What Does ‘RM’ Mean? Here’s Why This BTS Member Changed His Name for This K-Pop Group

Some call him the leader of BTS, others call him Joon, Joonie, or Kim Namjoon. However, this K-pop idol’s stage name changed its original meaning. What does RM symbolize? Why did this rapper decide to change his stage name? Here’s what we know about Kim Namjoon and why he decided to adapt his original stage name, “Rap Monster.”

RM is one of the performers in BTS

Since debuting with BTS, Kim Namjoon became renowned for his rapping, his brain, and his English skills. As the leader of this award-winning K-pop group, RM often acts as the unofficial translator for the group, as well as a role model for fans worldwide. 

Alongside boy band members like V, J-Hope, and Suga, this performer adopted a stage name to use while performing with BTS. Originally, Kim Namjoon chose “Rap Monster” to use while performing. 

BTS members RM and Jimin
BTS members RM and Jimin | THE FACT/Imazins via Getty Images

RM’s original name was ‘Rap Monster’

Before BTS even debuted about seven years ago, this K-pop idol had a name lined up for himself. It was Rap Monster, inspired by his talent and passion for music. Around 2017, however, the artist decided that stage name didn’t represent who he is as a person. 

“It was a stage name that I naturally came to be called among our company family members and my members, after a line in a song I’d made as a trainee, and I think I became very fond of it,” RM said, according to a translation from Soompi

“But once I started promoting, the name ‘BTS’s Rap Monster’ was a bit long, and I’ve become keenly aware of the fact that it’s become different from [what I want] to put at the front of the music I’ve made for the past five years, and the music I want to share in the future,” he continued.

What does RM stand for now? 

Why RM and not a different stage name? During one interview with Entertainment Tonight Online, RM explained that this new stage name “could symbolize many things” and that’s why he liked it. At the time, he explained that it stood for “real me.” 

Since then, fans learned to adopt this new meaning to the stage name, using “RM” when referring to the artist. RM and the rest of the BTS members went on to perform at the Grammy Awards, becoming the first K-pop group to do so. RM also released music as a solo artist, under the name “RM.” (Suga adopted a second stage name for performing as a solo artist: Agust D.)

Fans can hear RM rapping with BTS and on the remix of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. Music by BTS, including their recently released album, Map of the Soul: 7, is available for streaming on Spotify. 

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