The Heartbreaking Lyrics Hidden in RM’s ‘Uhgood’

Culture

어긋 (Uhgood) is the 5th track on RM’s second mixtape, mono. The title means ‘being off’ or ‘going against something’. According to the lyrics of the song, the more exact meaning of this title is ‘being off between the ideal and the reality of self’.

In the VLive where Namjoon talked about the process of making ‘mono’ and the story behind each track, he said ‘uhgood’ was supposed to be ‘Reflection’ in ‘Wings’ but he saved it for later. Namjoon talked about how this track is very heartbreaking to him and he has many memories attached to it.

The track focuses on the struggle of being what is ideal versus what is reality. The lyrics depict the urgent desire to cross the metaphorical bridge between Namjoon’s ideal self and his real self.

“All I need is me

I know I know I know

All you need is you

You know you know you know”

Here the repetition of ‘I know’ and ‘You know’ show how much we all are constantly taught to focus on embracing ourselves, stop comparing ourselves to others, love ourselves, etc. by society to the point that it is ingrained in us. Yet, we are not able to do it and we keep pushing ourselves for self-improvement to reach the ideal versions of ourselves.

“At times I’m disappointed with myself

Honestly, I trample myself”

In the first verse, Namjoon talks about how at times he is disappointed in himself and over-works himself for self-improvement to reach the ideal version of himself. The verse continues with phrases like “do you only amount to this?”, “you need to be so much cooler” etc., which might be his internal dialogue where he questions himself and his ability to be the ideal version of himself. Most people have experienced this too: being hard on ourselves that we haven’t done our best, constantly blaming ourselves for our piercing faults and weakness.

These lyrics also chronicle the pain and torment that can come from knowing that your thoughts are destructive but still being trapped inside them. We put ourselves into turmoil by degrading ourselves, get convinced we are useless, and end up questioning our worth.

“To be out of place, it hurts so much

If you don’t experience it, it cannot be known”

In these lines, Namjoon talks about the pain of not feeling like yourself, feeling out of place, feeling lonely in a crowded place because you are torn with how you see yourself, your faults, and the idealized perfect self that you want to be.

These lines can be related to the feeling of there being an empty spot in your chest, when you can’t feel at ease thinking you don’t belong here, you don’t belong in this world.

These lines can also be tied to his 2018 UN speech: ‘Today, I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes. Tomorrow, I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’ll be me too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for whom I hope to become.’

“My ideal and what is reality

They’re so far, far away

But I still want to cross that two bridges

To reach myself

To the real me”

These lines can be seen as the way he’s tried to ‘reach himself’ and end the gap between his real and idealized self. Here, the idea of there being a bridge between his two selves is expanded as he talks about them being very far away from each other and he needs to work harder, strives for self-improvement to bring them closer, and ultimately reach his ‘idealized’ self.

It is like having two perspectives of yourself, the IDEAL you is what you think or believe you SHOULD be, and the REAL you is who you REALLY are. Namjoon desires to make those two selves as similar as possible by crossing the figurative bridges and therefore finding his real self.

“I feel so lonely when I’m with me”

Throughout his writing, Namjoon expressed his thoughts regarding loneliness. His 2015 mixtape, RM features the song ‘Life’ which questions loneliness and its persistent existence in everyone’s life. While loneliness is considered a negative thing, Namjoon accepts it as a part of himself and acknowledges he is lonely although it is not ideal.

These lines are also in the continuation of lines “All I need is me” which appear earlier in the song. Namjoon questions why he feels so lonely if he is the only one he needs. Maybe, Namjoon feels this loneliness because he has some internal struggles that are yet unresolved.

“As one lives, one may receive a B

That’s right. Hey, it can happen that you also receive a B”

With the help of grades, here Namjoon says that as you live your life, you may receive a B some time. B as a grade isn’t a bad grade but sometimes, people can be so uptight that upon receiving it, they become harder on themselves and push themselves even more. Here B as a grade is used to denote things that are less than your expectations. People often refuse to even think of what might happen if they don’t get their way and refuse to see any other possibilities but you won’t always get what you want, you can’t always have your way.

“It may rain days and days endlessly

Even in the desert, the rain can fall”

Here, the rain may be a symbol for problems or setbacks thus signifying days when there seems to be no hope in midst of many problems you may be facing. Or, in the opposite sense, it could also mean blessings pouring down on you.

Namjoon recalls that it can still rain in the desert. Within a person’s despair and failure, glimmers of hope and small victories are still plausible. Rain in the desert may not occur often, but this infrequency simply makes it all the more beautiful when it does. This part reaffirms that things come into your life when you least expect them.

This line could also be a reference to BTS’ hidden track “Sea”, a song that parallels the sea with success and the desert with failure. It expresses the anxiety of being able to recognize success when failure is all a person’s ever known. The track ends with the solemn conclusion that success can only come through despair.

“But I’m sorry, I can’t give up on myself

The me who I know, can’t let go

In my head, you’re so flawless

So complete”

The ideal picture of yourself which you have created in your mind is deemed perfect and complete by you. In these lines, Namjoon shows that he has come to the resolution that whether he feels disappointed with himself sometimes, and although he feels like he should do better, this is his REAL self and he’s not going to give up on him. He comes to the stage of accepting his flaws and anticipating unexpected presents from life and makes all these instruments of making himself better.

“To the real me

Yeah yeah”

Throughout his journey in life, he is going to use the countless realizations and lessons he might have pondered upon or learned from others to find his REAL self.

Vama Suvani
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Vama Suvani is a high school student whose interest lies in English literature and History. She writes articles and poems on a variety of topics relatable to teenagers. Vama loves to read books and documents her feelings on them in her Tumblr blog.