“Set Me Free Pt.2” by Jimin
BTS, as a unit, has not released any songs thus far in 2023 and by the looks of things will not be doing so for the next couple of years. This hiatus began in 2022 whereas Jin, the group’s eldest member, decided to fulfill his military duty as mandated by the South Korean government.
Basically, the law in that country states that the latest a South Korean man can enlist for military service is at the age of 30. So as the other Bangtan Boys are also approaching that threshold, they all intend to serve their mandatory year and a half in the army by 2025, thus explaining the hiatus.
In the meantime though, some of the homeys who aren’t currently military active have been dropping singles. For instance, J-Hope (the third-oldest member of BTS) came out with a song in conjunction with J. Cole earlier this month while concurrently terminating his application for a postponement of army duty (which big stars like himself are eligible for). He received his official enlistment date shortly afterwards.
RELEASE OF “SET ME FREE PT.1”
Then in 17 March 2023, Jimin came out with “Set Me Free Pt.2”, of course via Big Hit Music, the label that created BTS. (By the looks of things, as of this Jimin has yet to announce when exactly he intends to fulfill his military obligations.)
To note, Jimin has already dropped a handful of singles sans BTS, the two most notable thus far both being collaborations, 2022’s “With You” alongside Ha Sung-woon and 2023’s “Vibe” as the featured artist of Taeyang. But now he’s on the verge of coming out with his debut album (which is technically defined as a studio album even though it only consists of six tracks).
“Set Me Free Pt.2” is the lead single from that project, which is titled “Face”.
“SET ME FREE PT.1”?
To note, there isn’t an actual “Set Me Free Pt.1”. Instead, as described by Jimin, this song is a sequel in sentiment only to an unspecified track from an EP his bandmate Suga dropped (under the alias August D) in 2020 titled “D-2”.
SET JIMIN FREE!
As far as the thesis sentiment goes, these lyrics read like standard BTS fare in terms of the message basically being that one’s personal ‘freedom’ should be pursued at all costs. But there are what can be deemed three major differences here.
One is that, instead of adopting the Bangtan Boys’ usual method of addressing listeners as companions that the vocalist is on a mutual journey with, instead the wording of this track is more squarely centered on the narrator himself.
Secondly, besides noting that he and the other writers of this song (Supreme Boi, Pdogg and GHSTLoop, with the latter two also being the track’s producers) were drinking when they put “Set Me Free Pt.2” together, Jimin actually mentions Hennessy in the first verse, whereas shoutouts to alcoholic beverages isn’t a K-pop norm.
“Now, set me free-e-e
Set me free-e-e”
And thirdly he drops the F-word a couple of times in this track, and this outing can be deemed more confrontational – with “opps” being called out and all – than what you would usually expect from a BTS bandmate or K-popper in general.
But those lyrical risks, if you will, also encapsulate the message behind the track, one in which the vocalist is longing to be “set… free” more so than anything else.
As far as calling out the “opps” and “fool(s)” which materialize along the way, that’s Jimin’s way of noting that said goal is not achieved without some resistance from the likes of haters and naysayers. But now is the vocalist’s “prime time”, as he puts it. And he intends to capitalize on his peak, if you will, by going all-out, even if doing so means he has to damn his adversaries in the process.