For Yoongi’s birthday, I was going to do a bonus podcast episode all about Yoongi’s best verses/songs (to me). Think about something in the style of the MOTS7 or D-2 reviews but gushier – as the D-2 review did have some criticism that no longer applies. I’m feeling a bit ill and couldn’t do the podcast editing and recording in a timely manner, but I wanted to do this anyway.
So here are 11 of my favorite Yoongi verses, solo songs, or collabs so far in no particular order
(Lyric translations are from Wisha and Doolset and are linked for each song!)
Cypher Pt 2
I love a good diss track and BTS’s Cypher PT.2 Triptych is probably one of the best and most well-aimed weapons in BTS’s early arsenal of clapbacks. While all three verses from the group’s rapline shine like the blade of a knife, Yoongi’s verse is just so…. Delightfully mean. It’s smug, it’s sharp, it’s Yoongi thumbing his nose at rappers who do less but expect to get more because of embarrassing understandings of authenticity in hip hop. It also has a dig at B-free, who I loathe, so that’s nice. This is one of the songs I play when I’m in a fighting mood and Yoongi’s verse, his rough voice… that’s why.
2nd Grade is a great song and I really love the speed in Yoongi uses in his verse. It’s a swift verse, for sure, and it comes near the end of the track. I adore the confidence that Yoongi holds here and his boldness. Ugh!! SO GOOD!!
Song Request is beautiful. Lee Sora’s voice is timeless and dreamy, so to then pair her with Yoongi? Oh boy. Song Request is melancholy, but I can’t get enough of Yoongi rapping over this really gentle beat with lyrics like “누군가에겐 끝 누군가에게는 처음/For someone, I’m the end; for another, the beginning”. I just get all up in my feelings over this song because it’s just… it’s so soft and Yoongi’s voice is so soothing on his feature??
Obviously, every song from the BTS WORLD soundtrack is incredible and perfect. However, All Night (the track Yoongi and Namjoon did with the late Juice WRLD) is next level. For me, All Night is a track that has some light romantic notes, some nostalgia and looking back to the past and future at once, Yoongi’s lyrics in particular. I actually get such a kick out of Yoongi’s lyrics about career goals/dreams sandwiched between Namjoon’s lightly romantic lyrics and Juice WRLD’s… kinda hornt lyrics.
Yoongi’s part on this remix for Savage Love is brief but exquisite. I loved the tone of his voice and how well he fits on this track. This was a fun, summer bop before BTS but there’s something about having Yoongi (and Hobi and Jungkook) on the track that elevates it. This is a song that made me long for some kind of summer bop from BTS and you know… we sure did get Butter this year and that hit the niche I had wanted BTS to fill.
Come Back Home
An updated version of the classic Seo Taiji & Boys track by the same name, BTS’ take on Come Back Home is one of my favorite songs. This remake has the same energy, but BTS brought their different unique styles and talents to the track in a really stunning way. Yoongi’s parts across the song just get me so hyped up like I’m ready to fight but… for human rights?
I will confess that I like the version of Tony Montana with Jimin better, but that’s uh… not the one I have lyrics for. I’m down here in South Florida and I love things that ping as hip hop throwbacks – Yoongi’s reference to Tony Montana is absolutely in the vein of decades of hip hop icons identifying with Tony Montana’s rise and fall – so I get such a kick out of this track. Like this is kind of a track made for me. I love this smug, super confident, goal-driven kinda hip hop like what the fuck??
I was going through BTS’ discography again on the struggle to pick songs for this and Yoongi’s part on Paradise kinda leapt out and grabbed me? Speed first, pricks my ears. I am not of the mindset that fast rapping is good rapping, but Yoongi is good and fast and the shape of the lyrics in his mouth? Delicious. I also love how it easy segues into Hobi’s part like… a treat for my ears, for sure.
In case you missed it from back when I did my MOTS7 review back in 2020, I fucking love UGH. Another song that makes me want to fight, wow. I just strongly suggest you go and check out what I said about the track as a whole because my god that song… But I love Yoongi’s voice on this track and how he delivers his annoyance with the netizens acting as gnats biting at them. I need to make this track my soundtrack for dealing with the haters on my online life, that’s for sure.
I love a good throwback-y track and Respect absolutely is that. Shout-out to Yoongi and Namjoon for putting together a song that made me spend months trying to figure out where the fraking sample was from. I’m still not sure, by the way. Anyway, I really just love the energy of this song especially the BangBangCon version which was very charming and fun!!
While all of the songs on D-2 were incredibly relevant, Honsool is perhaps one of the most relevant two years after its release. Honsool is depression in a good way, like it’s a reminder that Yoongi is just a guy, he’s human, and he’s Going Through It too. Our lives are different but also… not so different. I love Yoongi the most when he’s vulnerable and clear about the life he’s living and this song is just… so good. It’s such a mood and it makes me really feel… kinda connected with Yoongi across time and space?
Okay so I got this in a little (a lot) late but I’m really glad I get to listen to Yoongi’s incredible voice and bask in his brilliance, especially now on the kind of… tail end of his birthday. What are your favorite tracks from him?