Agust D is back, ARMY! BTS member Suga is gearing up to release his first official full-length album under his solo moniker Agust D. The rapper has previously released two mixtapes, a self-titled in 2016 and D-2 in 2020. The new album, titled D-Day is set for release on April 21 and to get fans ready, he’s released the new single “People Pt.2” featuring Korean pop vocalist IU. The song serves as a sequel of sorts to his song “People” off of D-2.
Opting for a more laidback lofi hip-hop track, “People Pt. 2” is a nice and clean mix of guitar and drums, bringing in elements of 90’s RNB. The influence is particularly noticeable in IU’s vocal delivery, layered with harmonies emulating 90’s RnB songstresses. Agust D himself also showcases his not often heard singing abilities on the track, joining IU in the pre-chorus. It’s always nice to hear other parts of an artist’s skillset, and unlike his spitfire and aggressive style of rap, his vocals are soft and full of earnestness. It’s a relaxing track, setting a great background for the introspective lyrics of Agust D.
At the end of the music video for the song, a clip plays of Agust D talking about the meaning of the track. He says that the song was written back during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and serves as a way for him to talk to himself. “I want a sincere connection with others / Forever’s something like a sand castle / It comes crumbling down at the calmest of waves,” the rapper contemplates in the first verse. What makes Agust D’s lyricism so captivating to me is how he can take abstract feelings and concepts, but say them in such a straightforward manner. While there are metaphors here and there, the message he wants to convey is clear. Later in the third verse, he makes the realization that “Selflessness can actually be selfish, too, it’s true / It’s actually my greed when I say that it’s all for you.” This line summarizes the complexity of human emotion so succinctly and powerfully, it’s quite frankly enlightening to hear someone put it into words.
An interesting element of the song comes with IU on the chorus, because essentially, the lyrics make no grammatical sense. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a word salad, as the words do connect to each other, it just seems like they are in the wrong order. “So time is yet now, right here to go / I know, you know, anything does know / So time is yet now, right here to go / Nobody doesn’t know anymore,” she sings in the chorus. In all honesty, during the first few listens of the song, this jumble of words kind of took me out of the moment because it was so confusing. And then I was left wondering what the intention was. I do believe the lyrics were intentionally written this way, rather than just being a poor translation of Korean to English. The song is about how confusing and difficult it can be trying to make connections with others, and perhaps even parts of yourself that are usually laid dormant. The COVID-19 pandemic gave us plenty of time to be alone in our own thoughts, for better and for worse. The human mind is not black and white, our thoughts and feelings often mash together and may even contradict each other at times. All of this to say, I interpret the randomness of the chorus to be a verbal way of expressing that confusion. Of course, I could be completely off the mark with this, but I strongly believe that these experienced songwriters, with their massive companies behind them checking things before release, that this was a mistake.
“People Pt.2” like Agust D’s previous works, is a contemplative journey into the mind of not just a famous artist trying to make sense of his path and where it’s going, but of a person who, just like the rest of us, wants to connect with others and share his experience in hopes of being comforting.