Our take: 4/5 Stars
The superstar korean boy band BTS has taken over the world. As times have become tough, summer plans have become postponed indefinitely, including the long-awaited BTS World Tour that was supposed to include 39 shows in eight different countries. Though fans all around the world were devastated by this, one member of the band, SUGA, released a mixtape under a different moniker, Agust D. Agust D’s long awaited mixtape “D-2” featured top artists such as RM, MAX, NiiHWA and Kim Jong Wan. Agust D released his first mixtape back in 2016, which received much positive feedback and even claimed the number one spot on the worldwide iTunes charts. Now four years later, his newest mixtape “D-2” has broken various records, becoming the top album on Apple Music and the Worldwide iTunes Album Chart.
The title track “Daechwita” goes beyond and above as the beat combines hip hop, trap and traditional Korean daechwita music. Similar to how the song itself is a mixture of traditional and modern music, the music video also contains a blend of both historical and modern times. It is set in Korea’s historical period; however, there are scenes of Agust D dressed in modern clothes as well as including cars on the set. It is a beautiful music video that portrays the story of two different Agust Ds in juxtaposition. In a behind-the-scenes interview on BTS’s YouTube page, Agust D mentions that for the title track he wanted listeners to “focus on the visual and auditory experiences” as he said he enjoyed producing, writing and filming the song and music video. There was extreme positive feedback from listeners as the music video racked up 23.8 million views and 4.7 million likes on YouTube in just 24 hours.
One of the more anticipated tracks is “Burn it (feat. MAX).” MAX and Agust D uploaded pictures of them working together, and fans were extremely curious as to what type of surprise they had in store. The song mixes both rock and hip-hop making it one of the more upbeat songs on the mixtape. With the contrast between MAX’s vocals and Agust D’s rap, the song brings about so much flavor and is an amazing listen.
One fan favorite that stood out to many listeners is “People.” The melody and Agust’s rap are very soft, making it the perfect song for a peaceful drive. Fans were amazed to hear Agust D’s jaw-dropping vocals since it is very hard to hear him singing in his other works. Agust D said himself in the same YouTube interview that within his mixtape, he listens to this track the most. With Agust D singing the chorus along with the soft melody, it is no surprise that this would be one of the fan favorites.
Agust D surprised fans with the track “Strange,” which features fellow BTS bandmate, RM. “Strange” uses trap as its main beat but includes a piano melody track with a lot of character. The contrast between Agust D and RM’s voices brought more dimension to the song. Agust D and RM have grown up together and have expressed that they both struggled during their shared trainee days, so it was meaningful to see the two work together on a track for the mixtape.
The mixtape takes another turn with the song “28 (feat. NiiHWA),” titled after his age at the release of this mixtape. In the song, Agust discusses his struggles growing up and what his life is like at its current stage. This track is also a trap filled song, but compared to “What Do You Think?,” it is much more mellow, as Agust D displays his fantastic vocals
“Dear My Friend” is the track that brought tears to many as they were able to learn about Agust D’s emotional past. With the piano based melody and Kim Jong Wan’s (of NELL) emotional vocals, the song has a ballad tone. Digging deeper into the meaning of the song, “Dear My Friend” was written for one of Agust D’s childhood friends that previously went to jail in his hometown of Daegu. The vibe of this track is regretful yet hopeful as it includes a slower melody but integrates the refreshing sound of a piano, serving as a perfect ending to the mixtape.
With a groundbreaking mixtape, Agust D once again sets records and captures the hearts of fans as he spills his personal feelings into the mixtape. BTS is no ordinary boy band, they are extraordinary as they all work hard on producing, writing lyrics and recording. They bring to light problems that occur in everyday life and have saved the lives of many people with their meaningful lyrics. “D-2” is an amazing mixtape that allows fans to listen to their music at a more personal level. Not as SUGA, but as Agust D.