Months before he released his second solo album, RM and his team started posting on the new Instagram account, @rpwprpwprpwp. Although the leader of BTS, of course, has his personal account, @rpwprpwprpwp shares unfiltered, candid film photos. These casual, unhurried slices of life are the antithesis of the images that are usually shown in the K-pop world. And RM’s new album — Right Place, Wrong Person — and the aesthetic it has curated appears to reflect his recent focus in life. Both RM and his music hone in on a more experimental angle: one that also refreshingly leans into life’s imperfections. 

The title track of Right Place, Wrong Person (whose team included other Korean artists like OHHYUK and Kuo, the vocalist from the Taiwanese band Sunset Rollercoaster) embodies this best. “LOST!” is a quirky, tongue-in-cheek ride next to the pleading pensiveness of the pre-release single “Come back to me.” 

When the “LOST!” MV begins, a red and white name tag takes up the entire frame. “Inside Namjoon’s Brain,” it reads, which is also a bit of a running joke among BTS fans. The last two words on the name tag are written in all caps with a Sharpie marker. In “LOST!” we have arrived inside RM’s brain. To be honest, it is quite an experience. 

Funny (in a particular way), captivating (in a can’t-take-my-eyes-off-the-screen way), and a bit confusing (maybe more than just a little bit), “LOST!” takes viewers on a journey of suits, offices, music, and oddly enough, offbeat TV programming. The twists and turns — from the unsettling serious expressions to random cast turning into RM — as a result, make viewers feel quite, well, lost. But maybe that’s how RM has been feeling recently, particularly about his path as an artist (and a worldwide famous one at that) compared to the path his life might have followed if he had remained a student and joined the workforce. 

This is the story the MV tells as RM fluctuates between being the guest star on a TV show (“The Lost Show, Starring RM!”) and a baggy-suit-wearing office worker. Once the hosts of the show, who have donned clothes with relatively shapeless silhouettes, introduce the singer and he begins his song, RM notices something strange. Namely, everyone (who also happens to have the same style of rigidly cut bob) is staring at him with lifeless expressions. Then they start to become people bearing his face, like the camera woman wearing a “Best Mom” pullover. 

There are RM’s everywhere in “LOST!,” to the point that even the MV feels like a trippy reality experiment. That’s the point, however. As RM sing-speaks about being “goddamn lost,” he takes in the different paths he could have taken and the different people he could have been. 

Then, we are all suddenly in an elevator with RM and four other people dressed in oversized suits from the ‘80s. They also, in a little twist, wear a “Hello! My name is RM” name tag — the kind you would find at uncomfortable social functions. The MV continues with its fantastical twist when the elevator is revealed to be quite unusual. Numbered buttons are arranged in random order and blink sporadically, creating a disconcerting feeling. Meanwhile, the five people also rapidly drop down to who knows where. Yet, no one (not even RM) seems particularly alarmed. In fact, there is one man who tilts his neck back at a 90-degree angle and stares up above with a wide, frozen smile on his face. It is as if he is always overjoyed to imagine what is beyond the confines of the elevator, of the office space later in the MV, of his current life. 

When the elevator halts, RM is no longer on the top of the world and recognized by TV watchers. Rather, his path is now work. Together, the five walk across a burnt-orange-colored floor. But here is the thing: there is just the narrow piece of floor, a printer, a foldable chair, and a small plant. The space drops into darkness otherwise. RM also witnesses other possible hims all wearing the same suit as they walk along different hallways, paces in offices, and dances in a filing room.

One of the final scenes pieces “LOST!” together. The four people have piled onto each other — feet on shoulders — to make him a ladder to climb into and beyond the ceiling. Lo and behold, RM has found himself (well, mostly his head) protruding through the TV hosts’ desk. He watches himself watching him, even on another path of life. Although the rest of the MV shows only a shot of the other people staring, once again, up at the ceiling as faint music drifts down to them, we know what is happening. RM is up there, quite literally, in another world of spotlights and brightness. Meanwhile, the four are still down here in the office, in all its lack of inspiration and darkness. A loud slam of something heavy shutting makes the verdict final. But, viewers can’t help but wonder: where are the four other people now?

RM may be serving in the military right now, for almost six months at this point, but he has clearly stated that he is still here. He is still making music, still making connections, and still thinking many, many thoughts with the certified genius brain of his. 

(YouTube. Images via Big Hit Music.)