BTS’ SUGA Returns As the Deadly Agust D With ‘Daechwita’
The fiery new single leads the South Korean rapper’s highly anticipated new mixtape ‘D-2’
South Korean rapper and BTS member SUGA made his much-awaited comeback as Agust D today with a brand new mixtape titled D-2. Led by the fiery single “Daechwita,” D-2 is the follow-up to the rapper’s 2016 debut mixtape Agust D. BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment hinted at the release of D-2 by starting a mysterious countdown over the past week which had fans bewildered, curious and excited.
“Daechwita” which roughly translates to ‘a great blow or hit,’ is an anthem of victory and pride where Agust D spells out his massive global success as an artist. Culture takes center stage as the track builds a base of traditional Korean instrumentals since the word ‘daechwita’ refers to a genre of Korean traditional music consisting of military music played by wind and percussion instruments like the taepyeongso, yonggo and nabal. The lyrics are a smorgasbord of references to history (naming Joseon Dynasty king Gwanghae,) culture, previous releases and Agust D’s achievements as BTS’ SUGA. He says, “I got everything I wanted, what more’ll make me feel contented/I wanted clothes clothes, then money money, then goal goal now what’s next/Yeah what’s next, here comes my reality check there’s nowhere higher/I only looked up and now I want to look down and put my feet on the ground/I’m a king I’m a boss/Remember my name.” It’s a vicious and satisfying take down of all of Agust D’s haters, calling out critics and other rappers who dare challenge him.
Set in a universe that blends the historic with the modern, the video for “Daechwita” is a showdown between two Agust Ds–one a king and one a rebel gang leader. The king rules with no mercy as he sentences dozens of people to death by beheading them and then collecting heads as trophies. The rebel challenges his rule and methods but is captured and sentenced to death. He is saved from execution however, as it is implied he bribed the executioner at the start of the video to spare him and hand him a gun, with which he finally shoots and takes down the despot king. Agust D’s portrayal of the two characters is highly impressive and scenes that stand out include his performance of a traditional Korean sword dance while dressed in a Hanbok. Visual references include the subtle nod to the rest of BTS with six members in Agust D’s gang and the presence of flames, consistent symbolism with Agust D’s fiery videos from 2016. Another theory behind the meaning of the video could be the struggle of idol versus artist; the flashy king signifies the glittery world of idol stardom and the rebel is the artist who defies the system–it’s a little reminiscent of the themes SUGA addressed with “Interlude: Shadow” from BTS’ album Map of the Soul: 7 which dropped earlier this year.
D-2 consists of 10 tracks including the title track “Daechwita,” and cruises through various genres including trap, alt rock and dream pop. “Moonlight,” according to a press release, “shows Agust D’s own interpretation of ‘change’ with a classic hip-hop vibe while the trap-heavy “What do you think?” ‘raises a question centred on the accomplishments achieved so far.’ The bluesy “Strange” features SUGA’s bandmate RM and is a commentary on society and “28″ featuring NiiHWA cruises into smooth R&B. “Burn It” sees American singer-songwriter Max join as a collaborator. The mixtape rounds off with the hip-hop track song “People”, the dreamlike “Honsool” and “Interlude : Set me free” and the modern rock ballad “Dear my friend” which features Kim Jong Wan of Korean rock band NELL.
Stream Agust D’s ‘D-2’ below: