From his trainee days to his current status as the leader of BTS, Kim Namjoon AKA RM has always made powerful statements and never refrained from sharing his vision, aspirations, and dreams with the rest of us.
Be it through lyrics, interviews, speeches, or live sessions, the bulletproof rapper earnestly brought us comfort, confidence, and courage through his spoken words.
Voicing his thoughts ever so vividly, here are eight times RM shared his life philosophy.
1. On the pursuit of happiness
“Happiness is not something that you have to achieve. You can still be happy during the process of achieving something. So if you change your perspective a little bit, I know many people are going through tough times right now, but this moment could be the most beautiful moment of our lives.”
From the 2015 “HYYH On Stage” Concert in Seoul.
2. On emotional and intellectual growth
“A teacher told me that in your twenties if you have so many thoughts, that’s like branches in a tree. If my brain is a tree, there are so many branches: there’s sadness, there’s desperation, devastation, there’s happiness, hope, everything. But when you get old, it gets cut and when it gets some shape of a tree, we have to feel pain and we have to experience many things. […] If you’ve got so many branches in your twenties, and you feel sad and sometimes get lost, some day, you will finally be a really beautiful tree in your thirties and forties. […] Sometimes, I meet good and cool old people, they’ve got the attitude like they’ve experienced so many things, so maybe we can one day have that.”
From RM’s solo live session on V Live. (Starting at 27:02)
3. On seizing opportunities
“What’s wrong with the life of a passenger
If somebody gotta lead, then I’mma be the messenger
I’m just too young, don’t know what to believe in
But too young, you know, not to be living
I will stay, I will wait, and I’ll fight like a king
Even though I can forever ever be a king
I will marry this goddamn world, by my own
And put myself on a goddamn ring”
From Fall Out Boy’s “Champion” remix featuring RM.
4. On outgrowing the pain
“It’s alright, even if it’s not us
Even if sadness erases me
Even if there are clouds
Even if I’m in an endless dream
Even if I’m endlessly crumpled
Even if my wings are torn
Even if some day, I’m not me anymore
It’s alright, only I am my own salvation
I won’t ever die in this walk
How you doin’? I’m fine
My sky is clear
All pain, say goodbye”
From BTS’s “I’m Fine” from their latest album “Love Yourself: Answer.”
5. On healing through music
“We want to and have to talk about what’s inside us and we want to be helpful to the world and we want to say, speak and show something that this world needs. […] Life is supposed to be very ironic and unstable, and in teenage years and twenties, it’s really more and more, like we doubt ourselves. Sometimes we want to live, sometimes we want to die. It changes day to day, or even hour to hour. So music and artist for healing is kind of like a big wide slogan including all of the slogans we had. We wanted to talk (about) what’s inside and we wanted to help our friends in the world.”
From the Grammy Museum conversation with BTS. (Starting at 8:50)
6. On encouraging youth to speak their minds
“I urge you to speak yourself. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice. I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you are from, your skin color, your gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself. […] Like most people, I’ve made many and plenty mistakes in my life. I have many faults, and I have many more fears, but I’m gonna embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself gradually just little by little. What is your name? Speak yourself.”
From the BTS speech at the United Nations as part of Youth 2030: The UN Youth Strategy.
7. On learning to love oneself
“Loving myself is my whole life goal until my death. And what is loving myself? What is loving yourself? I don’t know. Who can define their own method and the way of loving myself? It’s our mission to define our way to love ourselves. It’s never intended, but it feels like I’m using you guys to love myself, so I want to say one thing: please, please use me, please use BTS to love yourself because you guys taught me how to love myself everyday.”
From the 2018 “Love Yourself” World Tour concert in Citi Field.
8. On life’s ups and downs
“I left, but can never get to leave once,
You say you wanna die but live it much harder,
You say you wanna let go but put on another weight,
Thinking of not thinking at all is still thinking, you know
Actually this is our destiny, you know
Smiling in endless pain, you know
There is no freedom when you say freedom out loud, you know”
From RM’s “Moonchild” from his second mixtape “Mono.”
Which piece of RM’s mind speaks to you the most? Let us know in the comments below!
Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.