“D-2” by Agust D: Making a Comeback with Style


Isabel Smith, Staff Writer

After a hiatus of nearly four years, Korean rapper Agust D shocked the music scene on May 22 by releasing his highly anticipated new mixtape entitled “D-2,” which is packed full of exciting collaborations and unique sounds.

Agust D is the pseudonym of the famous Korean rapper SUGA from the K-Pop group BTS. The name is used for the publication of his more raw, explicit solo works, and the mixtape “D-2” is no exception. “D-2” has ten tracks that speak of everything from Agust D’s musical opposition and online haters to his childhood and doubts regarding his musical abilities. The mixtape showcases a multitude of collaborations with both Korean and Western artists alike, such as Agust D’s fellow groupmate from BTS, RM, Korean R&B artist NiiHWA, American singer-songwriter MAX, and Kim Jong-wan, the lead vocalist of the Korean alternative band NELL.

Agust D kicks off this new release with the song “Moonlight.” The song shares Agust D’s perception of his music and how he often doubts whether he is actually as talented as both fans and critics claim. “Moonlight” has a light and almost carefree beat that I believe makes it the most enjoyable song on the mixtape to listen to, but beyond that, the song shows off Agust D’s singing voice along with his rap. Although it is obvious that Agust D does not boast the same strong vocals as trained singers in the K-pop industry, it is a pleasant addition to his calmer tracks like “Moonlight” and “Interlude: Set me free,” which was entirely sung, though somewhat unremarkably.

I think, however, the most striking song on “D-2” is without a doubt the title track. The track is called “Daechwita” for its mimicking and sampling of 대취타 (daechwita), percussion music that is traditionally played for the arrival of a king or the marching of the military. Its lyrics describe Agust D’s personal success and critics while simultaneously painting a vivid historical narrative that correlates to the song’s music video. “Daechwita’s” sound and lyrics find an unconventional yet satisfying balance between traditional Korean music and hip-hop that harkens back to Agust D’s Korean background while also maintaining a smooth, distinct hip-hop flow and beat as well as all the makings of a perfect rap diss track. The beat of “Daechwita” is one sure to get anyone fired up and the lyrics will certainly cause some amused disbelief at how blatantly and aggressively Agust D targets his opponents and flaunts his hard-earned international success. I know I was definitely feeling the intensity.

In keeping theme with “Daechwita’s” sound and lyrics, its music video artfully meshes traditional Korean images and the essence of hip-hop into a visually majestic short film that does the song unquestionable justice. The video was filmed at a popular setting for historical dramas and was reminiscent of the storyline of Korean drama, Masquerade. According to a popular fan theory, the storyline of the music video follows a peasant and a king, both depicted by Agust D, in which the king is a decoy who became corrupt with power and the peasant, the rightful king, comes to confront him in order to reclaim the throne. The music video is stunning, both overall and in its details, making “Daechwita” an auditory and visual masterpiece that is hard to expel from your mind.

In a short period of time, “D-2” has found itself international success on both music charts and global and Korean streaming platforms. The mixtape has captured the attention of fans across the globe, and many will certainly be expecting more excellent work from Agust D in the future.