You live in a society. I live in Hope World.
On February 3, BTS dropped “Outro: Ego” with member j-hope in the spotlight ahead of the release of Map of the Soul: 7. “Ego” marks the third track that the South Korean pop powerhouse has teased fans with in the lead up to their of fourth studio album’s release.
Much like “Interlude: Shadow”, “Outro: Ego” takes inspiration from Carl Jung’s Model of the Psyche in its lyrical resolve of identity over an infectious Afrobeat groove.
Earlier this year, SUGA had kicked off comeback preparations with the “Interlude: Shadow” comeback trailer, rapping about coping with the weaknesses, desires, and shortcomings that fame provokes. In contrast, j-hope acknowledges those struggles that come with a seven-year career as being formative to the person he is now. The ego central to notions of identity in its connection to an individual’s thoughts, memories, and emotions, the rapper reflects on this in his declaration selfhood, his outlook on the future coloured with his namesake, hope.
The colourful comeback trailer acts as a throwback of sorts to the group’s career, opening with a sample from the group’s debut trailer before showing a quick montage of their past music videos from their most recent title track “Boy With Luv” to their humble start with “No More Dream”. The music video also doesn’t shy from making fun references to the Bangtan Universe, Kingsman, and ARMYs.
Ultimately, each solo track designated to a BTS rapper in the Map of the Soul series has allowed for their individuality shine. “Ego” is a perfect testament to that. The track in its sound and visuals is distinctly and wonderfully j-hope with “Ego” carrying the same upbeat sensibility found in his debut mixtape, Hope World.
The track follows pre-release single, “Black Swan” which recently had its debut stage on The Late Late Show this week. Already seeing a record-breaking 3.42 million preorders in its first week, Map of the Soul: 7 is set to come out February 21. That’s this month. Amazing.
Thoughts? Remember to stay hydrated, to give your eyes a rest from staring at a digital screen at too long, and to stream for self-care! Yell words at @ForeverBTScom!