4 details you might have missed in BTS' SUGA's Haegeum music video
BTS' SUGA may have embarked on his last journey as AGUST D in his latest album, D-DAY, and its title track, Haegeum. The rapper's alter ego allows him to be his angry, unfiltered self, and the music videos for the songs released in his album are a reflection of the same.
Daechwita, released in 2020 as part of D-2, SUGA's second mixtape as AGUST D, created a storyline that was continued in 2023's Haegeum. Both songs are similar in that they use traditional Korean instruments and beat with Min Yoon-gi's spitfire rap to create memorable music.
References from Daechwita, the chopsticks scene, and more things you must know in the Haegeum music video by BTS' SUGA
1) Haegeum expanding the storyline introduced in Daechwita
When the trailer for Haegeum first dropped, fans were quick to notice the parallels between the new song and Daechwita from D-2. Similarities in camera angles, usage of traditional Korean instruments for the beat, and a camera focusing on a chicken were easily noticeable.
Upon deeper analysis, one can see that the story that was introduced in Daechwita is surretitiously continued in Haegeum. The tyrranical ruler is dead, and the black-haired rebel (with the scar) who killed him seems to have developed into a corrupt policeman who quashes all revolts in the Haegeum music video. BTS' SUGA emerges as another version of himself, this time without a scar, to purge the corrupt officer.
The end of the music video parallels Daechwita once more, as SUGA kills the second version of himself. While the two alternative historical narratives offer an interesting contrast, Min Yoon-gi's acting and undeniable gravitas tie the story together.
2) Parallels drawn to Scarface and Joker
In the music video, there is a prominent scene with BTS' SUGA sitting in the bathtub, being interrogated by the scarred SUGA (or AGUST D). Some fans thought this to be similar to the movie Scarface starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana.
The bathtub in the film serves as an allegory for the downfall of Montana while becoming a symbol of resistance in Haegeum as SUGA emerges from the tub with courage and eventually shoots AGUST D with a gun.
Another reference in the music video was that of the Joker, when BTS' SUGA sticks his head out of a police car at night, mimicking a similar scene in Daechwita. Both Joker and AGUST D are symbols of rebellion, making this callback deliberate and significant.
3) Chopsticks symbolizing the meaning of music for BTS' SUGA
The red chopsticks that appear at the beginning and the end of the music video are also significant. Fans have contemplated that they could stand for the impact that SUGA's music has on the musician as well as fans.
If this interpretation holds true, it also expands on the power of music in general. It can heal, love, and comfort, but at the same time, it can be explosive and hurt. BTS' SUGA touches upon both these aspects (healing as noodle soup and harmful as a weapon).
4) The allegory of the fishbowl
In another iconic scene from the music video, BTS' SUGA is seen staring at a goldfish inside a container of water, laughing at its paltry and lonely existence. Fans have taken this to mean that he considers himself to be like the fish as well, stuck in a reality that is meaningless because escaping is next to impossible.
The metaphor of a transparent fishbowl can also represent having a life that is dependent on the mercy of those from the outside, who have to feed and take care of the fish, who is a pet. When the decision-makers are the rich and powerful, one can feel like they are goldfish, similar to SUGA in the music video of Haegeum.
Other things to note about the music video include SUGA stealing tangerines, robbing a bank, and smoking even though it is considered taboo for K-pop idols. Haegeum's video is a cinematic masterpiece, being entertaining and life-changing all at once. Amygdala is also thematically connected to Haegeum and, by extension, Daechwita, showing the origins of the now iconic scar of AGUST D.
BTS' SUGA is currently on the North American leg of his tour, with upcoming concerts on May 5 and 6 at Rosemont's Allstate Arena near Chicago. He will be moving on to locations in Asia in the second half of this month, giving fans in different parts of the world an opportunity to see him perform.