In the latest breakout feature from Rolling Stone's BTS cover feature, group leader RM dives into the rap heroes that helped inspire him, his evolution as a rapper and whether he even believes that the group's music is K-pop.
"I started with Nas, Eminem, the golden age of hip-hop. And the turning point was Drake, in 2009, when he released Thank You Letter," RM (born Kim Nam-joon), 26, said of the MCs who influenced his flow. "That album was kind of shocking for me because it was kind of a freaky thing that a rapper actually sang. So after that, a lot of rappers began to sing, deciding to put the melodies into their songs across the genres, between raps and melody. So, yeah, that was the moment."
The singer, originally known as "Rap Monster," also delved into how the fact that South Korea is not multi-ethnic like the U.S. plays into the music that has come from his home country. "There are different sensitivities that are underlying the music," he explained. "Korean rappers of course have their own unique and different lyricism, their own situations and hardships that they fit into the process. As a Korean, obviously, these are the things that resonate with me."