The BTS Army is about to have a field day. BTS’ new album Map of the Soul: Persona is right around the corner, and the K-pop boy band is finally giving us first glimpse of the highly anticipated record. On Wednesday, March 27, BTS unveiled a Map of the Soul: Persona “comeback trailer,” which revealed the first new song to be released from the record. And, if it’s any indication of the rest of the album, fans can expect the band to get deep.
The new clip gives fans a first listen at the album’s intro single “Persona,” a propulsive rap banger that serves as a solo showcase for band leader RM. The trailer is essentially an elaborate music video, featuring the blonde singer spitting his rapid-fire verses across a variety of bold set-ups, including a graffiti-covered classroom and a presidential podium flanked by an army of virtual admirers.
On the song, RM addresses aspects of his personal life, rapping about his past controversies (he's been accused of plagiarism in the past, per Newsweek) and posing questions about his identity, in keeping with the album’s title. “Persona / Who the hell am I? / I just wanna go, I just wanna fly / I just wanna give you all the voices till I die / I just wanna give you all the shoulders when you cry,” he raps on the song’s chorus.
Map of the Soul: Persona, due out on April 12, is just the latest development in a major streak of historic success for BTS. The new album marks the start of a new series of records, following the conclusion of their Love Yourself trilogy. Two albums in their Love Yourself trilogy went to number one on the Billboard 200, making them the first K-pop act to land an album on the top spot, yet alone two. The group is set to perform on Saturday Night Live on April 13, and there’s even a line of BTS dolls in the works, because of course there is.
But these boys aren’t willing to settle. The band hopes to land a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100, but they know the uphill battle that lies ahead, and refuse to compromise on their artistry to achieve their goals. “It [a song that goes number one] will have to be a great song,” Suga told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview with the band. “But also there’s a whole strategy that’s associated with getting all the way up. And then there has to be a measure of luck, obviously. So what’s important for us is just to make good music and good performances and have those elements come together.”
“I don’t want to compare, but I think it’s even harder as an Asian group,” RM said to EW. “A Hot 100 and a Grammy nomination, these are our goals. But they’re just goals — we don’t want to change our identity or our genuineness to get the number one." One change they're definitely not interested in making: switching to singing exclusively in English. "Like if we sing suddenly in full English, and change all these other things, then that’s not BTS," RM continued. "We’ll do everything, we’ll try. But if we couldn’t get number one or number five, that’s okay.”
If anyone can break this barrier and make BTS the first K-Pop band to reach number one on the Hot 100, it's BTS and the BTS Army. Maybe a song from Map of the Soul: Persona will be the one to finally make it.