The Fascinating Difference In The Songwriting Styles Of BTS’s RM And Suga

How two genius minds work so uniquely!

BTS‘s RM and Suga are both widely acknowledged for their lyric-writing skills. But their perspectives are so different from each other while talking about the same subject that it is almost bewildering.

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The two have lived and worked together in close proximity for over a decade. Yet somehow, they have developed very distinct approaches to songwriting that each stands out on its own merit.

The two songs “Seesaw” and “Strange” can be taken as examples here.

“Seesaw” is a solo song by Suga from Love Yourself: Answer. The song’s lyrics talk about a tumultuous relationship where both the parties are sick of the constant ups and downs, but both lack the courage to walk away from it first. Suga uses the visual effect of an actual seesaw going up and down to establish a sense of motion sickness and confusion in the song.

Seesaw English translation |

While discussing the songs on this album, RM talked about how he was amazed by Suga’s songwriting. He said that without any difficult words or concepts, he created a beautiful song like this. But according to him, if he were to approach the song with the same title, his approach would have been widely different.

For RM, the focus seems to be primarily on creating new meanings out of unassuming words. In fact, fans would argue that using different types of wordplay is one of his biggest strengths as a lyricist.

Next comes the song “Strange.” It was a part of Suga’s second mixtape D-2 and RM had a feature on this song. The theme of the lyrics was a heavy one- discussing the perils of this capitalistic world.

“Strange” English translation |

Fans were blown away by the lyricism of the song and how differently the two rappers delivered their messages on the same topic.

The consensus, in this case, seems to be that while Suga writes either from a third-person perspective or a very personal point of view, RM includes the listeners into the song from the get-go.

A similar instance would be the song “Paradise.” RM directly addresses the listeners constantly — “Dream doesn’t need to be anything grand/ You can just become anyone.”  On the other hand, Suga uses his personal viewpoint to say, “The world has no right to curse at me / It never has even taught me how to dream.” 

Even though both of them are talking about the same thing, that those without a dream also deserve to live a full, satisfactory life, the difference in their storytelling is very vivid.

While there are definitely more examples that showcase the baseline of difference between the songwriting approach of these two, in the end, they come together to create a whole narrative that connects with the listeners from every angle.