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RM (rapper)

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190115 RM at the 2019 Seoul Music Awards.jpg
RM at the January 2019 Seoul Music Awards
Native name
Kim Nam-joon

(1994-09-12) September 12, 1994 (age 24)
Ilsan-gu, Goyang, South Korea
ResidenceHannam-dong, Seoul, South Korea[1]
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2013 (2013)–present
Net worthUSD $10 million[2]
AwardsROK Order of Cultural Merit Hwa-gwan (5th Class) ribbon.PNG Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit (2018)
Musical career
LabelsBig Hit
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Nam-jun
McCune–ReischauerKim Namchun
RM signature.svg

Kim Nam-joon (Hangul김남준; born September 12, 1994),[3] better known as RM (formerly Rap Monster), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is the main rapper and leader of the South Korean boy group BTS, managed under Big Hit Entertainment. In 2015, he released his first solo mixtape, RM. As of December 2018, his second mixtape, Mono, was the highest charting album by a Korean soloist on the Billboard 200 chart, having peaked at 26.[4] He has recorded with artists such as Wale, Warren G, Gaeko, Krizz Kaliko, MFBTY, and Primary.


RM was born on September 12, 1994, in Ilsan, South Korea.[5] His family includes a mother, father, and little sister.[6] He credits Epik High's "Fly" as one of the reasons he got into hip-hop. After hearing it in fifth grade he became interested in the genre.[7] Before his debut with BTS, he was an underground rapper under the stage name "Runch Randa". He released a number of tracks and once collaborated with fellow underground rapper Zico.[8]

He has an IQ of 148, having scored in the top 1.3% of the nation in the university entrance examinations for language, math, foreign language and social studies.[9] RM is fluent in English, which he learned with his mother as a child and through watching Friends.[10][11] He has described himself as an atheist.[12]

In order to convince his mother to allow him to be a rapper, he asked her, "[if] she wanted to have a son who was a first-place rapper, or a 5,000th-place student." He joined Big Hit Entertainment shortly after at 16.[13]

RM was introduced to Bang Si-hyuk, his current CEO, by the rapper Sleepy who had seen RM perform in the underground rap scene. He took down RM's information and gave it to the CEO, who was then inspired to make a group with RM in it after seeing him rap.[14]

He is currently enrolled at Global Cyber University.[15]



RM was recruited as BTS' first member back in 2010 during a Big Hit talent audition. RM trained for years with fellow underground rapper Min Yoon-gi and dancer Jung Ho-seok, who later became known as Suga and J-Hope respectively.[16][17] During his three year trainee period, RM performed on five pre-debut tracks credited to BTS in 2010 and 2011.[18] He also worked as a songwriter for girl group Glam and helped pen their debut single, "Party (XXO)," an explicitly pro-LGBTQ song which was praised by Billboard as "one of the most forward-thinking songs out of a K-pop girl group in the past decade."[19] On June 13, 2013, RM made his debut as a member of BTS on Mnet's M! Countdown with the track "No More Dream" from their debut single album 2 Cool 4 Skool.[20][21] He has produced and written lyrics for a variety of tracks on all of BTS' albums.

In 2018, he was awarded the fifth-class Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit by the President of South Korea along with the other members.[22]

Solo work

RM at KCON Los Angeles in 2016.

RM has collaborated with many Korean and American artists. On March 4, 2015, he released a single with Warren G entitled, "P.D.D (Please Don't Die)" alongside its music video, which featured behind-the-scene footage of their collaboration in Los Angeles.[23]

Along with EE and Dino J, RM collaborated with hip hop project group MFBTY for the song "Bucku Bucku". He was featured in the music video for "Bucku Bucku", and also had a cameo in another MFBTY music video for their song, "Bang Diggy Bang Bang (방뛰기방방)."[9][24]

RM released his first solo mixtape, RM on March 17, 2015. The mixtape was ranked 48th on Spin's "50 Best Hip Hop Albums of 2015".[25]

On April 9, 2015, Primary released his EP, 2-1, on which RM, along with Kwon Jin-ah, was featured in the song, "U".[9]

RM collaborated with Marvel for Fantastic Four's soundtrack. The digital single, "Fantastic" featuring Mandy Ventrice, was released on August 4, through Melon, Genie, Naver Music and other music sites.[26]

On August 30, 2016, Homme's single "Dilemma" was released, which RM co-produced alongside Bang Si-hyuk.[27] This was his second official production after his participation in BTS' song "Epilogue: Young Forever"[28] and the unofficial SoundCloud release of "I Know".

RM also collaborated with American rapper Wale on a special socially-charged track called "Change", released as a free digital download on March 19, 2017 along with an accompanying music video filmed about two weeks prior to the track's release.[29][30] On December 14, after clips from Spotify UK surfaced on Twitter, it was officially confirmed that RM had featured on the remix of Fall Out Boy's song "Champion"[31] and the track was released worldwide on December 15 at midnight across all major music streaming sites.[32] The track reached number 18 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and helped RM reach number 46 on the Emerging Artists Chart for the week of January 8, 2018.[33] On December 27, 2017, RM made history as the first K-pop artist to chart on the Rock Digital Songs chart, coming in at number two on the list.[34]

On October 23, 2018 RM released his second mixtape entitled Mono.[35] In the same month he became the first Korean artist to rank number one on emerging artists in the United States.[36] In a survey conducted by Gallup Korea he ranked at 12th most preferred idol of the year for 2018.[37]

In addition to his music work, RM was also a regular cast member on the first 22 episodes of the Korean television program Problematic Men which began airing on February 26, 2015 on tvN. During the show, cast members are given a variety of puzzles and problems to solve and work through them by talking about their own thoughts and experiences.[38]


In 2017, American hip-hop magazine XXL released a list entitled "10 Korean Rappers You Should Know," which included RM. Writer Peter A. Berry promises that "Rap Monster rarely fails to live up to his name." He describes the young star as "one of the region’s most dexterous rappers, capable of switching flows effortlessly as he glides across an array of diverse instrumentals."[39]

Critics stated his first mixtape "takes listeners on a roller coaster narrative of confidence and uncertainty that comes with self-discovery."[40]Crystal Tai from South China Morning Post stated RM received a lot of praise for his natural flow and lyrics and that he's got some "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy mixed with Earl Sweatshirt and Chance the Rapper" in him.[13]



  • RM (2015)
  • Mono (2018)



Year Network Title Role Episode(s) Note Ref
2014 Mnet 4things Show - Rap Monster Himself 3 Documentary about Rap Monster [41]
2015 tvN Hot Brain: Problematic Men Cast member 1-22 Quiz/knowledge show [42]
SBS Inkigayo Host N/A with Sungjae (BtoB) [43]
2016 MBig TV Close-up Observation Diary on Idol: Find Me Himself 2 Reality show about his daily life [44]
KBS Gura-Chacha: Time Slip - New Boy Cast member Pilot Reality show [45]
SBS Inkigayo Host N/A with Jin, Kei & Mijoo (Lovelyz) [46]
with Jin [47]
Mnet KCON New York with Ailee [48]
2017 M Countdown with J-Hope & Jimin [49]

Music videos

Year Title Length Director(s) Note Ref
2013 "Perfect Christmas" 3:45 Unknown with Jungkook, Jo Kwon, Lim Jeong-hee, & Jo Hee (8eight) [50]
2015 "Do You" 3:08 Woo-gie Kim (GDW) [51]
"Awakening" 2:40 Unknown
"Joke" 3:19
"P.D.D" 4:18 with Warren G [50]
"Fantastic" 3:56 featuring Mandy Ventrice [52]
2017 "Change" 4:49 Beom-jin (VM Project Architecture) with Wale [53]
2018 "forever rain" 4:28 Choi Jae-hoon Animation [54]
"seoul" 4:33 Yong-seok Choi (Lumpens) Lyric video [55]
"moonchild" 3:38 [56]

Trailers and short films

Year Title Length Director(s) Note Ref.
2014 "Intro:What Am I To You?" 2:53 Unknown Animation [57]
2016 "Reflection #5" 3:02 Yong-seok Choi (Lumpens) [58]


  1. ^ Han, Jin (July 3, 2018). "[라이프트렌드] 유명인이 반한 한남동, 최고급 주거지로 뜬 이유". Korea JoongAng Daily (in Korean). Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "BTS Net Worth". The Wealth Record. January 6, 2019. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  3. ^ "랩몬스터 프로필" (in Korean). Naver.
  4. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (29 October 2018). "BTS' RM Hits the Billboard 200 with Mono". Billboard. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  5. ^ "BTS Profile". BTS Official Website. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "[더스타프로필] 방탄소년단 랩몬스터, 감출수 없는 '섹시 예찬론자' 본능". chosun (in Korean). 30 April 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  7. ^ 박, 수정 (15 October 2013). "방탄소년단, 네 꿈은 뭐니? (인터뷰)". Tenasia (in Korean). Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  8. ^ "[세상의 총알을 막아내는 소년들그룹 방탄소년단". Cuvism Magazine (in Korean). July 22, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Méndez, Blanca. "Rap Monster Is Proving Assumptions About Korean Idol Rappers Wrong". NOISEY. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Herman, Tamar (June 30, 2017). "Get To Know BTS: Rap Monster". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (May 30, 2017). "BTS's Rap Monster talks travel". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Kim, Bonghyun (March 24, 2015). "[인터뷰] 랩몬스터 '욕하기 위해서라도 믹스테잎을 꼭 들어주시면 좋겠다'" (in Korean). Hip Hop Playa. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Tai, Crystal (April 14, 2018). "K-pop star Rap Monster of BTS is breaking genre's squeaky-clean mould, and fans can't get enough". South China Morning Post. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  14. ^ 장, 민혜 (8 September 2017). "슬리피 "방탄소년단 랩몬스터, 내가 발굴… 데뷔 전 미공개 음원 있다"(인터뷰)". asiae (in Korean). Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  15. ^ Ajeng, Tisa (December 15, 2017). "Meski Jadwal Super Sibuk, Ternyata BTS Telah Mendaftar Kuliah di Kampus ini, Bareng-bareng Loh!". Tribun News (in Indonesian). Indonesia. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "How BTS is changing K-pop for the better". The Daily Dot. May 12, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "Get To Know BTS: J-Hope". Billboard. June 30, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  18. ^ Lee, Eun-jeong. "임정희 "美서 '아메리칸 아이돌' 나가래요" [Lim Jeong-hee Goes to US "American Idol"]. Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "10 Kpop Videos for LGBTQ Pride Month". Billboard. June 6, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "[Video] BTS Rides the School Bus in Making of 'No More Dream'". Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  22. ^ "'대중문화예술상' BTS, 문화훈장 화관 최연소 수훈...유재석부터 故 김주혁까지 '영광의 얼굴들' (종합)" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  23. ^ "[Video] BTS′ Rap Monster and Warren G Call Out All the Haters in ′P.D.D′ MV". Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  24. ^ "[Video] MFBTY Breaks It Down with EE, BTS′ Rap Monster and Dino-J in ′Buckubucku′ MV". Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  25. ^ "The 50 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015". Spin. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  26. ^ "랩몬스터, 마블 원작 '판타스틱4' 콜라보 음원 '판타스틱' 4일 발매" (in Korean). Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  27. ^ "방시혁·랩몬스터, 옴므 신곡 지원사격..30일 '딜레마' 발표 - 스타뉴스". (in Korean). Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  28. ^ "방탄소년단, 신곡 첫번째 MV 공개..랩몬스터 프로듀싱 참여" (in Korean). Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  29. ^ Herman, Tamar (March 20, 2017). "Wale & BTS' Rap Monster Team Up for Politically Tinged 'Change'". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  30. ^ Mench, Chris (March 21, 2017). "Wale & South Korean MC Rap Monster Demand "Change" On Their Political Collab". GENIUS. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  31. ^ Kelley, Caitlin (December 14, 2017). "RM From BTS Featured on Fall Out Boy 'Champion' Remix Out Tonight". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "BTS' RM Hits the Bubbling Under Hot 100, Rock Charts & More With Fall Out Boy Remix". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  35. ^ Hwang, Hye-jin (21 October 2018). "방탄소년단 RM, 23일 두번째 믹스테이프 발표 '혼네·넬 참여'[뮤직와치]" [BTS RM, second mixtape on the 23rd 'Honne and Nell Participate' [Music Watch]] (in Korean). Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  36. ^ Zellner, Xander (31 October 2018). "RM Of BTS Rules Emerging Artists Chart, Billie Eilish Rises to No. 2" (Article). Billboard. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  37. ^ "한국갤럽 데일리 오피니언, 매주 새로운 여론조사 결과를 전합니다". Gallop Korea (in Korean). December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  38. ^ Ghim, Sora (25 February 2015). "The Problematic Men Show Their Real Selves". BNTNews. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
  39. ^ "The New New: 10 Korean Rappers You Should Know - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  40. ^ "Rap Monster Makes a Name with "RM"". seoulbeats. April 17, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  41. ^ Ba, Thứ (5 June 2018). "BTS từng bị 'trù ẻo' như thế nào khi ra mắt làng K-pop". (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  42. ^ References:
  43. ^ "[BANGTAN BOMB] Ingigayo Special MC debut Rap Monster". Youtube (in Korean). Bangtan TV. December 11, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  44. ^ "[Close-up Observation Diary on Idol] Find Me - Rap Monster's exciting Friday" (Video). Youtube (in Korean). MBig Tv. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  45. ^ "미리보기 > 방송보기 > 구라차차 타임슬립 - 새소년 > 연예오락 > KBS". KBS. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  46. ^ "[단독] 방탄소년단 랩몬스터·진, '인기가요' 스페셜 MC…러블리즈". (in Korean). May 14, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  47. ^ "[BANGTAN BOMB] Ingigayo 1st win and Jin & RM Special MC - BTS (방탄소년단)". Youtube (in Korean). Bangtan TV. May 21, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  48. ^ Melendez, Monique (June 26, 2016). "KCON New York 2016: Ailee Comes Home, Seventeen Makes First American Appearance & More". Billboard. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  49. ^ Ajeng, Tisa (September 28, 2017). "Live Streaming Mnet Countdown - 3 Anggota BTS Bakal Jadi Spesial MC Hari ini, Tonton di Sini!". Tribune Style (in Indonesian). Bangtan TV. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  50. ^ a b Herman, Tamar (February 13, 2018). "10 Essential BTS Collaborations You Should Hear: Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers & More". Billboard. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  51. ^ Rodríguez, Stefania (September 11, 2018). "BTS: RM, el joven líder que lo inició todo, está de cumpleaños | VIDEOS". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  52. ^ Burlingame, Russ (August 5, 2015). "Rap Monster Fantastic Four Trailer Released". comicbook. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  53. ^ Herman, Tamar (March 20, 2017). "Wale & BTS' Rap Monster Team Up for Politically Tinged 'Change': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  54. ^ Herman, Tamar (October 22, 2018). "BTS' RM Releases 'Mono' Mixtape and 'Forever Rain' Music Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  55. ^ Robidoux, Brandy (October 22, 2018). "RM Of BTS Releases New Track 'Seoul' Off His 'Mono' Mixtape & Fans Are Losing It On Twitter". hollywood life. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  56. ^ Herman, Tamar (October 24, 2018). "BTS' RM Shares Lyric Video for 'Moonchild': Watch" (Article). Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  57. ^ "BTS (방탄소년단) DARK & WILD 'What Am I To You' Comeback Trailer". Youtube. Big Hit Entertainment. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  58. ^

External links

  • Media related to RM at Wikimedia Commons