Kim Nam-Joon, aka RM (formerly known as Rap Monster Korean; born October 12, 1994), is a rapper, singer, and record producer from South Korea. He is the frontman for the BTS boy band out of South Korea. RM’s debut self-titled mixtape dropped in 2015. His second mixtape titled Mono was published in 2018 and it quickly became the greatest record by a Korean solo in the history of the US Billboard 200. He has worked with famous musicians like Wale, Younha, Warren G, Gaeko, Contact Kaliko, MFBTY, Fall Out Boy, Prima, and Lil Nas X.
Growing up and schooling
Originally from the Dongjak District of Seoul, South Korea, Kim Nam-Joon relocated with his family to the Ilsan District of Goyang when he was four or five years old.
He is the older sibling of his younger sister.
RM’s mother helped him learn English when he was young. One way she did this was by letting him watch the American comedy Friends. He was a prolific poet in school, receiving several awards for his efforts. For over a year, he had some success posting poems to a website dedicated to that genre. Therefore, RM considered becoming a writer but ultimately decided against it. He spent four months at school in New Zealand when he was twelve. RM rapping BTS was first exposed to hip-hop by Epik High’s “Fly” when he was 11 and in fifth grade. RM was smitten.
He realized the song’s soothing effect and wanted to investigate the style further. RM’s interest in lyricism began after a tutor played him some of Eminem’s songs. He sent printed copies of song lyrics he deemed “cool” to his social circle. RM started creating songs around that period, declaring that the merging of his poetry and music transformed the verse into lyrics.
As a first-year middle schooler in 2007, he began rapping in local amateur hip-hop circles, eventually producing his first self-composed song in Adobe Audition (then named Cool Edit) and performing at his first show the following year. Under the name Runch Randa, RM started getting more involved in the underground Korean hip-hop scene. He released several singles and worked with other underground rappers like Zico.
RM’s IQ was 148, and he ranked in the top one percent of the country on standardized tests of literacy, numeracy, foreign language, and social studies taken as part of college admissions. RM’s parents were adamantly against his pursuing a career in music, so he originally put his musical interests on hold to concentrate on his schoolwork. By posing the question, “would she want to have a kid who was a first-place rapper, or a 5,000th-place student?” After getting her Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting and Entertainment from Global Cyber University in March 2019, RM decided to go to Hanyang Cyber University to get her Master of Business Administration in Advertising and Media.
Rap Monster was the name RM settled on during his days as a trainee idol. Influenced by San E’s “Rap Genius,” the title comes from the words of a song he composed. In one section of the song’s lyrics, San E claims that he “raps non-stop” and so deserves the title of “Rap Monster Korean.” His motivation for adopting the pseudonymous moniker was purely aesthetic. RM says he has a love-hate connection with his name since he doesn’t think it was chosen because of its “great significance” to him.
When he realized that “Rap Monster” didn’t reflect who he was or what he does musically, he made the decision to legally alter his character name to “RM” in November 2017.
In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight, RM explained that the moniker “may reflect numerous things” and “might have more spectrums to it.” “True to Me” is one interpretation put forth.
Between 2010 and 2013, he signed with Big Hit Management and made his BTS debut.
In 2009, RM and Samuel Seo tried out for Big Deal Records and made it through the first round, but RM was eliminated in the second round due to forgetting the lyrics to a song.
Nonetheless, Sleepy and RM became acquainted after the audition, and the rapper subsequently introduced RM to Big Hit Records producer Pdogg.  While chatting on the phone in 2010, Sleepy urged RM to try out for Big Hit Entertainment’s CEO, Bang Si-hyuk. When Bang offered RM, who was only 16 at the time, a position at the record company, he accepted it instantly, to the dismay of his parents. A hip-hop group led by Bang and Pdogg eventually evolved into the idol group BTS.
RM spent three years training alongside Min Yoon-gi (later known as Suga) and Jung Ho-Seok (later known as J-Hope), two other rappers and dancers.
M participated in five BTS-credited pre-debut tracks in 2010 and 2011 throughout their three-year training phase. This is a case when a citation is required. RM has created and written lyrics for a number of the group’s songs. After making his debut on August 27, 2013, RM’s first solo performance was the intro tune for BTS’s debut EP O!RUL8,2? which was published on August 29 as a teaser. The EP itself was released on September 11, 2013.
2016 January 14: Introducing Our First Solo Collaborations, RM, and Troublesome Men
RM appeared on Show Champion in July 2015, performing alongside BTS.
Big Hit Entertainment announced the release date of BTS’s debut studio album, Dark & Wild, for August 20, 2014, and on August 5 they unveiled a trailer for the album. What Is I to You?,” was performed by RM on his own and ascribed to BTS.
While working on the reality TV show American Business Life, which was used to create Dark & Wild, M met Warren G, who volunteered to give BTS a beat. Warren G said in an appearance with the Korean journal Hip Hop Playa that he became friends with BTS on the show and that they stayed in touch when they went back to South Korea.
RM Released A Track
After being offered to work with Warren G, RM released a track with him on March 4, 2015, titled “P.D.D (Please Don’t Die)” before releasing his debut solo mixtape RM. The song portrayed RM’s feelings at the time toward his detractors, who used to hurt him greatly. In March of that year, RM worked on the track “Bucku Bucks” with the hip-hop project band MFBTY, EE, and Dino J.
He appeared in the music video for the song and made a cameo in another MFBTY music video, “Bang Diggy Bang Bang. In 2013, while MFBTY member Tiger JK was marketing his song “The Cure,” RM met and expressed appreciation for him on a TV show, which led to the beginning of a long-lasting professional connection between the two.
German Variety Show Problematic
RM was selected as a regular cast member on the German variety show Problematic Men, in which the cast was given a series of challenges and encouraged to work through them by talking about their views and experiences. It premiered on February 26, 2015. However, after 22 episodes, RM quit focusing on BTS’s 2015 Red Bullet global tour. It covered a wide range of themes, from RM’s history (on “Voice”) to the concept that “you’re you and I’m me” (on “Do You”). RM stated that he was an agnostic and that he had complete control over his destiny when talking about the song “God Rap. The mixtape took approximately four or five months to produce, with RM focusing on it in between BTS’ other commitments.
The following year, RM reflected that he had written primarily about the bad feelings he had been carrying, such as hate and hatred, although he added that the songs were not “100% within [his] sovereignty” and that he believed many portions of the tape were “immature.”
He went on to say that he planned to produce his next mixtape entirely on his own. A month after RM’s debut, in April of that year, he appeared on Primary’s “U” alongside Kwon Jin-ah. In August, RM released the digital song “Fantastic” starring Mandy Ventrice via Melon, Genie, Naver Music, and other music outlets as part of their partnership with Marvel for the Fantastic Four soundtrack in Korea. RM and Jung Si-hyuk collaborated on the production of a track by the vocal duet Homme named “Dilemma,” which was released in August 2016.
Creativity and influence
To be specific, RM sings baritone.
Peter A. Berry, writing for American hip-hop publication XXL in 2017, said of him, “Rap Monster seldom manages to live up to his moniker. XXL featured him on its list of “10 Korean Rappers You Should Know.” Berry said RM is “one of the region’s finest agile rappers, capable of changing flows smoothly as he glides through an assortment of distinct instrumentals. In 2018, RM and the other members of BTS were honored by the President of South Korea with the fifth-class Hwagwan Order of Culture Merit for their efforts to promote Korean culture abroad. For their efforts to “lead the global agenda for future generations, such as sustainable growth” and “expand South Korea’s diplomatic efforts and global standing,” President Moon Jae-in appointed him and the members of BTS as Special Presidential Envoys for Future Generations and Culture in July 2021.
Family and friends
Hannam-dong is a neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea, where RM and his bandmates have made their home since 2018. He spent 4.9 billion won in November 2019 on a home in Seoul’s Yongsan neighborhood, and he made 5.8 billion won on its sale the following November. It came out in June 2021 that he had spent US$5.7 million on the second property in Hannam-dong.
In 2018, RM had a septoplasty to correct a deviated nasal septum, and he took time away from band activities to heal.