BTS‘ Suga opened up to Rolling Stone in his digital cover story Wednesday (May 19) about how he’s opened up about his depression and struggles in his lyrics.
Coming from one of the members of the K-pop supergroup who’s written many of their songs, Suga’s confessional lyricism comes from a deep and at times dark place. When he released his debut mixtape Agust D in 2016, Suga swerved out of the spotlight, temporarily detaching himself from his K-pop icon status, and dove into the grim reality of his depression and the psychiatric treatment he sought out for it. But he knows the ARMY has stuck with him through thick and thin, since fans have told him how much they relate to his emotions that he expresses so freely in his music.
“I’m comfortable now and feeling good, but those sorts of negative emotions come and go. So it’s almost like cold weather. It may come back in a cycle over a year, year and a half,” he says. “But when I hear people say that when they listen to my music, and feel comfort and are consoled by those lyrics that express these emotions, that makes me feel very good. It’s very encouraging. I think, for anybody, these emotions are not something that need to be hidden. They need to be discussed and expressed. Whatever emotions that I may be feeling, I’m always ready to express them now, as I was before.”
He expresses the good, the bad, and the “bitter things” one experiences with their “First Love,” the title of his solo song featured on BTS’ sophomore album, Wings, while also professing his love for music. But Suga’s parents weren’t always on board with the delivery of his music through rapping, even ripping up his lyrics at times because it was a genre of music they never listened to, and thus, never understood. But for the 28-year-old global superstar, it only motivated him to keep producing more songs.
“My parents didn’t understand rap. They are a generation apart from myself, and they never listened to rap; it wasn’t part of the music that they listened to. So it’s only natural they were against what I was doing,” Suga explains to Rolling Stone. “And, of course, being a musician is a very unstable profession as well. So I can understand perfectly why my parents were against what I was doing. But I think that motivated me or helped me work harder because there was something that I now had to prove. I had to show my parents it was possible. So it drove and motivated me to work even harder.”
BTS’ Rolling Stone cover story will be included in a special collector’s box set that includes eight copies of the issue — one group cover and seven additional ones spotlighting each member — which is available here now.