RM at the Seoul Music Awards in January 2017
September 12, 1994
|Residence||Hannam-dong, Seoul, South Korea|
|Awards||Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit (2018)|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Nam-jun|
Kim Nam-joon (Hangul: ; born September 12, 1994), better known as RM (formerly Rap Monster), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is the main rapper and leader of the South Korean boy group BTS, managed under Big Hit Entertainment. In 2015, he released his first solo mixtape, RM. As of December 2018 , his second mixtape, Mono, was the highest charting album by a Korean soloist on the Billboard 200 chart, having peaked at 26. He has recorded with artists such as Wale, Warren G, Gaeko, Krizz Kaliko, MFBTY, and Primary.
RM was born on September 12, 1994, in Ilsan, South Korea. His family includes a mother, father, and little sister. He credits Epik High's "Fly" as one of the reasons he got into hip-hop. After hearing it in fifth grade he became interested in the genre. Before his debut with BTS, he was an underground rapper under the stage name "Runch Randa". He released a number of tracks and once collaborated with fellow underground rapper Zico.
He has an IQ of 148, having scored in the top 1.3% of the nation in the university entrance examinations for language, math, foreign language and social studies. RM is fluent in English, which he learned with his mother as a child and through watching Friends. He has described himself as an atheist.
In order to convince his mother to allow him to be a rapper, he asked her, "[if] she wanted to have a son who was a first-place rapper, or a 5,000th-place student." He joined Big Hit Entertainment shortly after at 16.
RM was introduced to Bang Si-hyuk, his current CEO, by the rapper Sleepy who had seen RM perform in the underground rap scene. He took down RM's information and gave it to the CEO, who was then inspired to make a group with RM in it after seeing him rap.
He is currently enrolled at Global Cyber University.
RM was recruited as BTS' first member back in 2010 during a Big Hit talent audition. RM trained for years with fellow underground rapper Min Yoon-gi and dancer Jung Ho-seok, who later became known as Suga and J-Hope respectively. During his three year trainee period, RM performed on five pre-debut tracks credited to BTS in 2010 and 2011. He also worked as a songwriter for girl group Glam and helped pen their debut single, "Party (XXO)," an explicitly pro-LGBTQ song which was praised by Billboard as "one of the most forward-thinking songs out of a K-pop girl group in the past decade." On June 13, 2013, RM made his debut as a member of BTS on Mnet's M! Countdown with the track "No More Dream" from their debut single album 2 Cool 4 Skool. He has produced and written lyrics for a variety of tracks on all of BTS' albums.
RM has collaborated with many Korean and American artists. On March 4, 2015, he released a single with Warren G entitled, "P.D.D (Please Don't Die)" alongside its music video, which featured behind-the-scene footage of their collaboration in Los Angeles.
Along with EE and Dino J, RM collaborated with hip hop project group MFBTY for the song "Bucku Bucku". He was featured in the music video for "Bucku Bucku", and also had a cameo in another MFBTY music video for their song, "Bang Diggy Bang Bang ()."
RM collaborated with Marvel for Fantastic Four's soundtrack. The digital single, "Fantastic" featuring Mandy Ventrice, was released on August 4, through Melon, Genie, Naver Music and other music sites.
On August 30, 2016, Homme's single "Dilemma" was released, which RM co-produced alongside Bang Si-hyuk. This was his second official production after his participation in BTS' song "Epilogue: Young Forever" and the unofficial SoundCloud release of "I Know".
RM also collaborated with American rapper Wale on a special socially-charged track called "Change", released as a free digital download on March 19, 2017 along with an accompanying music video filmed about two weeks prior to the track's release. On December 14, after clips from Spotify UK surfaced on Twitter, it was officially confirmed that RM had featured on the remix of Fall Out Boy's song "Champion" and the track was released worldwide on December 15 at midnight across all major music streaming sites. The track reached number 18 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and helped RM reach number 46 on the Emerging Artists Chart for the week of January 8, 2018. On December 27, 2017, RM made history as the first K-pop artist to chart on the Rock Digital Songs chart, coming in at number two on the list.
On October 23, 2018 RM released his second mixtape entitled Mono. In the same month he became the first Korean artist to rank number one on emerging artists in the United States. In a survey conducted by Gallup Korea he ranked at 12th most preferred idol of the year for 2018.
In addition to his music work, RM was also a regular cast member on the first 22 episodes of the Korean television program Problematic Men which began airing on February 26, 2015 on tvN. During the show, cast members are given a variety of puzzles and problems to solve and work through them by talking about their own thoughts and experiences.
In 2017, American hip-hop magazine XXL released a list entitled "10 Korean Rappers You Should Know," which included RM. Writer Peter A. Berry promises that "Rap Monster rarely fails to live up to his name." He describes the young star as "one of the region's most dexterous rappers, capable of switching flows effortlessly as he glides across an array of diverse instrumentals."
Crystal Tai from South China Morning Post stated RM received a lot of praise for his natural flow and lyrics and that he's got some "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy mixed with Earl Sweatshirt and Chance the Rapper" in him.
|2014||Mnet||4things Show - Rap Monster||Himself||3||Documentary about Rap Monster|||
|2015||tvN||Hot Brain: Problematic Men||Cast member||1-22||Quiz/knowledge show|||
|SBS||Inkigayo||Host||N/A||with Sungjae (BtoB)|||
|2016||MBig TV||Close-up Observation Diary on Idol: Find Me||Himself||2||Reality show about his daily life|||
|KBS||Gura-Chacha: Time Slip - New Boy||Cast member||Pilot||Reality show|||
|SBS||Inkigayo||Host||N/A||with Jin, Kei & Mijoo (Lovelyz)|||
|CJ E&M||KCON New York||with Ailee|||
|2017||Mnet||M Countdown||with J-Hope & Jimin|||
|2013||"Perfect Christmas"||3:45||Unknown||with Jungkook, Jo Kwon, Lim Jeong-hee, & Jo Hee (8eight)|||
|2015||"Do You"||3:08||Woogie Kim (GDW)|||
|"P.D.D"||4:18||with Warren G|||
|"Fantastic"||3:56||featuring Mandy Ventrice|||
|2017||"Change"||4:49||Beomjin (VM Project Architecture)||with Wale|||
|2018||"forever rain"||4:28||Choi Jaehoon||Animation|||
|"seoul"||4:33||YongSeok Choi (Lumpens)||Lyric video|||
|2014||"Intro:What Am I To You?"||2:53||Unknown||Animation|||
|2016||"Reflection #5"||3:02||YongSeok Choi (Lumpens)|||