Maddie Migriño · Case Study

Mental Health Awareness

[PREVIEW] The Last - by Agust D

About

I wanted to highlight mental health, an important topic which unfortunately is still considered a stigma in today’s society. This is only a short preview of a 3 minute kinetic typography to the song “The Last” by a rapper named Suga (aka Agust D). He addresses the monster named “fame” which negatively impacts his “mental pollution”.

This is only the preview version. Click the link to watch the full 3:50 minute video on YouTube.

⌲ THE LAST - by Agust D, Kinetic Typography

Inspiration

Agust D is a rapper who is known for openly speaking about his mental health issues through his deep and personal lyrics. In his self-titled album “Agust D Mixtape” which was released in 2016, there are several songs that address his struggles with depression, social phobia, and past suicidal thoughts. He is aware that the topic of mental health is not highly talked about and still stigmatized, especially in the Asian community. However, he mentioned that this topic needs to be addressed in order to help others going through similar situations.

Agust D is known to be one of the lead rappers in a globally popular band called Bangtan Sonyeondan, or BTS internationally. The group’s popularity has reached international waves, and has gained recognition as a socially conscious group. Often, they write songs that many youths around the world can relate and touch on the themes of:

  • mental health,

  • school pressures,

  • women empowerment,

  • the rollercoaster journey towards loving yourself through the album series “Love Yourself”

  • and many more important topics.

They’ve proven that despite singing and rapping these topics in their native language, language is never a barrier when it comes to music especially when promoting a positive message to those willing to listen and read translated lyrics. They’ve broken barriers and numerous world records with their songs.

Sketches and planning

Planning

Since I’m already fascinated with their wide range of music and the important themes they touch on in their lyrics, I’ve done a bit of research on why they decided to share their private pain to the public.

When asked about why the band decided to write personal lyrics such as mental health in a recent interview, the leader and spokesperson of the group (RM) says,

“ I think for not just us, but other celebrities. If they talk about it openly - if they talk about depression for example like it’s the common cold, then it becomes more and more accepted if it’s a common disorder like the cold. More and more, I think artists or celebrities who have a voice should talk about these problems and bring it up to the surface. ”

Based on their interviews on mental health, I tried to understand the problem through their words and visualize their thoughts. The Last included some Korean symbolisms within the well written lyrics that international fans may not know about. As I went to various fan sites that broke down the lyrics section by section, I realized that this is more than just his struggle with depression and social phobia. He talks about “hiding in the bathroom” which is a common Korean phrase meaning wanting to end his life.

For more details of the break down of The Last lyrics, click the link below:

⌲ THE LAST, English lyrics breakdown

Goals & Conclusion

Since mental health is still a stigma in today’s society, it’s best to continue talking about the topic until the stigma barrier is broken. Like the leader of the group said, if they talk about depression for example like it’s the common cold, then it becomes more and more accepted if it’s a common disorder like the cold. - RM.