The member of BTS known as Suga (who was born Min Yoongi) surprised everyone by revealing his alter-ego, Agust D, in 2016. Agust D is a more sinister and unfiltered version of Suga. Agust D emerged as a solo artist with the release of his mixtape. He examined his life and exposed his poverty, anxiety, popularity, and despair struggles.
K-Pop had, up until this point, been relatively free of themes like these; the genre had, until this point, been mostly filled with songs of love and romance, and there had been very little of anything stigmatic that may lead to a dispute.
But then there was Agust D, whose name was created by shuffling the letters in Suga’s name and referencing Daegu, where Suga was born and raised. Agust D tore down the falsely reassuring cultural norms and tackled mental health, a path that many K-Pop idols avoided. He accomplished this by spewing fire and not holding back on the profanities.
Agust D was extraordinarily harsh and vindictive toward those who attacked him, including his increasing fanbase and team. He elaborates on the adverse treatment that the band received from the media and other K-Pop groups and the pressure that comes with trying to excel in a notoriously competitive industry.
As a significant amount of video material demonstrates, it is common knowledge that members of BTS were made fun of in public for their rapping abilities. They were ridiculed for their rapping ability and subjected to negativity over their skills. He raps in the song The Last, “Min Yoongi is dead, I killed him,” which is an indication that for him to become who he is now, he had to eliminate a part of himself to rise beyond the fear and weakness that would hold him back in living in a cruel world.
The August D of 2016 was strikingly dissimilar to Suga, the allegedly reserved rapper from BTS, who is a combination of his stage attitude and personal life; the genuine Min Yoongi, whom we see in Weverse Lives; and the countless variety shows like Run BTS, In The Soop; and Bon Voyage. Agust D states that he doesn’t fear anything, which Suga and Min Yoongi wouldn’t say.
Suga’s rapping is by no means soft by any stretch of the imagination; instead, he channels the raging angst of the rap line, especially in the early days, as the Cyphers and UGH! On the other hand, when performing with Agust D, Suga has the stage entirely to himself and can release everything he has been holding back.
He addresses all of the contentious matters that Suga of BTS cannot tackle, so he can. Suga had previously given an interview to Time Magazine, in which she provided a concise explanation of the distinction between the two identities, saying, “The difference is that there is a lot more that I can openly express and that I can exhibit a more raw side to me” (with Agust D).
Both songs are about aspirations and the possibility of the future. A further resemblance between Suga and Agust D is that they are both dealing with bright celebrities; it’s a never-ending, titanic battle, as shown in the lyrics to Interlude: Shadow from BTS’s Map of the Soul album. Suga raps in the song, “I’m terrified, soaring high is terrible, nobody informed me how high it is up here…,” an excerpt from the chorus. Agust D and Suga are on the brink of falling off a cliff.
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Daechwita’s Internal Struggle
Agust D released “D2” in 2020, a mixtape with 10 songs, one of which, Daechwita, blazed over the charts due to its hard-hitting message. ” Daechwita ” refers to the Korean military song played as royalty enters a room. Agust D criticizes the idea of famous K-Pop idols receiving the title of “Kings” and “Queens” in the song. Agust D plays around in Daechwita with two different personas—the King and the rebel.
The “King” is power-obsessed, kills mercilessly, and is prepared to be beheaded anytime because he is confident that nothing can topple him. He challenges the dissidents to engage in combat, which the “rebel” Agust D does. The King is shown in the video’s first scene strolling while admiring his township. He raps, “I got no pretensions; I slay them all. He doesn’t need to flex, he emphasizes. “I’m a king, I’m a boss,” is his refrain.
The rebel in the video is given a death sentence, manages to work out a deal with the executioner, and then kills the monarch. At the song’s most enjoyable passage, Agust D’s voice changes to ominous tones as the rebel expresses his need to remain grounded while standing with his hands bound in front of the fire. I just looked up, but now I want to gaze down and have both feet on the ground. I wanted clothes; I liked everything.
August D demonstrates his dual nature as a king and rebel. He enjoys all the fame Suga of BTS toiled so assiduously to acquire since he is the king. As the rebel, he echoes what the ordinary people are saying: that someone more honest and grounded needs to overthrow the system. This is a nod to the previous Agust D we met in 2016.
Through Daechwita, Agust D demonstrates the influence of celebrity and how it can, in turn, lead to arrogance; in other words, pride comes before a fall. He must constantly remind himself of his identity and the uphill struggle, sweat, and tears that led to his ascension to the throne.
Agust D struggles to find his footing because he fears fame would almost turn him into a monster. As a result, he must let go of his kingly identity. Suga stated in the behind-the-scenes film, “Four years ago, August D became king. Another Agust D is now advancing on him.
Discarding the Glamour
The mixtape D-2 also provides an insightful look into Suga’s deepest insecurities and concerns, which are brought to light by Agust D. The mixtape features intensely reflective moments that range from mockery to angst to wistfulness and examine Agust D’s experience over the past four years. He compares the person he was in 2016 to the person he is today and notices a worry about reaching all of his life’s goals but still not feeling fulfilled.
In the song Moonlight, Agust D can be shown to be restless and doubting his abilities and art. He senses how BTS is under pressure to live up to expectations and that his youth has somehow been lost in trying to achieve this enormous popularity and renown. In What Do You Think, Agust D accuses people, particularly the media, who continue to doubt the band’s claim to fame and their subsequent military service of fan-bashing.
After 15 times, he finally says, “No matter what you think, I have no interest,” as the punchline. On his mixtape, RM embraces his former self; J-Hope explores various facets of himself and his path; and Agust D is furiously angry with his former self. He hates the old Agust D and Suga, and in “Burn It,” he wants to burn himself to ashes.
He also emphasizes the emotional ideals of masculinity in People, contrasted with toxic masculinity—and the necessity to be sensitive. What’s wrong with living that way, Agust D wonders? When a reasonably worn-out Agust D states, “The life I’d wish for, the life I desired, just that kind of life, I don’t care how it turns out,” there is a nihilistic and broken tone there.
Suga was given complete freedom by Agust D to explore all aspects of himself, including hope, concerns, lingering resentment, boiling anguish, and the acceptance of a life he might or might not choose. Agust D is released by Suga.
Suga and Agust D are part of Min Yoongi; they each express his concerns, anxieties, and constant reflection on the towering stardom that terrifies him in different ways. However, they gradually let the audience into the rapper’s incredibly complex world.
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