Place,” the disarmingly languid “Nuts,” and the lyrically in-your-face “out of love.” The end is a jarring segue into what is undoubtedly the most intriguing track of the album, “Domodachi” (feat. Little Simz). It’s odd and complex, and lush with layers of wordplay and instruments that neither the ear nor the mind can process at first listen. He allows himself a bit of a breather in “? (Interlude)” before getting back to business; though the heat comes down to a simmer as we go from “Groin” to “Heaven” and from “LOST!” to “Around the world in a day.” In "ㅠㅠ (Credit Roll),” he wonders, ever so briefly, if the listener is the type to remain in their seat and watch the credits roll, or vacate the theatre immediately to return to the real world.

“Everything is cyclical,” RM shares. “You wander to find stability, and when you find stability, you wander around again.” It all comes full circle in “Come back to me,” a reflective six-and-a-half minute track that closes out the album, but was also marketed as a pre-release. Our first taste of RPWP is what ends it all, and unless we stay after the credits, we don’t get to figure it out. Right Place, Wrong Person is Kim Namjoon’s ouroboros: his eternal cycle of destruction and rebirth laid out in the art form he is most well-versed in. 

Stream Right Place, Wrong Person on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you choose to listen to music. All RM quotes used in this story are from the Mini & Moni Music segment, which is available on YouTube. 

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