Get To Know BTS: Rap Monster

After their global popularity led BTS to becoming the first ever K-pop group to win a Billboard Music Awards at this year’s BBMAs — a feat that no other Korean aside from Psy has achieved — all eyes are on the septet. With their trend-setting approach to K-pop and their charismatic, but relatable, personalities, the boy band is the most visible Asian act in the US right now.

While their ever-loyal ARMY knows everything that there is to learn about the BTS guys, there’s a lot to this South Korean act that newcomers may not be familiar with. Never fear, Billboard‘s basic guide to the BTS members is here to help.

BTS frontman Kim Namjoon was born Sept. 12, 1994, and has been impressing with his skills as an underground rapper before BTS was even founded. Since the group’s first release in 2013, Rap Monster has led the group to great heights. Check out five quick facts about Rap Monster below.

1. The Group Leader

K-pop acts typically have a member responsible for making sure that things get done and go the way they’re supposed to and Rap Monster definitely lives up to the title of “leader.” He was the first person brought on as part of the group that would later become BTS, and has provided a stalwart foundation for the group. 

2. Raps Like a Monster

The name says it all, doesn’t it?  One of BTS’ rappers, Rap Monster also writes music and is known for putting his creative touch on a lot of their songs. But, despite his stage name, Rap Monster doesn’t only rap; he recently sang on one of the song’s the group members released during their recent fourth anniversary event.

3. Gets Around With Collaborations

He’s worked with some of Korea’s most popular hip hop and indie artists, like MFBTY, Primary, Don Mills and Gaeko. Earlier this year he teamed up with Wale for the politically-charged “Change.”

4. He Learned English by Watching Friends

Rap Monster does the majority of BTS’ English-language interviews because he’s the only member fluent in the language. He’s self-taught and has said that he learned while watching Friends. He told Yahoo that Chandler is his favorite character and that he’s a fan of Ross and Rachel’s romance. If it’s at all shocking that he learned English through a sitcom, just consider that Rap Monster is recognized in Korea for having an above-average IQ.

5. He Was an Underground Rapper Before BTS

Before BTS, RM was originally known as Runch Randa in the Korean underground scene and was also part of the Daenamhyup crew. Rap Monster’s always held on to a bit of that anti-mainstream attitude, especially with his expressive 2015 mixtape.