A Triumphant Report from SUGA of BTS

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

SUGA launched the world to Agust D first again in 2016 with a mixtape of the identical title. The EP, initially solely launched to Soundcloud, is brimming with anger and affords a marked distinction to the music BTS was placing out on the time as a bunch. In 2016, the septet was within the thick of engaged on and selling The Most Lovely Second in Life: Younger Endlessly, 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 “Individuals” 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 prior to now that the Agust D collection was designed to be a spot the place he might make the type of music he was most enthusiastic about with out the constraints or expectations of a standard album construction. At this time, April twenty first, the trilogy involves a conclusion with D-DAY, the primary official full-length venture within the collection, and a journey that serves because the type 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 limiting us?/ Possibly 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 title 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 greatest work, and positively his greatest work from a vocal perspective. Recognized for his knowledgeable stream as a rapper, SUGA leans all the way in which into vocalist mode with “AMYGDALA,” which, lyrically, can be certainly one of his most private tracks up to now. He shares household tales that even probably 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 discuss. “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, certainly one of SUGA’s musical heroes, and likewise enlists WOOSUNG of Korean rock group The Rose for vocal contributions. Right here, once more, SUGA affords a window into the tougher sides of his story to this point: “It’d 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 “Individuals Pt.2” feat. IU don’t stick as a lot as others within the grand scheme of the report — the connecting thread is this concept of pushing ahead by way of the troublesome moments.