An In-Depth Look at BTS’ PROOF CD 3, Behind-the-Scenes Moments
As the last CD for PROOF, BTS had to bring something new. CD 1 is all of their title tracks and CD 2 is member-chosen songs, so what could PROOF CD 3 be? Well, it’s something that ARMY might appreciate.
Over the years, BTS have released snippets of their demo versions, sharing different verses or other lyrics that didn’t make it to the final cut. Sometimes they shared the demo snippets simply to make ARMY laugh or see what could’ve been, but other times it was just a way to show ARMY behind-the-scenes moments of their career. PROOF CD 3 is an entire CD dedicated to demo versions of some of BTS’ biggest tracks.
PROOF CD 3: Track Breakdown
There is a total of fourteen tracks on PROOF CD 3. Nine of which are demo versions, two are songs we haven’t heard before, two other ones are songs we’ve heard but in a different way, and the last song on the CD is the final new song from the entire PROOF album. Unfortunately, most of the songs on PROOF CD 3 are only on the CD, so you won’t be able to hear them unless you buy the album.
1. “Jump (Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: February 12, 2014
The first track on PROOF CD 3 is the demo version of their 2014 song “Jump.”
“Jump” is from BTS’ second mini-album Skool Luv Affair. The song is high in energy, full of iconic lines, and has an unbeatable vibe to it that ARMY still find a bit addicting to this day. (Especially V’s part! It’s iconic in its own way.)
The demo version of “Jump” features only the rap-line and their parts. It’s possible that this song was originally supposed to be just a rap-line song, but there hasn’t been any indication of this outside of the demo version. The rap seems to be a bit slower and the song immensely shorter (again, this could just be because the vocal-line isn’t in the demo).
While the demo version is still amazing, it seems to be missing that familiar hook from the singing parts—especially V’s part. Many ARMY missed the singer’s growl during the pre-chorus, but absolutely love what the rap-line did with it.
2. “애매한 사이 (Young Love)” – Original Release: Never?
Most likely, “Young Love” is the demo of an unreleased song.
The track itself seems to only feature Jungkook and RM, a singing part and a short rap part. The overall sound of the song definitely fits the group’s earlier sound compared to now. Based on the title and the lyrics, this track is definitely a softer love song from the group.
The song is good, that’s for sure, but we have little information as to why they didn’t release it. We also don’t know why they released it on PROOF CD 3, but it’s definitely something fans will cherish from now on.
3. “상남자 (Boy In Luv – Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: February 12, 2014
Like “Jump,” ”Boy In Luv” is from the group’s album Skool Luv Affair. This song was actually the title track for the album and is also included on PROOF CD 1.
“Boy In Luv” is known for its strong dance, catchy chorus, and bad-boy lover feel (in other words, the group carries a certain bad-boy aura with them during this song but sings about being in love with a girl).
The demo version on PROOF CD 3 features a new section—perhaps a different bridge part—around the end of the song. It’s a bit rougher than the final product but is just as good to listen to. The new section is quite catchy to hear, too, it’s refreshing in the song and takes it in a new direction.
Perhaps they felt that section didn’t quite fit with the rest of the song (as they removed it in the final product). It does seem to stick out a little from the rest of the song. However, that could just be because we’re used to listening to “Boy In Luv” as the final product version.
4. “따옴표 (Quotation Mark)” – Original Release: Never?
“Quotation Mark” is most likely a demo version of another unreleased song from the group.
This song seems to include only members RM, j-hope, and Jungkook. The two rappers each have a section and Jungkook fills in the rest with his beautiful vocals. While there’s no known date for when this song was originally released, it’s easy to tell it was written some time ago with how young their voices are.
Unlike the demo for “Young Love,” though, I personally feel that “Quotation Mark” is closer to the HYYH era or Love Yourself era for BTS (meaning between 2015-2018). This is simply because of Jungkook and j-hope’s voices in the song; they definitely sound younger, but not nearly as young as their voices have sounded in their earlier works. When do you think this song was first written?
5. “I Need U (Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: April 29, 2015
Originally from their third mini-album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt. 3, “I Need U” is one of the most important songs for ARMY and BTS. Not only is it the first song of theirs that won first place on a music show, but it’s the first title track that began a new era for BTS.
The demo version of “I Need U” on PROOF CD 3 is wildly different from the released version. Not only is it mostly the rap-line and Jungkook singing throughout the demo, but the chorus is completely different. The catchy “I need you, girl!” that starts the chorus on the finalized version isn’t there at all on this demo version. Instead, the chorus seems to drop—compared to ramping up in energy.
The whole feel of the “I Need U” demo is completely different than the released version. The emotions almost seem to be more raw. That could partially be because of the lack of finishing touches on it—this version of the song was only a demo, so there were no perfect recordings or nicely sounding music to make it truly sound like a finished song. This makes it very raw.
6. “흥탄소년단 (Boyz with Fun – Demo Version)” – Original Release: April 29, 2015
Not only is this song high in energy, but it’s something the boys enjoy performing. This song is quite popular since they performed it in their earlier years.
The demo version of “Boyz with Fun” on PROOF CD 3 isn’t too different from the final version. There are instances where it breaks off from what we already know the song to be—like RM’s minimani-minimani-minimani-mo part after j-hope’s verse—but you can still hear the familiar fun-loving song in it.
Having the demo version makes the song a bit more exciting to listen to. Of course, the song is already pretty exciting in the released version, but the demo version adds another layer of chaos to the song. You can hear a lot more adlibs in the background of the song and more harmonies. It makes it exciting all over again.
7. “Tony Montana (with Jimin)” – Original Release: August 16, 2016
When “Tony Montana” was first released, it featured artist Yankie. For BTS’ third muster—ARMY.ZIP+ that took place at the very end of 2016—Jimin made a surprise performance on this song alongside SUGA.
Ever since this performance in 2016, ARMY have been begging BTS to release a studio version of the collaboration. It only took six years, but PROOF CD 3 is finally answering ARMY’s pleas.
The studio version of “Tony Montana” with Jimin is a bit different than the original. The tempo is a bit higher in tension and there is a lot more synthesizing throughout the song. Of course, the song still packs as powerful of a punch as it did in 2016. It’s not every day we get to experience Jimin rapping, so this song will be a fan favorite for a long time.
8. “Young Forever (RM Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: May 2, 2016
In PROOF CD 3, we are given RM’s demo version of “Young Forever.”
“Young Forever” is already a heart-breaking song as it is. However, RM’s demo version is almost sadder. The lyrics for the demo version are quite different than the final product. While the final lyrics talk about the conviction BTS have to just keep going through the tough times in their career and have a more hopeful tone about being young forever, the demo version’s lyrics seem to carry a heavier weight.
The lyrics in the demo version seem to almost beg whoever is listening to let him—RM—stay young forever. There is a line near the beginning that translates roughly to “life is beautiful, so it’s even more cruel” (translation source). This theme carries throughout the whole demo, the idea of being stuck between the beauty and the harshness of life.
9. “봄날 (Spring Day – V Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: February 13, 2017
Of course, PROOF CD 3 also includes a demo version of the queen “Spring Day.” For this demo version, it has a special section in it that wasn’t there before. This special part includes a new singing section for member V.
When the chorus of “Spring Day” starts, it breaks off to V’s new singing part. His voice is smooth, sultry, and a bit different from what fans are used to hearing. In this new part, V sings in a higher register than he usually does.
It’s not easy to tell if this version was meant to be a new chorus, bridge, or other section of the song, but it is really beautiful. The lyrics are enchanting and V’s voice sends chills down your spine. It would be interesting to see what the song would have been like had this section stayed in the final version.
10. “DNA (j-hope Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: September 18, 2017
The finalized version has a dance-worthy chorus and a familiar “DNA” part right before the beat drops. While the demo version also has those parts, too, it is vastly different.
As a j-hope demo, this track on PROOF CD 3 features only the rapper. He sings/raps throughout the short snippet to a familiar yet slightly-off tune that the final version has. The lyrics still depict the same theme as the final version, but they are really different in the demo.
j-hope’s vocals in the pre-chorus part—as he is singing “try” and “fly”—are insane. We all know j-hope can sing, his parts usually border a sing-song rap style. But this is something we have never quite seen from the rapper before. ARMY are already raving about the demo version, praising the catchy tune and stunning vocals.
11. “Epiphany (Jin Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: August 9, 2018
“Epiphany” was initially released on the group’s 2018 album Love Yourself: Answer as the comeback trailer. It has been continuously used as the anthem for those trying to learn to love themselves. It was the song of Love Yourself: Answer that felt like the actual answer of the entire Love Yourself era.
The demo version has mostly the same backing music; however, the lyrics are something else entirely. Not only are the lyrics in full English, but they almost seem to be Jin talking to someone else rather than himself like in the finalized version.
In the demo version, epiphany seems to be a person he’s calling out to rather than a moment. The lyrics carry a less upbeat tone to them, no longer being one of acceptance and love for yourself. Instead, they are filled with apologies and amazement. Jin’s voice, of course, is heartbreakingly beautiful throughout the entire track.
12. “Seesaw (Demo Ver.)” – Original Release: August 24, 2018
“Seesaw” is already included in the PROOF album on CD 2. On PROOF CD 3, we get a song that seems completely new (in a good way, of course).
The final version is praised highly for SUGA’s change of pace—he adds dancing to the performance and sings a good portion of the song compared to his usual rap style.
The demo version of “Seesaw” is a simple music track, no vocals or anything else added to it. This piano-heavy tune brings a different kind of calmness to the song. The power behind it feels like it’s building throughout most of the track, a fast beat keeping consistent in the background.
If you listen to both the final version of “Seesaw” and the demo version, it’s really hard to tie them together. They are just that different. But it makes you wonder what the track would have been like had SUGA kept with this original tune. It would have been a different song altogether, that’s for sure.
13. “Still With You (Acapella)” – Original Release: June 5, 2020
The second-to-last track on PROOF CD 3 is actually another unique song. From BTS’ 2020 Festa event—the event they use to celebrate their anniversary each year—Jungkook released a solo song for ARMY called “Still With You.”
This song, of course, was treasured by fans. It was a different style for the singer, but it was still so amazing.
In PROOF CD 3, we are given the acapella version. With no music to overshadow his voice or carry the song forward, we are left with just Jungkook’s powerful vocals. But that is far from a bad thing. Jungkook’s voice is absolutely stunning to listen to on its own.
Throughout “Still With You,” Jungkook’s voice remains steady and strong, utilizing harmonies and intricate note patterns to fill the space music would have. Even without the backing music, this song is more than complete—it’s a haunting song that leaves you a bit in awe of Jungkook’s talent.
14. “For Youth” – Original Release: June 10, 2022
The track starts with the chants from ARMY singing “Young Forever” to/with BTS, a song that we already mentioned earlier as meaning a lot to both. In “For Youth” the group sings of staying with someone forever—and with the inclusion of ARMY at the beginning of the song, we can only assume BTS mean them.
The lyrics of “For Youth” speak of this person—ARMY—being there for BTS throughout the hard times and sticking with them even in the great times. It also talks about how much they appreciate that they (ARMY) were with them (BTS) throughout everything. Similar to “Run BTS,” the group references past moments and their years in Nonhyun. It makes the song that much more touching to hear.
PROOF CD 3: An Emotional Rollercoaster of Behind-the-Scenes Moments
Out of all of the CDs on BTS’ PROOF album, I would argue that CD 3 is the most raw. Mostly because a demo track is by far one of the roughest forms of a song—they’re like the first draft of a story, full of grammar mistakes and choppy sentences (and even horrible plot holes). Because BTS showed these rough versions of themselves in PROOF CD 3, they allowed ARMY to get closer to them. It made the whole album that much more emotional and touching.
If you want to check out any more blogs we’ve written about BTS, feel free to look through our K-Pop Category. We released content all week leading up to their ninth anniversary, so there is more than enough to read through. Also, be sure to check out the blogs we released for BTS Week last year!