BTS Reveals the Powerful Meaning Behind ‘Map of the Soul: 7’

After months of sweaty palms at the stroke of midnight KST, BTS revealed the new album, Map of the Soul: 7, will be out on Friday, Feb. 21. The seven members — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — previously dropped clues at multiple year-end shows. But even so, nothing could could prepare fans for the release of “Shadow,” “Black Swan,” and “Ego.” The three songs, unveiled ahead of the full-length album, highlighted the South Korean band’s new sound, proving we’re diving headfirst into the next era. More recently, BTS revealed the real meaning behind Map of the Soul: 7 title and shared one overarching message that will stick with ARMY forever.

BTS shares the meaning of the ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ album title

In late January 2020, The Zach Sang Show sat down to chat with BTS on the bus used for ABC’s The Bachelor. And at the start of their brief conversation, the radio host asked where the band is headed with the Map of the Soul: 7 narrative.

“The title, 7, is very heavy for us,” RM said, clarifying not to correlate “heavy” with “burden.”

“The title is very strong and you know 7 can symbolize many things,” the BTS leader said. “It symbolizes the number of members and the years we have spent together.”

He continued: “Also seven means very good luck, right? Like jackpot. Lucky number seven. In many different kinds of ways, seven really feels like… this is it. This is the time that we have to use this title.”

V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, J-Hope of BTS attend the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, J-Hope of BTS | Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Later, Suga revealed the one thing he wants BTS fans to understand when we reach the Map of the Soul: 7 era on Feb. 21.

“One message that penetrates the album as a whole is that you must face your inner shadows but resist becoming submerged into its depths,” Suga said. “You must face it and move on forward.”

Then when stopping by The Late Late Show with James Corden, BTS shared what ARMY can expect when new music comes out.

“It’s been seven years since our debut and we’ve got our seven members here. So seven is a special number for us,” RM said. “We’ve practiced so hard for these tracks and the dance routines, of course. So please stay tuned for the album.”

BTS explains the ‘Black Swan’ single

On Jan. 17, BTS unleashed the first single from Map of the Soul: 7, titled “Black Swan.” The new record, paired alongside an art film featuring the MN Dance Company, touched on a topic creatives know all too well — losing passion for what you do.

“That’s the one personal side of us,” RM told The Zach Sang Show when asked about “Black Swan” meaning. “It’s very frank song, the song. It’s very personal.”

Towards the end of the interview, BTS returned to the topic of “Black Swan,” revealing the group chose to release the song as their first single because they wanted to focus on their “shadow” and to make a stance on their new sound.

“‘Black Swan’ is all about the shadow,” RM said. “I think with Black Swan, when you first listen to the song, it’s like, ‘BTS does this genre? What is this?’ … It sounds really different.”

BTS teases ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ ahead of the release date

With Map of the Soul: 7, BTS has crafted an album that not only examines the group’s struggles, but also everything they have achieved since their debut in 2013. And now, it seems the septet is confident with their new album, as many members have openly shared how proud they are of the new album.

When speaking with iHeartRadio, BTS was asked to describe Map of the Soul: 7 in a few words.

“This is crazy,” Jimin said, instantly breaking into a smile.

“Worldwide album,” Jin — aka ARMY’s Worldwide Handsome — added as the crowd cheered in excitement.

Meanwhile, when speaking with E! News at the 2020 Grammys red carpet, J-Hope confirmed Map of the Soul: 7 will be worth the wait.

“You will know when you listen to our new album and watch the performance, that liking BTS was the best decision ever,” he said.

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