In a new interview with Weverse Magazine, BTS‘s J-Hope shared the raw and honest sentiments behind “Dis-ease”—the new BE song he composed himself and co-wrote with RM, Suga, and Jimin.
Over the course of his career, J-Hope has participated in writing lyrics for over 100 songs, with additional composer and producer credits on several. So, naturally, making a song like “Dis-ease” wasn’t an entirely new experience—but it was different to many of his other works.
J-Hope explained that whenever he makes a song, he starts with the chorus before moving onto the first verse. But, when he first made the chorus for “Dis-ease”, J-Hope says it didn’t feel quite right: “the [chorus] felt upbeat, but I thought the overall theme shouldn’t be too playful“.
That [upbeat vibe] wouldn’t reflect how I felt.
However, while the theme of “Dis-ease” is somewhat heavy, J-Hope did like the juxtaposition between the two feelings. According to the rapper-writer, when the theme “fuses with the beat, it feels as if the song is trying to get over itself and stay positive“. To make everything come together, he added some “scratching” and “bbyap bbyap bbyap” into the chorus.
Then started to think, “Aha! I’d better call this song ‘Dis-ease’.”
But where did the inspiration behind the “Dis-ease” lyrics themselves come from? As you may have already guessed from lines like “Even if I scream, I’m hungry for achievements every day“, J-Hope says his lyrics were inspired by his relationship with his work.
When BTS were highly active and busy everyday, J-Hope says he often said to himself, “Ugh, I need a break“. However, when the pandemic struck and the group members found themselves with more time on their hands, J-Hope surprised himself by saying the opposite: “Ugh, I want to work“.
[Before the pandemic,] I was too busy to ever give much thought about the work itself.
The rapper went on to explain that the changes in BTS’s career made him look more closely about why finally having a chance to rest was “bothering” him, and why he felt the “need to work under such circumstances“. It also gave him the chance to realize he’d been avoiding facing his work-related problems.
[I thought,] is this an occupational disease?
Ultimately, he realized that “work is kind of an ugly duckling“—it gives him good energy, but he also needs the good energy he gets from resting. J-Hope confessed that he feels “alive” when he’s working on music or interacting with the fans, and feels “anxious” when he has to stop. But, at the same time, there are also times when he doesn’t want to work.
While writing his share of the song, he decided to express that part of himself. J-Hope says that the great thing about music is that he can truly share what’s on his mind “in beautiful ways“—”even feelings of sadness or depression“.
I don’t usually express those feelings but this time I wanted to try.