Agust D (BTS) – The Last (English Translation and Ramblings)

07. 마지막 (The Last)

Please read track 05, and 06 before reading this as there seems to be a chronological order to the lyrics.

Kind of sad lyrics but trying to be strong in the end.  He seems to fluctuate from feeling helpless, then trying to be strong, then being insecure, then cocky, then back and forth.  I think everyone experiences this though, to some extent…so I refuse to feel sorry for him (although this song made me tear up a bit the first time I listened to it.)

I’m pretty sure he’s gone through some tough stuff (as rambled on previously on my other post), but I’m sure this process of learning who he is will make him a better artist and a better person in the end.

Produced by Agust D, June, Pdogg
(Agust D, June, Pdogg)

Keyboard – Pdogg
Synthesizer – Pdogg
Rhythm Programming – June
Guitar – 정수완
Recording Engineer – Agust D @ Genius Lab
Pdogg @ Dogg Bounce
Mix Engineer – 김보성 @ BigHit Studio
Mastering Engineer – Alex DeYoung @ DeYoung Masters

On the dark side of a successful idol rapper
My frail self stands, a bit dangerous
Depression, compulsion, at times relapse
Hell no, maybe that’s just my true self.

Damn, huh.  Feeling separated from reality
Conflicts with ideals make my head hurt
Social phobia started around age 18.
Yeah, around that time my mind became more polluted

Sometimes I’m afraid of myself too, 
From the self-disgust and depression coming to play again
Min Yoongi is already dead (I killed him)
It’s been a long time since passion has died and comparing myself to others have become my daily life.

The first day I visited the psychiatry department, my parents came
to get counselling with me.  
My parents said that they don’t know me well
I don’t know myself well either.  Then who would know?
Friends?  You?  Nobody knows me well.

The doctor asked me
Have you ever.. “beeeeeeep” ? (Thanks Zea, in comments)
I said without hesitating, that there were times when I have.

Like a habit, I say “uh, I don’t give a shit, I don’t give a fuck”
All those saying are, uh, trying to hide my weakness
That time I want to erase.  Yeah, that day of performance that I can’t even remember,
Myself that looked back at me as I hid in the washroom, afraid of people.

That time I, that time I..
I thought success will make it all worthwhile
But you know, but you know
It feels like I’m becoming more of a monster as time passes.

The monster called success that I paid with my youth, wants more wealth
The greed that used to be my tool is now turning to swallow me, ruin me and put a leash around my neck
Some people forcefully cover my mouth and tell me to swallow this forbidden fruit
I don’t want it.  They want me to leave this garden.
Garden of Eden/Biblical reference.

Shit, shit, I get it.  Please just stop.
I’m the cause of all these issues anyway, so I’ll stop on my own
If my misfortune is your happiness, I’ll gladly be unfortunate
If your target of hatred is me, I’ll stand on the guillotine for you.

.

.

.

The things I had imagined become reality.  The childhood dream is in front of my eyes
The little shit that performed in front of crowd of two, is now heading towards Tokyo dome
There’s only one life, so I’m going to live with more fire than anyone else..
Anyone can just live along haphazardly.
My fan my hommie my fam, don’t worry, I’m really alright now, damn

After having denied what my essence is multiple times
My address is idol, I don’t deny it.
The anguish that dug into my mind many times
The end to wandering.  There was no answer.

My pride that I thought I had sold out, has now become my self-respect
My fans, I hope you hold your head up high with pride.  Who else would do as much as me? uh.
From Seiko to Rolex, from Ax to Gym
Seiko (~$200) to Rolex (often $10 000) watches.  Also reference to Nas – Nas Is Like (thanks, Annie in comments)
AX-Korea is a theatre (capacity ~ 2000), and Gym is the Olympic Gymnastics Stadium (capacity ~ 15 000)
Illustrating rise in popularity and success.
His recent Grazia interview is interesting.  He says he used to want things like expensive watches, but now feels like he doesn’t need these things anymore.
The tens of thousands that nod to the gestures from my hands
Show Me the Money.  It’s not that I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t do it.  Shit.
You guys that sold us out, it’s not that you didn’t do it.  You couldn’t do it.  Shit.
The roots of my creativity has tasted the world’s sweetness, bitterness, to shittiness. 
The days of trying to fall asleep on the floor of the bathroom is now bittersweet memory, uh, becomes memories.
I had my debut, while holding onto my shoulder that was injured in an accident during my part-time delivery job.
To whom do you think you’re pretending to have suffered hardship?
He mentions his aching shoulder in his part of the song “Rain.”

From Seiko to Rolex, from Ax to Gym
The tens of thousands that nod to the gestures from my hands
Watch me, uh.  Born out of anguish
You guys that sold us out, it’s not that you didn’t do it.  You couldn’t do it.  Shit.


Fun with Korean swear words!!!

I translated it as “The ‘little shit’ that performed in front of crowd of two”, but he calls himself 좆밥.  Literally, it means smegma.  If you don’t know what smegma is, don’t look it up!

I love Korean language.

———————–

(Jul 2019)

EDIT 1:  I just wanna add that this term, “좆밥/smegma” is not some kind of weird new expression that Suga came up with.  It’s a commonly used slang that means something small/crude/insignificant.  Which is why I translated it as “little shit”, which I think has approximately same meaning.

 

EDIT 2:  Since BTS seems to be getting a lot of fans who may be not familiar with other Kpop stuff like Show Me the Money ,  I wanted to add a blurb.  It’s a hip hop audition show in Korea that was wildly popular, especially during 2013-2015 when BTS was getting a lot of hate.

This was when it was popular to diss Kpop idols as if that makes K-hiphop authentic or something.  And why not diss BTS who was well known enough to be recognized but still small enough that the band as well as the fans could easily be bullied?  There were not just one, but a number of instances that rappers dissed BTS on this show (I won’t go into details as I don’t want to cause fandom wars with things that happened years ago).

I just want to write about the impact this had on BTS and the ARMYs in Korea.

If you are to try to imagine it… in the Western world… Think of how it would have been if some of the finalists on the American Idol program, at the height of its popularity, dissed some small new band that was just trying to survive.  And the millions of the fans of the program who are not even familiar with that small band’s music went on to laugh at them and assumed they were bad.

And then think of how even still in Western world, a lot of music fans and male hip hop fans think boybands are some kind of low quality music and sneers at their music.

What BTS was got was essentially the above two scenarios put together. Where random mass group of fans of the show would diss BTS and their fans.  And whole of K-hiphop industry would say BTS should be happy to be even mentioned and laugh at their fans.

So yeah…  it was a number of unpleasant years.  And K-hiphop community is somewhat large but also kinda isolated?  So I think they were bashing BTS frequently even into like 2018… and it’s only very recently that some of them are kinda going… BTS is kind of good?  It’s interesting to see their opinions actually start to change recently.   Better later than never, I guess.

 

 

33 thoughts on “Agust D (BTS) – The Last (English Translation and Ramblings)

  1. Hi, Muish! I think you’ll have a brand new fan, starting from today. :) I’ve recently found both BTS and (shortly after) your beautiful, beautiful blog. We are very lucky that an intelligent person like yourself offers us an insight into the Korean culture, a world often perceived as distant and “alien-like” by the Western public. You make it simple while pointing out its unique features; whenever I read your comments, I think more than ever that there is no “us and they”. I strongly appreciate this hidden side of your work, so I just need to say a lot of thank you! :)
    I have something to write about “The Last”, which is one of my favourite pieces of BTS’ body of work. Before I continue my tedious monologue, I have to clarify that I am not easily impressed by songs’ lyrics: I am a passionate reader enamored of European and American classic books, and the most deep, precious thoughts that I keep within me are always inspired by the words of my cherished authors. I consider the art of BTS a rare kind of poetry that has the same dignity of the “real” literature, but that’s not the only reason why Suga’s solo resonates with me the way it does. The reason is, obviously, that I identify in his experiences. I’ve been depressed since I was 18; only fairly recently (I’m 26), when I decided to receive medical help, I started to live again. Now it comes the hard part, because I have something to say that it could be perceived as harsh and hateful. Please, know that it is not my intention to be rude. I feel the need to be blunt, though, because the frequent misconceptions about depression are driving me crazy. Pun intended! :)
    What I need to tell you is that depression is a disease, not a phase of life, a state of mind or a mood. It is an illness characterized by clinical signs and symptomps, even if the “general public” in 2019 still likes to treat it as a ludicrous need of attentions. Many people here (including you, Muish) wrote that Suga doesn’t need compassion because his depression made it a better human being, or something along these lines. I am sorry, but would you ever say that a cancer patient doesn’t have to be pitied because he/she is growing as a person and becoming stronger thanks to the illness? I think not. Don’t be like the general public: do your researches. Please. Social stigma on mentally ill people still lives and the only way to beat it is to educate ourself. I am grateful to Suga for having used his platform to spread awareness on the topic in multiple occasions: in this very song, for instance, he states that he went to the doctor, and in a written interview that you can read on his page of Wikipedia he reaffirmed that depression must be diagnosed. I think he is one of the few celebrities that have a clear understanding of the problem, and for that I think highly of his intelligence.
    I’d also like to make a specific point (well, kind of…) about that line in which he said that he used to sleep on the bathroom floor. Statistically, a large number of suicides is committed there: it is not a coincidence that both J-Hope and Jimin’s characters in “I need u” MV tried to kill themselves in the restroom. Unfortunately, it is a very realistic scenario. However, I agree with you, Muish, when you say that he was most likely just “hiding” there because of his social phobia. I guess that it could be open to different interpretations, though.

    I am not worried at all about Suga, because he is (and he always has been) surrounded by people who care about his well-being; plus, he seems balanced and thoughtful, so I see no reason to worry. I do have compassion for his past experiences, though, not only because I see myself in his words, but because I feel sorrowful for whoever is suffering due to an illness.

    Sorry for the rant and, please, know that I didn’t mean to be rude or aggressive. I am sincerely sorry if I’ve offended someone.
    Lots of love for your blog (I’m afraid I’ll be constantly lurking around, sorry!) and thank you again so much for all of your work. :)

    1. “Many people here (including you, Muish) wrote that Suga doesn’t need compassion ” —> I’d just like to say that I do totally feel compassionate towards him. And I’ve experienced depression before too, and you shouldn’t assume that I don’t know what it feels like. However, feeling “sorry” for him is not the same thing as feeling “compassionate” for him – and I will keep feeling compassionate for him. But I don’t really feel like feeling sorry for him and that’s just the way I am.
      You are free to feel sorry for him though.
      Also, if you read what I read carefully, it does NOT say that I think his depression made him a better human being.
      I said he had a lot of other hard experiences (explored in the other link). And I do think that if you went through difficult experiences and survived through them, it does add to your character over time, compared to someone who never experienced any hardship. And this happens whether you had depression through it or not. People who never have depression but experience hardship learn from it too. I actually would rather people not even have to experience unnecessary hardship either, but if it happens anyway, may as well get some life experience out of it.
      Depression is a medical condition, and it causes a lot of suffering. I wouldn’t want people to have depression just to become a better artist or something. I don’t want to somehow romanticize depression – it’s shitty. Very personally, it annoys me when people look at this song and just get caught up on the depression and suicide references and that’s all they talk about and lose sight of the rest of the song – because this is a complex song that has a lot of fight and hope. And I admire the fight and the hope because when I felt depressed, I just wanted to lie in bed and melt into the ground and I didn’t even have the motivation to sit up. And having experienced it, I wouldn’t have wanted people to feel sorry for me – I would have wanted people to show me that they kept their fight and hope despite it all.
      So this is my take on this song. I don’t want to feel sorry for Suga. I’m glad he climbed out of the depth that you can dig yourself into when you have depression. Knowing how it is, I’m sure these things cycle up and down regardless of how much you try to stay up, but I hope he has more up phases than down.
      I know there are many other BTS fans who discuss this song (and I’ve seen many reactions as well as posts online) that focuses on feeling bad for Suga. And depression and anxiety are shitty, I agree. But I don’t want to wallow in that here.

  2. That line: “If my misfortune is your happiness, I’ll gladly be unfortunate.” reminds me of a quote from Ivan Turgenev. I read somewhere that even Mic Mic Bungee from their song MIC Drop has some allusions to Turgenev’s work Fathers and Sons. (I have yet to dig deep into this) But thank you for these awesome posts, Mrs. muish!

  3. I know thats your personal opinion…but i think thats a bit fucked up. Based on the same logic, people shouldnt sympathize with people whose loved one just dies as people die everyday, and obviously unless you have mental disorder or just really really alone, you will or already did experience that.

    1. Just to reply with my personal opinion, but to an extent I agree with Mrs Muish, in that we can’t just feel sorry for everyone. As someone who’s had experience with depression and mental illness, there comes a point where you can’t coddle and protect the person, you need to step back and let them grow, or leave them be. So many people react by saying stuff like ‘aww, poor baby’ and such and that is neither productive nor helpful, and if they need support, not babying, it’s actually a hindrance to their growth as an individual, and when dealing with the world. So it’s best to be a support when needed, and stand back when you’re not.

  4. I know I’m like really late for this but, this are the best translations like ever!! and I’ve read like every lyrics video of this song and all the others in youtube… so thank you for this lyrics!! they really convey the message of what this song is about clearly and they’re very easy to understand since english is not my first language

  5. “That time I want to erase. Yeah, that day of performance that I can’t even remember,
    Myself that looked back at me as I hid in the washroom, afraid of people. ” . I was wondering what concert he was referring to, I was thinking maybe BTS debut day?

  6. Recently came across this blog. Love it! Also wanted to say that the “Seiko to Rolex” line is a reference to lyrics in the song “Nas is Like” by Nas. :)

  7. what does it mean when he says “The tens of thousands that nod to the gestures from my hands
    Show Me the Money. It’s not that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t do it. Shit. You guys that sold us out, it’s not that you didn’t do it. You couldn’t do it. Shit.” what was he talking about

    1. for the “tens of thousands…”, he is saying that so many people go to concerts and listen to him. things like that. people listen to BTS basically.

      SMTM is kind of an idol-rapper “test” to some people. as in, “if you go SMTM as an idol-rapper and do well, then we see you as a credible rapper”. Bobby did this and was very respected by skill (but still hated..) so did MINO. he’s saying that he did not go on SMTM because he didn’t want to. it’s not that he never had the chance, he just chose not to.

      “guys that sold us out” – some people think he’s referring to past-BTS members, the members that were meant to debut with them but didn’t, mostly rappers too. he’s saying that they may have wanted to go on (did not) but they never had the chance (could not).

      1. I think “You guys who sold us out” refers to how rappers on SMTM/ underground rappers often mock idol rappers as sell-outs and no skill rappers who become idols for the money instead of staying loyal to the art. The line continues with “it’s not that you didn’t do it. You couldn’t do it.” Suga refers to the rappers criticizing Idol rappers by saying that they lacked the skill to reach success and wealth. They aren’t staying underground for the art but instead they aren’t capable of becoming successful or “selling out.”

        1. I personally think that with the line “it’s not that you didn’t do it. you couldn’t do it” Suga is saying the same thing as what he’s said in other interviews about this topic. Namely that underground rappers severely underestimate how much effort being an idol takes and how difficult it is to be one. He’s said that he himself had underestimated that, as well (he said this on a radio show when they talked about how bts was formed). The whole “sell-out” thing is also a reference to what underground rappers say, I think. They basically say that becoming an idol rapper is easier than being an underground rapper. Suga worked as an underground rapper for a while as well, but in order to reach his goals/dreams he joined bighit. After saying this, underground rappers basically called him a ‘sell-out’ because he gave up on being underground (because he was struggling with money, music, food etc) and chose the ‘easy path’. ( <– the b-free interview thingy with suga and rapmon)

      1. It’s a very un-hygienic condition that will grow on a penis ( especially one with a foreskin ) if the person doesn’t clean themselves. The Korean word for it 좆밥 ( as mentioned above ) looks like the individual Korean words for “penis” ( 좆, the vulgar way to say it, so the equivalent of ‘cock’ ) and “rice” ( 밥 means rice, but is used to mean food in a general sense* ), probably referring to rotting food… think bread mold.
        *Asking “Have you eaten?” in Korean can be “밥 먹었어요?” – literally “Have you eaten rice?”.

  8. I saw people in YouTube comments interpreting this line: “The days of trying to fall asleep on the floor of the bathroom is now bittersweet memory” as a reference to suicide too. Is “sleep” a metaphor for death in Korean too?

    1. Mmmm…. I don’t think that part is reference to suicide. Obviously, sleep is frequent metaphor for death in a lot of artistic works. But looking at the whole song and it’s context, I think he was just hiding out there and couldn’t come out and face the world. It’s just my opinion though…
      I just think the part that was beeped out is the doctor asking whether he’s had suicidal thoughts/attempts/thoughts of self harm. This is a standard/routine question that psychiatrists ask…. really nothing special. It’s weird to think that it can sound so sinister from patient’s point of view.

    2. addendeum to my previous reply:
      I saw somewhere (i forget where, but I think it was on some korean site) that this refers to his trainee days when they had more than a dozen people living in essentially a bachelor/one bedroom apartment…and some of them ended up sleeping in the bathroom because they had no space. So, sleeping in the bathroom could be just a reference to being very poor. (Don’t quote me though, ’cause I’m not sure where I read this..)

  9. Quick question, do you know whats the exact phrase that he uses in the part that’s semi-bleeped out (have you ever…) in korean? Just wondering if you knew or not, but thank you so so so much for the translations~!

    (P.S. FML WHEN U SAID DON’T LOOK UP THAT WORD I THOUGHT YOU MEANT LOOK IT UP WTF 0_0
    Need some brain bleach asap XD)

    1. The bleeped out part is:
      *beep* 적 있냐고 –> Had [you] ever *beep*
      Subject is often omitted and interpreted in context, thus the [square brackets].

      I hope you didn’t to google image that word. ^^ It means he used to be small/insignificant/worthless before….
      and now he’s heading towards his dream.

  10. When he said “MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES BECOME REALLITY” i think he meant that all his memories in the past became real. It hurts me seing him hurt because im totally his 1 fan. My advice to him is “DONT LET YOUR FEARS EAT YOU CONQUER IT WITH THE NEW YOU. BECAUSE YOUR TRUE SELF WINS THAN YOUR FAKE SELF. LET IT OUT, DONT KEEP IT, CAUSE I KNOW IF YOU WILL SUFFER MORE” thats all #LET IT OUT

  11. About the beeped out part. There is a deep voice saying “have you ever ….” I think he is speaking about suicide… :/

    1. Thanks~!
      I should be working right now. Work is so boring… ah..

      I think he was talking about suicide too. I’m in my 30’s now, and I’ve seen so many of my friends go through the suicidal phase in their teens and twenties, seen so much abuse and been victim of it too, that it kinda makes me blase to read these lyrics. I feel so numb and corrupted.

      The part that I found most touching was actually when he tells his fans to hold their head up in pride. Talking about past suffering doesn’t touch me as much as the fact that he came through it with head held high, with his integrity intact.

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