Why BTS Named Their Comeback Trailers ‘Persona,’ ‘Shadow,’ and ‘Ego’

Complete with hues of sky blue and bubblegum pink, the Map of the Soul era gives fans a look into the minds of each BTS member. That’s especially true of the comeback trailers, which put a spotlight on the rappers of this K-pop group. Why did BTS name their songs “Persona,” “Shadow,” and “Ego?” Here’s what fans think about these comeback trailers for Map of the Soul: Persona and Map of the Soul: 7.

Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus and BTS perform during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards
Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus and BTS perform during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

‘Shadow’ and ‘Ego’ are the comeback trailers of the ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ era

After months of waiting, BTS fans have their first look into the group’s next album. Map of the Soul: 7 includes 20 songs by this boy band. Two of those songs are comeback trailers titled “Shadow,” performed by Suga, and “Ego,” performed by J-Hope. (A third comeback trailer, featured on Map of the Soul: Persona, is performed by RM.)

Because the words “Shadow” and “Ego” were first linked to Persona with some scribbling on a chalkboard, fans first theorized that Map of the Soul was a trilogy, with Map of the Soul: Shadow being the second album in the series. They were kind of right, with “Shadow” and “Ego” being the title of the comeback trailers for Map of the Soul: 7.

One theory suggests that these titles are based on psychology

So, why these three words? What does “persona,” “shadow,” and “ego,” have to do with each other? Some fans pointed out that the meaning could go as far as a psychological theory. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, first proposed the idea.

“As a crash course, BTS’ Map of the Soul leans heavily on the ideas of Persona, Shadow, and Ego as espoused by psychologists like Carl Jung,” one writer for Stylecaster suggests. “So some fans believe that if we’re going by the basis of psychology, it only makes sense to interpret their MMAs performance as a purposefully ego-filled display.”

“BTS used projections throughout their performance, which some have literally interpreted as the projection of self that happens when we’re talking about “Ego” as a sense of identity, or self. If that seems intense, wait until you hear about the possibility of a dual-sided album,” the article continues.

Other fans think “Shadow” and “Ego” were used as comeback trailers because of the personalities of the BTS rappers

Each of these aspects of the “self” is reflected in BTS’ music. In turn, it is highlighted in everything from the color scheme to the visuals of each era. Some fans pointed out that the lyrics and emotions of each comeback trailer (“Persona,” “Shadow,” and “Ego”) reflects the “vibe” of each rapper performing it.

“Through Persona, BTS focused on the inner self and reached the conclusion that the source of their power is their fans, ARMY, and sung about their interest in knowing every small thing of ARMY and their love for ARMY. In ‘7’ that covers ‘Shadow’ and ‘Ego,’ BTS looks back on the past 7 years, reminds themselves of their calling and lays out the process of finding the true self by combining persona and shadow,” one Twitter user said.

That only leaves fans wondering what will happen next for this K-pop group. Music by BTS, including Map of the Soul: Persona, is available for streaming on Spotify. Map of the Soul: 7 premieres on Feb. 21, 2020.