BTS’s Suga Gets Real About Being Labeled An “Idol”

He encourages everyone to shift their perspective!

BTS‘s Suga did not always intend to be a K-Pop idol.

BTS’s Suga

He originally wanted to be just a producer.


Even then, the group had a hip-hop concept when BTS first debuted.


So, how does he feel about being categorized as a K-Pop idol?

Suga is the featured cover model for Marie Claire Korea‘s recent special edition issue. He was interviewed, discussing everything from his solo world tour to humbleness.

Suga explained his decision to use traditional Korean music in his Agust D songs “Daechwita” and “Haegeum.” His choices came naturally.

Be it traditional instruments, string instruments, or piano, they are all sounds and materials for creating music. I don’t start making music with grand intentions. For ‘Daechwita,’ it began with a simple question: why not try turning this cool source into music? Sampling a military music ‘Daechwita’ was a natural choice because of its title.

— Suga


The interviewer also mentioned, “One of the genres we can’t separate from you is hip hop. Producer Bang and P-Dogg have a deep understanding of black music and hip hop.” So, they asked, “How has this aspect influenced BTS’s music and your growth as a musician?” Although a life-long lover of hip-hop, Suga classifies himself as a pop artist.

I grew up listening to hip hop music since I was little. It’s a popular genre now, but it was rather unpopular at the time. Considering how hip hop is now one of the most influential genres in the music scene, Producer Bang and P-Dogg were really ahead of their time. However, I am a person who just makes popular music. I rap, but I don’t think I’m a hip hop artist. I just do pop music. Of course, growing up listening to hip hop has helped me understand popular music better.

— Suga

Speaking of pop, later in the interview, the interviewer brought up how K-Pop idols have historically been looked down on. They asked, “When BTS first debuted, people looked down on or spoke badly about idols, but now it’s ridiculous to think that way. Do you feel that people see you differently?” Suga is far from embarrassed of the “idol” label.

I am an idol and really proud of it. Of course, I might have said nonsenses before, but now the word ‘idol’ is like a badge of honor to me.

— Suga

Yet, RM‘s friends from when he was an underground rapper teased him about being a K-Pop idol after he debuted in BTS. Fellow rappers didn’t respect the rap line, stereotyping idols.

Suga recognizes that perceptions, including his own, have changed towards idols. He also likes to believe BTS may have helped contribute to it as people now recognize that K-Pop idols are multitalented and not just attractive.

People’s perception changed a lot recently, and I believe BTS did contribute to it. Most of the idols today are just ‘really good.’ That’s the level idols are at right now. They are not just goodlooking but also good at dancing, singing, rapping, and even acting. They might not be a musician with a particular forte, but shift your perspective, and they are musicians without any shortcomings.

— Suga

Suga also shared his personal opinion on what makes K-Pop idols stand out, more endearing, than the average, “perfect” musician. It’s the ability to grow alongside them.

Also, one of the charms about idols is that you can witness their growth after debut, album by album. Of course, watching a perfected musician is enjoyable, but watching awkward, cute idols gradually growing to be professional is also a lot of fun.

— Suga

We can certainly say, as ARMYs, that we are so happy to have the opportunity to grow alongside BTS.


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