Album Review: BTS’ Suga Amazes With Mixtape ‘Agust D’ (South Korea, 2016)

Agust D COVER

Surprise releases strike again! Armys were pleasantly surprised when BTS member Suga‘s mixtape, Agust D was suddenly uploaded onto Bangtan’s official Soundcloud account. The mixtape title Agust D backwards (Dt sugA) reads as Dt – D(aegu)–T(own) which is a reference to his hometown in South Korea!

On 16th August at midnight KST, the music video for ‘Agust D’ dropped on Bangtan’s official YouTube channel.

Suga raps about the pains of being known as an ‘idol’ rapper – many underground rappers look down on ‘idol rappers’ as they perceive them as not being ‘real rappers’. From Augst D, the line ‘some say I made it too easy’ hints that even though he writes and produces his own music, there are still many who look down upon him. However, he fights back with ‘Good health is all you got now mom’s gonna be upset when you lose it’.

And because we all love surprises, on the 18th August at 6PM KST, Suga drops the highly anticipated music video for ‘give it to me’! YAY!

This seems like a continuation of Agust D as Suga raps about the hardships of being a rapper – ‘success that not even my family could predict’ and ‘even if I don’t know the secret to success, I know the secret to failure.’

In ‘skit’ thanks his older brother as well as Yankie hyung and Suran noona who both featured in ‘Tony Montana’ and ‘so far away’ respectively.

The lines ‘I hide the self that’s behind my defensive posture’ and ‘I hide myself completely like I’ve become a criminal, always’ depict the fact that Suga has to create a mask, pretending he’s someone he’s not just for fans. ‘I pretend I’m not lonely, I pretend I’m not suffering, I pretend I’m okay for no reason, meaninglessly I pretend to be strong.’ resonates so deeply in us, as we’ve all had situations where we’ve ignored our true feelings to allow other people around us to be happy.

Suga reveals that he has depression and that he has ‘killed Min Yoongi’ (his real name) in ‘The Last’. He raps about how his need for success was so great that he traded his youth for it and sometimes, it even controls him. The absolute heartbreaking line that made me tear up was ‘If my misfortune is your happiness, then I’ll be unhappy. If the target of your loathing is me then I’ll go up on the guillotine’ as all fans would know that their idols would sacrifice anything for their fans to be happy.

The eighth song – “Tony Montana’ features Yankie. Tony Montana is a fictional character from Scarface, where the more money he had, the more problems he had to deal with. Suga raps about his fears, how ‘I hope I won’t become a monster who chases money’ and that ‘my family, fans and team are first’.

The second last track is an interlude that slows the mixtape down, as Suga repeats the word ‘Dream’ over and over again, as the background music crescendos over his own voice.

Finally, ‘so far away’ featuring Suran is the last song of this amazing mixtape. The steady fluent flow of Suga’s rap along with Suran’s vocals make this a beautiful ethereal track to end on. Suga raps of the fears that many people have, that whatever they do would have no prospects. However, the chorus soothes those fears, telling us to ‘Dream’ as there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel!

MY TOP 3 TRACKS:

Though I’d pick all 10 tracks from ‘Agust D’, I’ve somehow narrowed it down to three songs that I would listen on repeat for the rest of my life (if I’m one day forced to pick ONLY three).

‘Agust D’ is the third track I adore from this album, seeing as the repeated lines of ‘A to the G to the U to the STD’ is one of the easiest and catchiest lines many of us will be able to rap, along with the fact that the lyrics are so profound and exposes a lot of the KPop world that many fans do not get the chance to see very often. The raw emotions Suga portrays as he raps enthusiastically is why this is one of my top three.

My second favourite track would probably be ‘140503 at dawn’. Suga raps about how his social phobia was caused by how hard he was trying to reach perfection, even as a trainee. Many fans are able to relate to this, as they have experienced difficult attempts to achieve perfection – be it for school or life in general. I myself find it difficult to balance out a social life, along with my want and need to study as well as ensuring I have time to myself to relax.

Finally, my absolute favourite would have to be ‘so far away’ featuring Suran! Suran’s vocals blend so well with Suga’s rapping, it’s impossible for me to skip this song. As my HSC gets closer, ‘If I just do what I’m told and go to university, it’s all okay’ is a line that repeats like a mantra inside my mind. Family members and school friends tell me this almost daily, university students also reiterate this to me when I chat to them.

Another phrase he raps – ‘everything is changing but why am only I here’ – resonates so deeply in me as I personally have a constant fear of everything around me changing while I am left behind. The chorus reminds us to ‘Dream’, as in the end, we’ll be ‘warm no matter where her place is’ and that ‘we’ll be in full bloom at the end of these hardships’.

So those are my top 3 tracks when listening to Suga’s ‘Agust D’ mixtape~ Fans would probably not be happy since I didn’t include ‘The Last’, however, knowing the lyrics and the meaning behind the song makes it near impossible for me to listen to this song in public without using boxes of tissues!

However fans, don’t sleep yet!

StarSeoul has reported the release of one last video – ‘so far away’! So get excited for this music video as ‘Agust D’ approaches the 4 million milestone!


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