Agust D's “Daechwita” Video Is a Modern Take on Korean History
Friday is shaping up to be a good day for fans of South Korean rapper Min Yoongi, also known by his solo stage moniker Agust D and BTS idol name Suga. After a week of teasers on social media, on May 22, the Daegu wordsmith officially released his sophomore solo project, D-2.
Picking up from his self-titled 2016 mixtape, the long-awaited D-2 has been years in the making. If Agust D found the rapper facing his demons, the assertive D-2 sees him accepting reality, though still with his trademark skepticism. “I have become more mature compared to 2016,” the rapper told TIME about his progression as an artist. Of the comparison between his BTS work and solo efforts, he told TIME, “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.”
Leading the project is track no. 2, “Daechwita.” Drawing inspiration from the traditional Korean military marching music of the same name, Agust D’s “Daechwita” is a symbiosis of old and new — mixing samples from a real Daechwita ceremony with trap beats and his own silver-tongued rapping.
Alongside the mixtape’s unveiling on streaming platforms, the artist dropped a cinematic video for “Daechwita,” which also references parts of Korean culture. Set in a royal palace, the video sees Agust D take on two opposing characters. Mirroring the track’s versatility, the style choices range from the traditional Hanbok to Travis Scott’s Air Jordan sneakers and Chanel necklaces. “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,” he told TIME.
Though serious in tone for the most part, the music video also included an unexpected cameo from BTS members Jin and Jungkook. Clad in traditional Korean fashions and in full character, the two members engage in a quarrel halfway throughout the video. Though small, the hilarious cameo certainly didn’t go unnoticed by fans, who appreciated the Jinkook moment.
D-2 features collaborations with fellow BTS member RM, American singer-songwriter MAX, Korean R&B artist NiiHWa, and Kim Jong-wan of Korean alt-rock group Nell. Its 10 tracks are reflective and varied, layered with serene vocal lines and some signature incendiary takedowns right in Yoongi's wheelhouse. The raw sensibility and brutal honesty that have so far characterized his work shine even brighter in this project, which takes on an unapologetic yet humble stance. With uniquely transportive realism and textured lyricism, the artist also displays different musical styles while switching from singing to rapping.
Coinciding with the release, Yoongi admitted to reshaping the project to reflect our current climate, a testament to his self-awareness. "[D-2] is a documentation of myself as a 28-year-old. 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 told Apple Music. He continued for TIME, “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."
Check out the music video for Agust D's D-2 song “Daechwita” below:
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