D-2: The Return of Agust D
Reflecting on Min Yoongi’s life, thoughts, and musical growth with D-2…
SUGA is one of the three rappers from the global boy group “BTS”. SUGA is an influential songwriter and producer who has extensive credit in BTS songs. Outside the group, he has many hit collaborations with Korean artists like IU, Lee Sora, Heize, Epik High, Suran, and even American artists Halsey and MAX.
SUGA also uses an alter ego name Agust D, which he uses when releasing solo projects and mixtapes. Agust D was the second BTS member after RM to drop his mixtape named Agust D in 2016, and the mixtape was listed as one of the 20 best mixtapes of 2016 by Fuse.
On May 2020, mysterious teaser photos with a countdown were posted on Big Hit’s official Twitter account, making fans excited that someone is about to drop a mixtape. On Day 2, Agust D surprised everyone and dropped his second mixtape named D-2 on all music platforms.
D-2 exceeded all expectations commercial-wise, art-wise, and critical-wise for its powerful themes that showed the honest and raw side of SUGA that usually comes out through his Agust D persona. Let’s discuss D-2 below.
D-2 refers to the countdown day as it was released on the second to last day (D-0) of the countdown to surprise fans. It also refers to the “D” from Agust D and “2” as the second mixtape.
D-2 brings exciting collaborations in his mixtape where the songs explore different concepts.
“Strange” brings Agust D and band member RM together to create a hip-hop track exploring capitalism and the dark aspects of the world we face every day. Agust D worked with MAX on delivering a fiery song that burn his past self with life changes while MAX’s vocals created an eerie aura to “Burn It”. Niihwa brings the element of “pain” in “28” with Agust D talking about his journey and growth as an adult. Nell’s Kim Jong-wan lends his soulful tune to Agust D to create a heartbreaking story of lost friendship in “Dear My Friend”.
D-2 was met with praises from everyone for its intensity, rawness, depth and theme.
Billboard thought that D-2 presents the current state of Agust D’s “thoughts and emotions” in his second mixtape. CelebMix found the mixtape “opinionated, honest, and highly introspective”. Variety pointed out that the main track “Daechwita” used traditional Korean military music called daechwita to uplift the traditional Korean sound, making it one of the highlights of D-2. According to Affinity Magazine, D-2 represents an ideology of SUGA with new “emotions, ideas and sounds” he has experienced over time.
In his interview with TIME for the launch of his mixtape, a reader can sense SUGA’s substantial complexity in expressing his inner thoughts and the drive to showcase the side of Agust D, to which he referred as “a more raw side” of his. Teen Vogue noted that Agust D brings contrasting elements in D-2 which shows the two sides of his perceptions & struggles. Rolling Stone India praised Agust D for his high level of expression and how his interpretation has depth, history and maturity.
Later on, Agust D became the overall first male solo artist to grab #1 in 100 countries in both iTunes Albums and Singles Charts for D-2 and “Daechwita” (the first solo artist was Adele who did it with 25 and “Hello”).
Agust D obliterated all the records achieved by Korean soloists on Billboard with an unpromoted mixtape.
D-2 broke RM’s record in the Billboard 200, making Agust D the highest charting Korean soloist in the chart at #11. He is also the first Korean soloist to enter the Top 15.
Agust D also had his first entry in Hot 100 with “Daechwita” at #76. This made Agust D the first Korean soloist to chart on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 “simultaneously”.
For the Artist 100 chart, Agust D became the first Korean soloist to enter the Top 5 of the Artist 100 at #4.
In the US Digital Song Sales, Agust D became the first Korean soloist to chart all songs of his album in the Top 40.
“Daechwita” became the first song by a Korean artist to go #1 in the Billboard Rap Digital Song Sales Chart while D-2 became the first album by a Korean soloist to enter the Top 10 of the “Rap Album Sales” with Agust D at #9.
D-2 debuted at #1 in the World Albums while Agust D became the second Korean artist after BTS and first Korean soloist to occupy all the Top 10 spots in the World Digital Song Sales. Agust D is also the 2nd Korean soloist after j-hope to get #1 in both World Albums and World Digital Song Sales.
For the Billboard Year-End Charts of 2020, D-2 entered at #15 in the World Albums chart while Agust D entered the World Albums Artists chart at #10. He was the highest charting Korean soloist of 2020 in both World Albums and World Albums Artists charts.
Global Music Charts
Agust D debuted at #7 with D-2 in UK, making him the first-ever Korean soloist to land a Top 10 in the UK Top Albums chart. He is also the first Korean solo artist to chart in both UK albums and singles chart simultaneously with “Daechwita” ranking at #68 in the singles chart.
In many countries’ album charts, D-2 achieved the highest ranking for a Korean soloist. What is impressive with all these charts ranking is that D-2 entered the Top 10 in around 13 countries and Top 20 in about 19 countries. Most Korean artists can’t even achieve this range of global charting with a high score using promotions and physical releases. Agust D achieved this with no physical release, no playlisting, and no radio. The chart below shows D-2’s global rankings for different music charts.
The chart below shows D-2’s global rankings for different music charts.
D-2 shows Agust D’s feelings and thoughts as a separate “Persona” with time. His previous mixtape Agust D and new mixtape D-2 push Agust D in showcasing his inner persona and creativity. D-2 showed its strength in artistry, musicality, and chart performance. Agust D criticizes haters and industry people who try to use BTS, but he also expresses his delicate, vulnerable side in the mixtape. Min Yoongi’s persona as Agust D is a treat for both fans and music listeners to enjoy and appreciate this raw side of him and witness the ongoing journey in his life.
Check out the music video of “Daechwita” below.
For the global music chart table, rankings were taken from the official charts