BTS Dropped A Song Called "Respect," But Its Meaning Is Different Than Aretha's

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The time has come. BTS has finally released their highly-anticipated Map of the Soul: 7 album, and ARMYs can't contain their excitement. Whether you've been a fan from the start or just recently gotten into K-Pop, listeners can all agree this album was worth the wait. Chances are fans are already singing along to many of the songs on the record, but some people may be wondering what BTS' "Respect" lyrics mean in English, and I'm here to answer that question.

Anytime BTS does quite literally anything, Twitter goes wild with photos, GIFs, posts, and theories about what's next for RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. So when midnight struck on Friday, Feb 21, ARMYs were ready to discuss anything and everything Map of the Soul: 7 — like how incredible RM and Suga's rap collab "Respect" is.

Opinions on which song off the album is the best, tweets about ARMYs love for the boys, and discussions about what each tune meant began to flood Twitter on Friday morning. Now that the lyrics have been translated, English-speaking fans can get in on the conversation and gush over the songwriting skills the boys of BTS possess.

Scroll down to read all of the lyrics to RM and Suga's sub-unit "Respect" in English.



Should I go or should I?

Should I, should I go or should I stay?

Verse 1

Put your hands in the air

Put your hands in the air

Just like you don't care

Just like you don't care

Ayo SUGA (why?), nowadays this word floats around me

"Respect" but these days I'm confused of its meaning

They say it's said when someone keeps doing something (Why?)

I'm not really sure either, brother, do ya know?

It's obviously superior than love

Probably a concept that exists at the most superior rank

Out of all the superiors

Isn't that called respect, huh? (what I'm sayin')

"Re-spect" means as it sounds, to literally look again and again

Look again and again and you'll see faults

But you still want to keep looking, despite of that

You'll need that perfect belief towards someone (Ayy, ayy)

So I can't get myself to easily say

The weight and thickness of it is vague

I hope someday I can confidently say it

And mean it when I do, to you and to me, huh


Please don't say respect easily, yeah

Because even I am not sure, yeah

Sometimes I'm scared of myself

What if the weak me is found out


(Respect) Everybody says it so easily

(Respect) Though you don't know what it is

(Respect) Please take a look again

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Two times

(Respect) I won't say it easily

(Respect) Even if I don't know well now

(Respect) One say I'll say it

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Oh yeah


What is "respect"? (What, hyung?)

I don't know, that's why I'm asking, you rascal (Oh, I see)

What even is "respect"?

Why is everyone saying it

Honestly I can't understand

Admiring someone

Was it something really that easy?

I still can't understand it

To be honest, there's no need for admiration

When there's not even respect

Everyone except you knows people talk sh*t behind your back

I honestly respect you

You have no intention to respect me so just skip it

Respect, I respect you

Applause to that pal who speak ill while smiling


(Respect, respect)

Hope all the glory and prosperity seep into your life

(Respect, respect)

Hope the road in front of you is eternally blessed

(Respect, respect)

Money, honor, forward, forward

(Respect, respect)

Yes, I respect you, yeah


(Respect) Everybody says it so easily

(Respect) Though you don't know what it is

(Respect) Please take a look again

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Two times

(Respect) I won't say it easily

(Respect) Even if I don't know well now

(Respect) One say I'll say it

(Respect) One time

(Respect) Oh yeah


"Aye, do ya know what respect is?"

"I don't know, hyungnim,"

"I don't know either,"

"Why is respect this hard?"

"'Respect', well, is to look again, I don't know,"

"'Respect', what?"



"I think those are respect, I'd come to think of that,"

"English is hard,"

"I know right?"

Now, this isn't the first song to be named "Respect." The late Aretha Franklin sang the most well-known song about "Respect," and its meaning was definitely different than BTS' version. BTS' song "Respect" is really about the word itself — what it literally means ("English is hard," ain't that the truth!) , and also how seriously people take the word. It really makes you think.