“SUGA is a hard worker, whether he goes by the name SUGA, Yoongi or AGUST D, his work ethic is immaculate, detailed and to perfectionst standards. The man has been working hard literally all his life and he is not afraid to talk of his struggles, he talked about having to work at odd jobs when he was a trainee at BigHit Entertainment, now HYBE, because the company was suffering and he felt like he should at least help.
The BTS rapper knows that hard work pays in the end, no matter the tears you shed, the years you grind, what is yours will come to be yours in the end. His rap has been compared to EMINEM’s and even put on its own level. SUGA will call bullshit when he sees it, he is unafraid to speak of matters that might seem controversial or too intimate or too hard for the ears. He will console you but then scold you when you are out of line, and still he has the kindest heart. Jimin even said that the best part of being in BTS is when they go on holiday or trips and SUGA cooks for them. SUGA is trully all rounded and grounded, a rapper among great rappers.
SUGA had a sit down for their “BTS Butter album release interview” and this is what he had on his mind…
What do you make of BTS’s achievements over the past year with “Permission to Dance” and “Butter,” as well as the group’s change in style? In the space of a year, you’ve released songs in a style different from MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 or BE.
SUGA: “As a producer, I think reactions are important to an artist who works within the field of popular music. With that in mind, speaking as a producer, “Dynamite,” “Butter” and “Permission to Dance” were the best choices. And musical tastes are different from country to country, and the cultures are different, too. Given that situation, I think it’s important that we’re a group who can send such a universal message out into the world.“
You have no choice but to think about those things when you work on other artists’ songs, especially when you’re a producer.
SUGA: “I’m BTS’s SUGA, and I’m Agust D, and when I’m producing, I go by “by SUGA.” But when it comes to by SUGA, I make perfectly commercial music. I’m the producer for those songs, sure, but the owner is someone else, you know? In that case, they’re commissioning my work. But they wouldn’t think about just leaving it all with SUGA. The artist’s label has to think carefully about whether to commission me for producing and consider my situation, too, and those people must be hoping for something commercial. That’s the most important part of working with outside people. Actually, that kind of work isn’t much of a benefit to me, to be honest. Oh, he can write this kind of song, too. That’s all. The more valuable thing I can get from it is the recognition and records the artist or the company will get with the song instead.”
Regardless, I felt the chorus in “eight” is extremely dramatic with its structure and the melody of the chorus. I thought it was rather grand in scale as well. Would you say that you’re attempting to mix your tastes and things you want to do into the structure of pop music?
SUGA: “As you know, I love hip hop, so when I was first making music I thought it had to be hip hop no matter what and that I had to take pride in my own ideas and not accept any compromise. But while getting some experience at the forefront of pop music, I figured out that you can keep being stubborn or inflexible because there are people listening to you. There was a time I made music without any listeners before I became a member of BTS. But if someone were to ask if I stopped being stubborn about the music I’m making these days, the answer’s no. As I grew up and became an adult, I came to realize that I have to negotiate between what I want to do and the kind of music the public wants without compromising anything. When I give up on something I wanted to do, I ask myself, What will I get out of this? And conversely, when I want to do something, I ask myself, What can I get out of this? That’s how I keep my balance to make it to where I am now.”
They demand a lot of things as collateral for success, yet success is extremely difficult to attain.
SUGA: “The great thing about the label I’m with is they listen to the artists’ opinions. I think both we and the label know to a certain degree what kinds of activities would be best commercially speaking. But the question is whether the body can endure it or not. If the fatigue builds up as you continuously do those promotional activities, it’s hard to do them the way you did when you first debuted. In that case, I think the label ought to actively accommodate the artist’s views about what they can and cannot do. An attitude that’s just like, Oh, we made you kids, and as long as you just do what we tell you to it’ll all work out, so just do it—I think that really doesn’t make any sense. Of course, there could still be situations where the label has to be pushy like that, obviously. But I heard there’s been times where a label will just say, Do it, without any explanation to the artist, or, Why are you talking so much? I think that’s the biggest issue and it’s destroying the industry. If you just see the artist as a product, how can they do anything creative? I really think it’s very contradictory to ask the people on stage to put on an enjoyable performance when they’re experiencing neither fun nor enjoyment.”
What do you mean when you say fun and happy music?
SUGA: “I think people are happier the busier I am, so lately I’ve been thinking that I need to focus a little more. I figure we should do as much as we can for ARMY since they feel happy watching us. We’ll continue to try our best, so I hope they believe in BTS and keep their eyes on us.”
So that’s why you do music.
SUGA: “This is the only thing I know how to really do. Other than music and BTS, there’s nothing special about me when I look at this 28-year-old Min Yoongi. That’s why I want to keep doing this.”
Read full interview and more on the Weverse Magazine