A Triumphant Report from SUGA of BTS

In 2020’s “Folks,” Agust D requested, “Why so severe? Why so severe?” The road comes from a now beloved minimize off the second mixtape from SUGA of BTS, who information and performs music as an alter-ego often called Agust D when off-duty from band duties. The query is straight away adopted up with an admission that acts as the important thing to the rapper, producer, and songwriter’s solo work: “I’m so severe. I’m so severe.”

SUGA launched the world to Agust D first again in 2016 with a mixtape of the identical identify. The EP, initially solely launched to Soundcloud, is brimming with anger and presents a marked distinction to the music BTS was placing out on the time as a gaggle. In 2016, the septet was within the thick of engaged on and selling The Most Lovely Second in Life: Younger Without end, a young and nostalgic capsule of coming-of-age. In 2020, a second installment of SUGA’s solo collection arrived within the type of D-2, a lyrically dense, deeply introspective 10-track assortment that featured the aforementioned “Folks” and the earth-shaking “Daechwita.” BTS on the time was swiftly on the rise; this launch was pre-“Dynamite,” however solely by a hair.

SUGA has shared previously that the Agust D collection was designed to be a spot the place he may make the sort of music he was most fascinated about with out the constraints or expectations of a standard album construction. Immediately, April twenty first, the trilogy involves a conclusion with D-DAY, the primary official full-length challenge within the collection, and a journey that serves because the sort of goodbye the character of Agust D deserves.

SUGA has by no means been one to carry again from sharing what he believes. “I’ve acquired some real-ass karma coming again on me,” he yells within the energetic album opener, additionally titled “D-Day.” He follows this up with “Haegeum,” which strikes as one thing of a companion piece to 2020’s fiery “Daechwita” —  “What’s it, precisely, that’s been proscribing us?/ Perhaps we do it to ourselves,” he muses. “Slaves to capitalism, slaves to cash, slaves to hatred and prejudice.”

The album’s standout observe, arguably, is “AMYGDALA,” whose identify references Sohn Gained-Pyung’s 2017 novel Almond. The central character of the e book was born with an underdeveloped amygdala, the a part of the mind that processes worry and reminiscence. The guitar-laden, harmony-rich track is actually a few of SUGA’s finest work, and definitely his finest work from a vocal perspective. Identified for his knowledgeable move as a rapper, SUGA leans all the best way into vocalist mode with “AMYGDALA,” which, lyrically, can be one in every of his most private tracks so far. He shares household tales that even essentially the most devoted of followers wouldn’t have had entry to earlier than — he discusses his mom present process coronary heart surgical procedure, a hospital go to simply after he was born, his father being recognized with liver most cancers, and an accident he couldn’t speak about. “These issues I by no means requested for/ These issues which can be out of my palms/ Imma put it again,” he sings.

One other tender standout is “Snooze,” which options the late Oscar-winning composer and producer Ryuichi Sakamoto, one in every of SUGA’s musical heroes, and in addition enlists WOOSUNG of Korean rock group The Rose for vocal contributions. Right here, once more, SUGA presents a window into the tougher sides of his story to this point: “It would appear like it was all flowers, however in all places, foes.” Even on the much less memorable elements of the album — “SDL” and pre-release observe “Folks Pt.2” feat. IU don’t stick as a lot as others within the grand scheme of the file — the connecting thread is this concept of pushing ahead by way of the troublesome moments.