“I’m a king, I’m a boss.”
This is one of the most iconic lines in Agust D’s lyrics, which comes from one of his biggest hits, “Daechwita,” and here’s why fiction is not so far from reality.
“Agust D” is the name Min Yoongi (Suga of BTS) takes for his solo works outside of the group.
Speaking with Grazia Korea in 2016, Suga shared that he often spelled his name as “DT Suga” in his lyrics, and “Agust D” is simply “DT Suga” spelled backwards. “DT” is an abbreviation for “Daegu Town,” Suga’s birthplace.
In the same year, 2016, Agust D released his first eponymous mixtape under Big Hit Entertainment’s label, in digital and free format. This was recorded in the span between 2011 and 2016. The South Korean producer said he created more than sixty songs between 2014 and 2016, a figure that amounted to eighty between the collaborations and tracks finally released. He himself confessed that it was difficult to create those kinds of beats and lyrics for BTS and that, as Agust D, he could express himself freely.
And it was here that the king began to pave his way to the throne of the music industry, as Tamar Herman had this to say for Billboard:
“Agust D” brings Suga’s (Min Yoongi) career choice and hardships to the forefront with an old school rap style. Through the passionate ten tracks of “Agust D,” Suga added a new element to his career, separating the art of his mixtape from what he has released with BTS as one of the group’s most prominent songwriters and composers.”
Herman stated that the first part of the album, comprised of the dynamic trio “Intro,” “Agust D,” and “Give It To Me,” were pure grandiloquence and that later the mixtape transitioned into the raw reality of the depression, OCD, a social phobia that had affected Suga since he left his native Daegu and the anguish he had felt about entering the k-pop industry. In the last part, with the tracks “Interlude: Dream, Reality” and “So Far Away,” Suga expressed the contradiction of wishing reality was nothing but a dream while urging listeners to keep dreaming. Herman also made a major point of the fact that the mixtape had been produced entirely by Suga, an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence in the K-pop world.
Jeff Benjamin for Fuse said that the alter ego Agust D served to demonstrate the star’s knack for popular productions, hardcore rap, and making his vulnerabilities his strength. On “Agust D” he stated that Suga had found a way to subtly reinterpret the sample from James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s World” in a way that would catch the attention of the most diehard hip hop fans. The rap beat was more aggressive than ever, talking about the limitations of being a k-pop star. The rest of the songs dealt with topics such as identity or mental health but going beyond what BTS can afford.
The media outlet included the mixtape in its “Top 20 Mixtapes of 2016” list stating that Min Yoongi had moved away from the safe topics dealt with in k-pop by adopting a new personality as Agust D and that the music itself was ambitious.
Music service Tidal listed Suga as “The five artists to watch this week” in the month of September. Stating that the rapper was influenced by artists such as Lupe Fiasco, Desiigner, and YG, the authors said of the album, “Prominently displaying a completely frank and uncensored approach to youth culture, virile tracks like “Give It To Me,” demonstrate the kind of emotional honesty that was previously unavailable to the k-pop star. Put another way: you don’t need to know the language to feel the fire of this rising artist.”
music videos were released from the mixtape, “Agust D” and “Give It To
Me”; Agust D was part of the top 10 most viewed K-pop videos of August
in the United States ranking #2, and in the top 10 most viewed videos
worldwide Agust D & Give it to me ranked #3 and #8 respectively.
In May 2020, the rap dragon returns with a new and powerful musical proposal, ready to occupy the throne, metaphorically and literally as he presents his second mixtape titled D-2, from which the famous music video for the single “Daechwita” was born.
Daechwita is a traditional Korean musical genre born at the end of the Joseon dynasty, which used to be performed in royal processions, it was characterized by including wind instruments and percussions. Today it is still used on special occasions and for military purposes.
The Dachwita music video stars a double starring Agust D, who plays a humble boy who represents the Korean people and also plays the role of the king. Yoongi pits himself in a never-ending battle, his revolutionary and humble side against the powerful, cruel, and dangerous part of his personality.
Daechwita is an important representation of Suga’s constant battle against himself and how his desire to achieve his dreams have given him the strength to do anything to make it to the top, yet the emptiness he feels at now having everything he desired and more continues to haunt him, as expressed in other hits such as BTS’s ‘Interlude: Shadow.’
D-2 gives to Min Yoongi the crown, the throne, and total domination of the industry, breaking impressive records within a short time of its release, proving that the king was not only in a music video because the king was out of fiction, and we witnessed his reign in all its splendor.
Daechwita became the fastest music video by a solo artist to reach 2 million likes on YouTube, an achievement of a great impact considering that it only took him two hours to reach that hit.
It is also important to mention that D-2 reached number one on the iTunes chart in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The second mixtape of the unrivaled producer earned important positions in the 2020 charts. Debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 main chart, marking the milestone of Min Yoongi becoming the Korean solo artist with the highest Billboard 200 debut in history.
Coupled with this, D-2 achieved second place on Billboard’s top album sales chart and this is where I return to one of the first lines of this article, the important mention that Agust D’s mixtapes are free, in digital format and without prior promotion; making these achievements historic feats that only a musical genius could accomplish.
In September 2020, it was reported that Daechwita reached #1 on the iTunes chart in 100 different countries, but this success was replicated by the entire D-2 mixtape. It was then that Agust D became the first male k-solo artist to position his title track and the entire album at the top of the iTunes chart around 100 countries.
The well-deserved hits kept coming for the man with the Midas hands; he recently broke the record of being the first Korean solo artist to reach the 1 billion streams under his three profiles on Spotify (Agust D, Suga and as a BTS member).
Currently the Daechwita music video has reached 248 MILLION views on Youtube.
Without a doubt, Min Yoongi is the king and the boss of the music industry, everything he touches turns to gold, and we can’t wait to see him climb higher every day because the sky is not a limit for him. Above all, we are looking forward to his next mixtape that could come out anytime and hopefully, the music industry is ready for this.