BTS‘s Suga has garnered negative attention after it was discovered he used cult leader Jim Jones‘ sermon as the intro to his mixtape track “What Do You Think?”
Suga released his 2nd mixtape D-2 on May 22, and with it came 10 new tracks. One of the tracks, “What Do You Think?”, has an introduction of a man speaking in English before Suga starts his song. It turns out that the English in question is an excerpt from a sermon done by Jim Jones, a cult leader who directed a mass murder-suicide of 909 people. 304 of the deaths were children. In addition, Jim Jones was very close with North Korea, feeding his followers North Korean propaganda and criticizing the United States’ stance against North Korea’s Kim Il Sung.
The Jim Jones sermon that Suga sampled was from his 1977 sermon in Jonestown, his remote settlement in Guayana Esequiba, Guyana. The part that was sampled from Jim Jones speech is as follows:
… though you are dead, yet you shall live, and he that liveth and believeth shall never die.
— Jim Jones
A close listen and one will be able to hear the same words in the introduction of Suga’s song.
International netizens are angry that Suga used a sermon from such a controversial figure as the introduction of his speech, and how some ARMY knew about the sampling, let the whole thing slide, and are even continuing to try and do so.
His fandom already knew it and let it slide apparently. pic.twitter.com/VP6KD3e2rZ
— 🐱 #BLM (@shakedatbrass) May 30, 2020
arm*ys knew that suga was gonna sample jim jones since 2019 and they did absolutely nothing to call out their faves. that's absolutely sick
— tan #BLM (@jaehyunswagger) May 30, 2020
Suga sampled a Jim Jones speech his fans need to contact BigHit instead of clearing the searches
— LP (@SeulgiObsession) May 30, 2020
none of you want to hold yoongi accountable and it's heartbreaking. sampling jim jones, a mass murderer, is disgusting but you'd rather keep quiet to prevent a scandal. if you cared about yoongi at all you'd want him to grow and mature as a person, right? ignoring it helps no one
— esme • blm (@s9euIgi) May 30, 2020
In addition, International netizens are simply upset that Suga included a sermon from such a person in his song.
there are literally millions of songs to sample but suga/yoongi/agust d used a sermon from jim jones, a cult leader that killed around 900 people. no matter what the song's message was, YOU DO NOT INCLUDE A MASS MURDERER IN A SONG. it's idiotic and extremely insensitive.
— franzi (@mommytozaki) May 30, 2020
jim jones was a violent cult leader, who murdered 900 ppl most of whom were black ppl. even if yoongi apologizes, black armys have full on right to be upset and not accept. i found out about it just now, why some of u known it since last year and REMAINED SILENT??don’t excuse him
— milf hunter⁷ (@childgrave) May 30, 2020
Sorry but Suga using Jim Jones, a cult leader and mass murderer, in his song is just so wrong. I hope they don’t clear the searches for him this time because this is something that really must be educated to Suga and BigHit.
— iza 💙 (@rvjoohyunnie) May 30, 2020
so suga from bts sampled jim jones in one of his recent songs… jim jones who was a MASS MURDERER AND CULT LEADER WHO HE USED FOR AN AESTHETIC, BUT Y'ALL ARE STILL DECLARING IT AS A MISTRANSLATION…
— . (@eunjidykes) May 30, 2020
However, some ARMY are defending Suga, saying that he used the sermon as an example to show the critics of Korea, as the lyrics for the song are all his responses to the critics who have plagued BTS on their path to worldwide fame. They believe Suga is using the sermon as an example of the cult-like mentality some people have.
Logging back on to talk about this yoongi and jim jones shit. Let me, a black man, tell you something about black rappers, and rappers in general. rappers have been sampling controversial speeches to rebuke, criticize, and mock the speakers for YEARS +
— leo⁷ ⟭⟬ ✊🏽 MU MUTANE NE 🇳🇬 (@TEARPNG) May 30, 2020
Y’al DUMB AF. JIM JONES WAS ANTI KOREAN, he put the speech in for a REASON. And this should not be ur concern rn? Where was all your outrage for BLM?!!? Why are ur Stan accounts suddenly active to h8 on BT5? pic.twitter.com/ItNZuEMyha
— SN⁷TheGenreisBTS⟭⟬ (@2k20isameme) May 30, 2020
Some artists use those kind of history side for artistic expression. We don’t even know the reason why they put the audio in the first place because suga/bighit haven’t fully explain the meaning of the song. And some of you who I haven’t seen in a while on my tl talking –
— 春〜春〜夜〜夜〜(B) (@girlwhofanboys) May 30, 2020
Neither Suga nor Big Hit Entertainment have commented on the matter so far.