The members are the heart of BTS. Collectively, they entertain, amuse and inspire a massive fan base, as well as onlookers. Individually, each BTS member has his unique charm, which earns him the “He’s my bias” title from fans.
ARMY often falls for the maknae line (the younger ones): Jungkook, Jimin and V. Jin, the eldest, is also a crowd favorite. You can tell by how quickly their solo merchandise sells out. J-Hope and RM are not far behind but there’s one member that doesn’t top everyone’s list but should.
BTS’s Suga (aka Min Yoongi) is currently the quiet one of the bunch. During interviews, he listens most of the time but answers enthusiastically when asked. In most Bangtan Bombs, Suga lounges around while BTS pokes fun at each other. He is the class cat and grandpa, often preferring to stay in and work on his music instead of shopping for clothes or running around with the other members, especially during their trips. He is also famous/infamous for his love of sleep.
Due to his simple and quiet persona, Suga doesn’t often stand out in BTS, especially for people encountering them for the first time. But fans who have been with the band know a secret: even if you have a certain favorite in BTS, Min Yoongi is the one who secretly holds your heart.
Before He Was Famous: Who is SUGA of BTS?
Before he was BTS’s Suga, Min Yoongi was a simple boy from Daegu, South Korea. Born on March 9, 1993, Yoongi is the younger of two sons. Even as a child, he already had a passion for rapping, as anecdotes from former classmates revealed.
He gained an interest in rapping after hearing Stony Skunk’s Ragga Muffin saying the song was different from other tunes he heard. The song that sealed his fate, however, was Epik High’s Fly. After hearing Fly, Suga decided to become a rapper.
Since then, Suga has composed and arranged music while performing and rapping at local underground rapping events. Before Yoongi became a member of BTS, he was part of the hip-hop crew D-Town and went by the name of Gloss.
Aspiring to take his music up a notch, Suga auditioned for a rap competition called Hit It, which was hosted by Big Hit Entertainment. Yoongi nabbed second place. Despite not winning the competition, he impressed Big Hit’s executives who offered him a place as a trainee and producer. In 2010, he officially became a member of BTS, the second member to be recruited after Kim Namjoon (RM).
Suga in BTS: The Song Writer and the Defender
Under Big Hit Entertainment, Suga trained for three years alongside members RM and J-Hope. Once it was decided that BTS would debut as an idol group, they welcomed four more members: Jin, V, Jimin and Jungkook (the vocalists). In 2013, Suga and the rest of BTS debuted on Mnet’s M Countdown with the track No More Dream.
Since then, Min Yoongi has been BTS’s resident rapper and songwriter alongside RM. His beliefs and opinions are evident in the songs he writes and produces for the band. For their third mini-album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1, Suga released a song called Intro: The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, which discussed the end of one’s adolescent years and the fears of adulthood. One of the most iconic songs he wrote for BTS was Spring Day, a song he wrote with RM. The heartfelt song discussed the reality of passing friendships.
Apart from serving as BTS’s producer and songwriter, Suga is one of the band’s great defenders, especially during the time people looked down on their act. Suga and RM are famous for their stand-off with rapper B-Free. In the infamous interview, B-Free criticized the two members for “selling out” and choosing to become idols instead of full-time rappers, as well as accusing them of plagiarizing Kanye West’s music. Suga and RM showed no signs of backing down as the rapper continued to attack their decision, the band and their entertainment company.
Suga is also the first to prove a point whenever BTS is accused of something. For instance, when accusations of lip-synching flew during the Love Yourself: Her era, Yoongi would not sing his parts in Mic Drop, one of their many diss tracks to haters, just to prove their natural talent.
A Broken Man Who Writes Music to Comfort Broken People
BTS’s Suga is known for a lot of things. People think that he’s flexible with his gender (if not a straight advocate) due to the suggestive lyrics he writes in his songs (apologizing in advance to fans who ask “Has Suga ever had a girlfriend?”). He is also popular for his rapping skills. How fast can BTS Suga rap? He spits rhymes at an impressive 9.38 syllables per second. Just listen to Cypher Pt. 2: Triptych.
He is also famous for being authentic with everything: his fashion, his music, his attitude. He is also very open with his struggles with his mental health. He admitted to suffering from depression and social anxiety.
He shared his struggles in his 10-track album Agust D, particularly the second half of the album. In So Far Away, he raps about the loneliness he feels while other people chase their dreams. After the skit, Suga raps about the raw reality of OCD, depression and social phobia, which have plagued him since he left Daegu to pursue his dreams in Seoul.
Unusually frank for the conservative South Korean music scene, where mental health and mentions of suicide face extreme stigma, Suga’s mixtape reaches a climax with The Last, where Suga connects seeking professional help for his mental health and coming to terms with the reality that he is a mainstream K-Pop idol.
Agust D is not Suga’s only avenue for raw songwriting. In BTS’s 2014 album Skool Luv Affair, their song Tomorrow has Suga rapping about his battle with depression. Suga was also one of the composers of Whalien 52, a song that used a whale’s inability to be heard by other whales to reflect alienation from others.
Yoongi is very outspoken about the reality of mental health. Together with BTS, he is passionate about spreading awareness and encouraging fans to love themselves as they are. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Suga was adamant about providing a platform to “talk about those things that people really should talk more.” He believes that artists, it’s their responsibility to provide a voice to the voiceless, especially those struggling with mental health disorders.
Min Yoongi: The Hard Worker We Aspire to Be
Suga of BTS is also notorious for his hardworking personality. Next to RM, he’s one of the members who spend most of his time writing and producing music. During their pre-debut days, Suga produced music with RM while working on his rapping and practicing dances with other members. In their YouTube series Burn the Stage, Suga also talked about doing part-time jobs while he was a trainee. He was hit by a car at his delivery job, which dislodged his shoulder. This shoulder injury would follow him up to the height of his fame. Eventually, he got it fixed in 2020.
Despite his shoulder injury, Suga performed with high energy during concerts, performances and more. He hid his pain to put on a good show. If that’s not dedication, then what is?
BTS’s Suga has come far from being a young dreamer in Daegu. He may have a high net worth and plenty of fans right now, but he remains the authentic songwriter he started as.
He may not be the first BTS member that you notice either. But as you enter the fandom and experience his authenticity and his heart through his music, you may have to bid your current bias adieu and proclaim yourself a 100 percent Min Yoongi stan.