There's a reason BTS' Suga calls his studio the Genius Lab: Everything he creates becomes an instant hit with fans. His skills in rapping, singing, producing, and songwriting don't go unnoticed by ARMY, who take the time to pick apart every one of his tracks to find the deeper meaning behind them. Through honest lyrics capturing his innermost feelings, BTS' Suga's solo songs walk listeners through his challenging journey from underdog to international chart-topper. Through it all, Suga maintained his authenticity as an artist, and that quality continues to resonate deeply with fans to this day.
So far, Suga is credited on over 100 songs as a producer, songwriter, and composer. His different personas as Suga and Agust D have allowed him to experiment with different themes, concepts, and sounds throughout his career. Since he's an all-around talented musician who can do a bit of everything, that makes him one of the most sought-after artists in the current music market. He's already collaborated with huge stars like Halsey, MAX, and IU, and that's just a peak into his impressive discography.
Suga's songs tell so many stories, and what fans appreciate about them all is they don't hold anything back. From feeling unsure about the future and frustrated over haters who unnecessarily criticize him, to being proud of his success and wanting to flaunt it, Suga's lyrics are as authentic as they can be. Here are a few of Suga's best solo projects that showcase his vulnerability.
April 2015: "Intro: The Most Beautiful Moment In Life"
Fans know Suga's a huge basketball fan, so him using his love of the sport as a metaphor for life's challenges in BTS' "Intro: The Most Beautiful Moment In Life" is so meaningful. "What I’m shooting at the rim are my countless thoughts and worries. I pretend to know the world but my body is still not ready. Shoot, the court is my playground," Suga raps on the track.
These "worries" are the pressures he feels to succeed. Although his passion makes him happy, he thinks he won't live up to society's expectations. After a lot of reflecting, he decides to trust his gut and ignore the noise. "I’m asking myself again, am I happy right now? The answer is already there, I’m happy," he says in the end, coming to the conclusion everyone is on their own path and no one's definition of success is the same.
August 2016: "Agust D"
In a May 22 interview with TIME, Suga explained that, while both his Suga and Agust D personas sing of "dreams and hope," there is a huge difference with how he presents those themes depending on what persona he's using. "There is a lot more that I can openly express and that I can show a more raw side to myself [with Agust D]," Suga said.
In his debut mixtape, which reached No. 3 on Billboard's World Albums Chart two years after originally releasing in 2016, Suga chronicles his rise to stardom and how he used to question if he could ever be successful as an artist, but through perseverance and dedication, he managed to come out on top.
Despite what others may think, it wasn't easy for him to reach his position and he continues to work hard every day to maintain his upward momentum. "'Cause I'm busy 24/7 what rest? I hope those idiots who have lost their opportunities keep each other company," Suga tells his haters on the title track.
October 2016: "First Love"
Once again, Suga uses another one of his passions as a metaphor for his life experiences. This time, he says the piano was his "first love" because it was a form of escapism during his early childhood days. When he played, he felt like nothing in the world could ever disrupt his moment of peace. As he grew older, he began experiencing self-doubt as he pursued music for real, causing him to take a step back from his passion. Regardless of how he feels, Suga knows music will always be there to welcome him back with open arms.
"Even when I pushed you away, even when I resented meeting you, you were firmly by my side." Suga says of the instrument. "My birth and the end of my life. You will be there to watch over it all."
August 2018: "Trivia: Seesaw"
Suga keeps the symbolism going in "Seesaw," in which he compares a rocky relationship to a complicated game of seesaw where no one wants to step off. "A repeating seesaw game. It's about time we put an end to it," he raps.
Despite no longer feeling the same about each other and constantly arguing, two lovers can't seem to split because they've become so used to each other. "A competition between us that became a flame, igniting quarrels. It’ll only end if someone gets off right here," Suga says.
Even though he knows the other person will get hurt if he "steps off," Suga finds the courage to put himself first and leaves.
February 2020: "Interlude: Shadow"
In "Interlude: Shadow," Suga is at a crossroads once again. Now that he's on top, he's afraid of losing everything he's worked toward. "I can leap in the air but also plunge," he says, not knowing exactly why he's feeling this way. "You have a big house, big cars, big rings. All the things you wanted, you’ve got it all. So what’s the problem?"
Suga's "Shadow" comeback trailer expresses his dark thoughts about fame so beautifully through haunting visuals feeling like he's constantly under a microscope. Fans loved the video so much, they helped it reach nearly 20 million views within its first 24 hours, making it the biggest premiere for a BTS comeback trailer.
May 2020: "D-2"
Suga further reflects on his growth in his second mixtape, D-2. In the project's lead single "Daechwita," Suga shows a more confident side of himself, acknowledging he deserves all of his success, despite what his haters say. "Shove the past into a rice chest. I'm about to dine on what I know is mine. Shut up, yeah, you calling me a pup, I was born a tiger," Suga raps, showing he's a fighter who continues to push through difficult situations.
In a May 22 interview with Billboard, Suga explained he felt "more relaxed" creating D-2 because he didn't hold himself to certain expectations. "My previous mixtape focused more on being better at rap, better at making music, sound, mix, master and so forth. I’ve worked on a lot more projects since then and didn’t really try to become perfect. Perfection is an elusive term. I simply just did my best," he said.
Suga has come a long way since his early days, and, while he's gradually learning to let go of his worries and trust in himself, he's not afraid of admitting he still feels insecure from time to time. His authenticity and sincerity is apparent in his music, which is just one of the many reasons why ARMY will never leave his side.