Song of the Week: RM and Anderson .Paak Can’t Be Locked Down in “Still Life”

Sylo, Alec Benjamin, and Strawberry Fuzz also dropped essential tracks

rm indigo still life
RM, photo courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, RM and Anderson .Paak team up for a joyful cut from the BTS leader’s debut album.

    In June of this year, BTS released “Yet to Come,” a personal, old-school hip-hop track, and their first Korean-language single since 2020’s “Life Goes On.” To celebrate the release of their massive anthology album, PROOF, the band shared three of the songs live from the Las Vegas desert, with Anderson .Paak joining on drums for the performance of “Yet to Come.” While the members of BTS clearly love the song, and the backup singers take us all to church, it’s .Paak who seems truly overjoyed, unable to contain the grin on his face throughout the recording.

    Plenty has changed between now and then — “PROOF Live” was released the day before the members of BTS would officially introduce their second chapter, a time focused primarily on solo material; it would be a few months later, following a concert with all seven members in the South Korean city of Busan, that the members would confirm their decision to complete their country’s compulsory military service.


    On Friday, December 2nd, RM (the leader of the group) released his solo entry, following months of albums and single releases from his fellow members. Indigo is the work of a true writer — as RM is responsible for the majority of lyrical and composition responsibilities for BTS, his style has evolved, shifted, and strengthened over the past decade. It’s also a collaboration-heavy record, with all but two tracks bringing in other names. There are plenty of highlights on Indigo, and moments for those drawn to ballads and hip-hop alike; the record begins with a feature from Erykah Badu, and the lead single features South Korean vocalist youjeen.

    RM is a noted art lover, and the album’s second track, “Still Life,” is a playful take on the classic painting style. It’s here that RM brings Anderson .Paak back for another outing, and the drummer, vocalist, and Silk Sonic member seems as thrilled to be returning to the world of BTS as he did the first time he linked up with the group. “Still life, can’t lock me in the frame, I’m moving,” he sings on the chorus. An addictive bass line anchors the track, punctuated by a choir of background vocals and light horns.

    There’s a bit of a dichotomy to the track, which is about reclaiming autonomy when living a life that’s incredibly on display, but things ultimately tilt towards a positive side with RM and .Paak taking the optimistic route. “Shit happens in life, but what happens is what happens, you know what I’m saying?” RM asks during the bridge. “It’s gonna be what it’s gonna be bro,” .Paak confirms. When things are moving nonstop, “Still Life” makes the chaos seem fun.


    Mary Siroky
    Contributing Editor

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