'Daechwita': Our top takeaways from BTS member Suga's latest outing as Agust D in cinematic new video
This marks the first single off Agust D's highly anticipated sophomore album 'D-2', four years after his self-titled debut
Big Hit's cryptic countdown culminated in the release of BTS member Suga's 'Daechwita', the first single off his highly anticipated sophomore solo project 'D-2'. Suga has once again taken up the title of his alter ego Agust D on this latest release, which is accompanied by a stunning music video. The rapper, whose real name is Min Yoon-gi, put a modern spin on Korean history in his latest release which features everything from cinematic landscapes to some hilarious cameos. Read on to see our top five takeaways from 'Daechwita'.
Honoring Korean cultural heritage
The most obviously noticeable aspect of this new release is Suga's choice to incorporate Korean culture and history in both music and visuals as part of the theme of blending the old with the new. The title 'Daechwita' is a reference to traditional Korean military marching music, a motif that runs through the song and video as well. Musically, the song uses samples from an actual Daechwita ceremony and interlaces it with the more modern trap beats that Suga has come to be known for.
In addition to this, the video for 'Daechwita' makes references to various aspects of Korean culture, particularly from historical times. It features Agust D in two opposing roles — which has already lead to threads honoring the rapper's 'duality — mirroring the marriage of old and new in everything from the set pieces that range from traditional royal palaces and modern cars to the characters' styling which includes a traditional Korean hanbok as well as Travis Scott's Air Jordan sneakers and Chanel necklaces. Essentially, the video and song reveal a battle between modern and traditional themes, while also managing to showcase how the two can exist in perfect harmony.
In an interview with TIME, Suga stated, "The first thought I had was that I wanted to sample the music that is played during the ceremonial walk of the King, so naturally, Korean elements ended up being an essential component to the track as well as the music video." Despite there being a world of difference between traditional and modern Korean, 'Daechwita' manages to blend the two worlds seamlessly.
The second thing hawk-eyed fans would have noticed were the cameos from fellow BTS members in the music video. Jin and Jungkook's "street fight" was a clear highlight for most fans, who instantly noticed the hilarious moment and shared it all across social media following the video's official release. In the scene. the two are clad in traditional Korean attire common to the general population at the time and go from bickering to physically fighting one another as Agust D nonchalantly continues moving forward and rapping his heart out.
The cameo had the BTS fandom in splits, with one fan stating, "I really wanna watch the behind the scenes I'm sure they're crazily laughing getting ready and acting there," as another fan pointed out that Jungkook was, in fact, smiling the entire time. Other fans were happy seeing the two together, tweeting, "Oddly comforting knowing that in every reincarnation jinkook are together and also bickering." Apart from the members, Big Hit founder and CEO Bang Si Hyuk or 'Bang PD' also made a surprise appearance — in the form of a doodle Jungkook once made of him as part of a guessing game.
While culture and history sit at the forefront, there is another motif that is present in 'Daechwita' and it is something Suga has referenced across all his projects, including his work with BTS and previous work as Agust D: the internal battle that rages on within himself.
Throughout this song and video, Agust D makes references to having to overcome himself. He plays both the modern version of himself that rolls up in a Hyundai as well as the historical king he is here to challenge. There are references to being stifled through the imagery of being chained and blindfolded, and while previously it was unclear who had Agust D bound, in this video it appears to imply that it was, in fact, none other than Agust D himself. And as the video progresses, we see Agust D break free of his chains and take down his captor.
There are several other references to this inner battle as well, such as a painting with two moons - one white and one red - that sits behind Agust D's throne as well as the matching scars on both Agust Ds seemingly implying they're the same while also indicating they have fought a fierce battle before. Agust D also uses lyrical references to highlight this battle, riffing off his own lyrics "I wanna be the king" from BTS' 'Interlude: Shadow' to have his royal alter ego declare "I'm a king / I'm a boss" in 'Daechwita'.
'Shadow', for its part, was built on the Jungian concept of 'the shadow self' and saw Suga tackle the fears and pressures of being an artiste and a global icon. Ultimately, Agust D's struggle of trying to unshackle himself is a battle he is fighting within himself. And in 'Daechwita', it appears he finally won.
Suga's skill as a rapper and producer is widely known. His 2016 self-titled mixtapes made a massive impact, earning him fans worldwide. And while his debut solo project featured the recurring theme of Agust D facing his inner demons, it appears the rapper's sophomore album will see him accept his reality and learn to embrace who he is without prejudice or judgment. "I have become more mature compared to 2016," stated the rapper with regards to his artistic journey. This doesn't, however, mean a deviation from what he has come to be known for. On the contrary, it is an expansion of who he is and who he would like to become.
Speaking about his work with BTS versus his solo projects Suga has said, "The difference is that there is a lot more that I can openly express and that I can show a more raw side to myself [with Agust D]. What’s similar is that both sing of dreams and hope." To that end, 'D-2' will include a collaboration with BTS' leader RM while also featuring other artistes like American singer-songwriter MAX, Korean R&B artist NiiHWa, and Kim Jong-wan of Korean alt-rock group Nell.
The album is going to veer into a much deeper exploration of the human psyche than 'Agust D', in addition to being Suga's progression from a rapper and producer to an all-round artiste. "[D-2] is documentation of myself as a 28-year-old," said Suga. "This is the output of my time in quarantine. In a way, it was a creative silver lining. It was a time during which I was able to learn, again, the meaning of the phrase 'due to'."He additionally stated, "It’s good to know that it’s fine when things go in an unintended direction because you can always start over again. Keep calm, take the next-best option, and move forward."