In his new solo album, DUALITY, MONSTA X‘s I.M laid his soul bare for the world to see through dark, emotional lyrics and a powerful music video for the title track “God Damn.”
While both of the MONSTA X rappers have released solo mixtapes before, this is the first time any member of the group has released a solo album. In an interview with Teen Vogue, I.M delved into the story of DUALITY and what it represents to him, starting with the name of the album.
If there is a big difference between working on my album and working on the team albums, is that if I’m working for the team, I need to match all of their colours and the views of the public. But if I’m working just on my own, I can release myself in a very comfortable way. Because that is just me. That word [“duality”] just clicked with me because duality is kind of like my personality too. Everybody has a lot of sides. You have lots of you. I have lots of me, whether sad or happy. You have a lot of different parts to yourself.
—I.M told Teen Vogue.
The title track, “God Damn,” is his favorite. He considers it the most meaningful and special to him out of the five tracks on the album.
I was making my music and I was lying to myself, saying ‘you’re fine. You’re good. God damnit, you like it.’ But inside …
—I.M talking about “God Damn.”
He didn’t finish his sentence but once you take a look at the lyrics of the song, the pieces fall into place.
The other songs on the album follow in the same vein—an exploration of who he is as a person, where he is and where he’s trying to go, and all the emotions that come with that. For instance, the second track, “Howlin’,” is a contemplation of life and how one reacts to its ups and downs.
I isolate myself when I’m stressed or depressed. But when you are alone, sometimes you don’t want to be. You want to be alone but at the same time, you want to be with somebody. That is duality too.
—I.M talking about “Howlin’.”
The final track, “시든 꽃 (flower-ed),” features the rapper singing to a slower, wistful melody. He has increasingly gotten more comfortable with his vocal skills and is finally showing them off fully on DUALITY, much to the delight of his fans.
I realized that my voice is very unique. I didn’t sing at first. But lots of fans love when I sing so I got the confidence that I needed.
This is still only the beginning for I.M
My musical life has just started, so keep looking on. I have lots of things to show to you. For you. This is just the start. God damn it!