Kim Nam-joon (Korean: 김남준; born September 12, 1994), better known by his stage name RM (formerly Rap Monster), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter and record producer. He is the leader of the South Korean boy group BTS. In 2015, he released his first solo mixtape, RM. In October 2018, his second mixtape, Mono, was the highest-charting album by a Korean soloist on the Billboard 200 chart, having peaked at 26. He has recorded with artists such as Wale, Younha, Warren G, Gaeko, Krizz Kaliko, MFBTY, Fall Out Boy, Primary, and Lil Nas X.
RM selected the name “Rap Monster” during his time as an idol trainee. Though commonly misunderstood that the name means that he “raps like a monster”, it actually derives from the lyrics of a song he wrote, inspired by San E’s “Rap Genius”. The lyrics contained a segment where San E declares he should be called a “rap monster” as he “raps non-stop”. He adopted the stage name because he felt it was “cool”. RM has described himself as having a love-hate relationship with the name, feeling that it was not selected for being of “incredible value” to him.
He formally changed his stage name to “RM” in November 2017, as he determined that “Rap Monster” was no longer representative of who he was or the music that he creates. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight RM stated that “[the name] could symbolize many things. It could have more spectrums to it.” “Real Me” was provided as a possible current meaning.