All the fan theories about BTS’ new album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’

Going back to ‘Skool Luv Affair’ and the start of a new trilogy

On Wednesday (March 27) BTS sent the Internet into overdrive once again, by revealing the trailer for next album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’. The video included the first song from the album, ‘Persona’, and it’s a huge chunk of hip-hop tinged pop. Boasting a roaring electric guitar riff, leader of BTS RM raps over the slick sample, which musically heralds back to the older sound of the band.

And of course the video holds a ton of secrets. Eagle-eyed members of the BTS ARMY have since been going through the trailer frame by frame and picking out all the references to past eras, and formulating fan theories. Here’s everything you could have missed:

Future album names may have been revealed


There’s a scene that shows a blackboard with various arbitrary words, but maybe they’re not so arbitrary after all. One theory going around is that these words relate to the upcoming albums, and are clues about the album title and song names. Some are predicting that ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ could the first album in a trilogy (following their 2017-18 trilogy ‘Love Yourself’), and the words on the blackboard relate to the names of the next two albums.

It’ll be inspired by psychologist Carl Jung

We already knew this one, but the video further cemented the proof that ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ would be inspired by Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. On the blackboard we see references to his theories and teachings, with the words ‘persona’, ‘psyche’ and ‘ego’ all appearing amongst others.


‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ could be throwing back to BTS’ older sound

The sample used at the beginning of the trailer is a remix of the ‘Skool Luv Affair’ comeback trailer intro, which could mean they’re going to be embracing the more hip-hop dominated sound they had on that album (this hip-hop laced sound is evident throughout the new song, ‘Persona).

There are also shots of RM in a very familiar looking classroom. It’s reminiscent of the ‘Boys in Luv’ music video (which was a track on ‘Skool Luv Affair’), and another reference to that era of the band.

Could the new era be based around college?

In the trailer we see shots of RM in front of a blackboards, wearing what could be a school blazer and in what looks like a school auditorium, which is leading fans to speculate that the new era could be centred around college life. Also the references to ‘Skool Luv Affair’, but with a newer, more mature twist, could hint at an era based around the next stage in the life of BTS.

Kim Namjoon for president?

The video also references the ARMY calling for Kim Namjoon to be president. It may or may not be something that recurs in the next era; but it’s a lovely moment in the trailer that proves how important fans are to the band.

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

 This quote is from The Wizard of Oz and appears on a jacket RM is wearing. This could reference Jung’s teachings, as the Wizard had two versions of himself: the big and brash Wizard that everyone in Oz sees and respects, and the real man “behind the curtain”. Jung’s teachings might say that the fake version of himself the wizard puts forward is his Persona.

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