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At the end of the year, BTS was recognized with several New Artist of the Year awards, including the 5th Melon Music Awards, 28th Golden Disc Awards and the 23rd Seoul Music Awards. In 2018, RM released his second mixtape entitled Mono that October, which he referred to as a “playlist”. He became the first Korean artist to rank number one on the Emerging Artists Chart in the United States with the playlist. The playlist was critically well received, with RM laying “his deep insecurities bare on songs like ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Seoul'”. Honne first discovered RM after seeing him recommend their music on Twitter, and eventually met him in Seoul following one of their concerts.
That November, RM also collaborated with Tiger JK on his last and final album as Drunken Tiger before retiring the name, featuring on the track “Timeless”. Tiger JK originally expected RM’s lyrics to contain self praise, which was the trend of rap at the time, but RM wrote the lyrics to leave behind the historical meaning of Drunken Tiger’s name. In March 2017, RM collaborated with American rapper Wale on a special socially-charged track called “Change”, released as a free digital download along with an accompanying music video filmed about two weeks prior to the track’s release. The pair first formed a relationship over Twitter with Wale reaching out to RM in 2016, having seen RM’s cover of his track “Illest Bitch”.
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The track reached number 18 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and helped RM reach number 46 on the Emerging Artists Chart for the week of January 8, 2018. On December 27, RM made history as the first K-pop artist to chart on the Rock Digital Songs chart, coming in at number two on the list. BTS released their second Korean-language studio album Wings in October 2016, which charted at number one on South Korea’s Gaon Album Chart and became the best-selling album of 2016 in the country. Following the success of Wings, Big Hit Entertainment announced in January 2017 that a sequel to the album, titled You Never Walk Alone, would be served as a reissue. “Spring Day” was confirmed to be slated for release on the reissue when the band subsequently shared the track-listing of the album.
RM decided on the topic of “Change”, saying that though the two rappers were extremely different, their commonality lay in the fact that both America and Korea had their political and social situations and both of them wanted the world to change for the better. A month later, RM featured on the track “Gajah” with Gaeko of Dynamic Duo. That December, RM collaborated on a remix of Fall Out Boy’s song “Champion”.