I'm so ready for his mixtape.
If you revisit BTS' discography — from their debut single, "No More Dream," to 2021’s "Permission To Dance” — you'll hear the group's sound, concept, and overall message evolve. Each of their records has a special story to tell, but what they all have in common is they help make ARMYs feel less alone about situations happening in their own lives. After all, the members of BTS are going through major life changes, just like you or me, and their songs explore them. For example, Jungkook's experience as BTS' youngest member has inspired his music (and his music has inspired many relatable Jungkook memes). All of BTS' Jungkook's solo songs reflect how much he's grown through the years, so if you want to see how he has evolved, you need to check out his work.
Every once in a while, BTS shares solo songs with fans in order to showcase a certain member's unique style, talents, and message. Sometimes, they're part of BTS' albums, and, at other times, the tracks are part of the guys' solo mixtapes. So far, the only members of the group who’ve dropped mixtapes have been RM, Suga, and J-Hope. Jungkook said he’s working on releasing his own in the future, but he hasn’t revealed exactly when. Fans initially thought it was going to drop in either 2019 or 2020, but Jungkook said it might take a while since he keeps “perfecting it.” In a November 2020 note to ARMYs, he said, "The mixtape seems to be constantly delaying as each day goes.”
Until it arrives, fans can appreciate the solo songs he's shared with them so far, which offer an idea of what his debut solo mixtape could sound like.
BTS began releasing solo songs with the arrival of their 2016 album, Wings. In their album preview show from that year, Jungkook explained his solo track, "Begin," is about his journey of leaving his hometown of Busan to join BTS in Seoul. As a 15-year-old who was trying to figure out his future, the song's lyrics reflect the feelings of self-doubt Jungkook once experienced. "When I was 15 years old, I had nothing. The world was too big and I was small," he sings on "Begin."
Although he once felt alone, that all changed when he met RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, and V, who helped him become confident with who he is. "Love you my brother, I’ve got brothers. I discovered emotions, I became me," he sings later on the track.
In the fourth verse, Jungkook says that he cares for his “brothers” so much that when they’re sad, “It hurts more than when I’m sick.”
Jungkook was initially hesitant to take a leap of faith in "Begin," but in "Euphoria," which is off of BTS’ 2018 album Love Yourself: Answer, he sings about taking a risk. “My surroundings are getting more and more transparent. I hear the far away ocean. Across the dream, over the horizon, I’m going to the place that’s getting clearer,” he sings on the track. “Take my hands now. You are the cause of my euphoria.” Considering ARMYs helped Jungkook achieve all his dreams, it’s likely they helped inspire “Euphoria.”
During a May 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, Jungkook said it wasn’t easy recording the song, but the turnout was worth it. “I specifically like ‘Euphoria’ among many BTS songs because it has a voice that’s between a very young boy and a very mature man,” Jungkook explained. “I had to translate those emotions into the recording, and I went into it thinking that I have lost my original voice and I really didn’t know how to sing. And I think those emotions I felt translated well into the recording.”
Jungkook gave fans a sneak peek at his solo work when he dropped "Decalcomania" on his 22nd birthday in August 2019. Fans were surprised to hear him sing entirely in English on the track, and in a style that was different than what they were used to hearing from him. They appreciated his gorgeous lyricism and willingness to try new things.
While he only released about a minute of “Decalcomania,” the lyrics hint the song is about the different sides of Jungkook — the "perfect" side of him people see on screen, and the more vulnerable version he knows on the inside. The lyrics read as follows:
When I see you smile in the screen, you’re good at everything, you’re just perfect / Feels like I’ve never been you / Do you even see me, do you know who I am, or how do I look now? You don't like me like that
Fans suspected "Decalcomania" would be one of the tracks on Jungkook's mixtape, but during an August 2021 Zoom fan meeting, the star revealed he actually deleted the file for "Decalcomania." All hope’s not lost, however, because Jungkook said, “It’s in my head. I can just make it again.”
February 2020: "My Time"
Jungkook starts "My Time," which he helped compose with RM and other writers, by expressing his disbelief over already being an adult. He compares his life to a "movie" and admits he sometimes feels like life is going too fast for him. "All over the world rock on, I made my own lotto, but is it too fast? There're traces of losses. Don't know what to do with, am I livin' this right?" Jungkook sings.
Despite all his success, Jungkook still expresses a bit of uncertainty for the future in "My Time." He doesn't know where he's going, exactly, but he'll try to enjoy the ride with fans as much as possible.
June 2020: "Still With You"
Jungkook also helped compose "Still With You," which reads like a love letter to ARMYs. In the song, which he released as a surprise for fans for BTS’ 2020 FESTA, Jungkook says he knows ARMYs will always be there for him and reassures them they can always count on him, too. He sings:
Smiling together/ Crying together/ Maybe these simple emotions were everything to me/ Someday if I meet you again, I will look you in the eye and tell you, "I missed you"
While every Jungkook solo song is different, they each reflect on his past, present, and future, and the support ARMYs provide him.
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