BTS “ON” Thoughts and Theories

BTS, the most popular boy band in the world, dropped their new album called Map of the Soul: 7, with their song “ON” breaking YouTube’s Premier Record.

First of all, we need to know the whole meaning of BTS’s album and their song “ON” before we can continue.

BTS named the album Map of the Soul: 7,  because they have 7 members, and they have been a band together for 7 years now. So, this album is full of symbols about their past and growth over the years.

“ON” has two music videos: one being a Kinetic Manifesto Film, and the other one as the official video from BigHit.

When I first watched the Kinetic Manifesto Film, my first thought was why Jimin and V were the only ones wearing white, while everyone else wore black. I am positive it is a symbol for something, but I don’t know exactly for what. 

However, after I listened to their song “Friends”, which is a song about their development in their friendship, from having a rough start when they first debuted, to being each other’s “soul mates”, I began to think that maybe it was because of that.

The song “ON” has many different symbols, and one of them that I noticed was that they wore tank tops with leather jackets on. Back when they first debuted, they wore tank tops and haven’t worn them since. So, that is one of the things I saw as a symbol of their growth and development over the 7 years they have been together.

Now, more towards the lyrics of the song. In the song, BTS sings about rain and being in a beautiful prison. However, the setting of the video is in this wide open space with a clear blue sky. 

Because of this, I know that the rain is a metaphor for their hardships. So because of that, I interpreted the sky as a symbol of success and perfection.

The whole song itself is about welcoming the pain because they aren’t scared anymore, and admitting that to overcome their shadows, they have to accept it.

Now, moving on to the official music video, the setting is set in an older time and includes a lot of biblical symbols.

The music video first starts out with showing us a battlefield with Jin looking at a dove that has an arrow through it. Jin then takes the bird into a little shack full of empty bird cages and puts it in a cage, covering it up with a cloth.

In this music video, I think that Jin’s role is a bird keeper. However, the empty bird cages tell me that he has failed many times, which is exactly like the concept of Jin going back in time to save all the members.

And in this video, Jungkook is the one who Jin saves. During J-Hope’s part, Jungkook is seen lying on the ground with a crow on him. The crow symbolizes death, so this is how we know he is dead.

Going back to Jin and the bird, the bird comes back to life, and so does Jungkook in the video. Jungkook then walks into a body of water and dips his hands, which are tied up by thorns, and brings them out of the water with the thorns gone, and a shell in his hands.

The thorns that tied up Jungkook’s hands are another biblical symbol in the video. It represents the crown of thorns that was put on Jesus’s head when he was going to be crucified.

Another thing to realize is that shells are a symbol of birth. So when Jungkook blew the conch, it symbolized the start of a rebirth. We can see the signs of rebirth because at the beginning there were no trees, only death; but after he blew the conch, trees began growing, and Jin released the bird that came back to life.

The members then climbed what looks like Pride Rock from The Lion King, and shows Jungkook running with a smile on his face to the top of the rock. This is very significant because for the first time, BTS shows Jungkook running with a smile on his face. 

In previous music videos, everytime Jungkook was running, like in “Not today”, he was scared. But in this video, he isn’t scared because he is finally free and he’s not afraid to fly anymore.

However, there are many different theories and more symbols that go along with this music video that we should keep in mind. Though, I think BTS was trying to be literal with their song, these were just some of the things I noticed and thought of.