Back in 2015, BTS announced that their 2015 BTS LIVE HYYH On Stage Japan Edition concert scheduled for December 27-28 in Kobe, Japan had been cancelled because members Suga and V felt unwell and needed medical care. Though the two members insisted they perform for the fans who made time to come see them, the local doctors recommended they get rest — and so the agency decided to call off the concert entirely.
When the announcement came, it broke Japanese ARMYs’ hearts — and BTS’s too. It was not easy for anyone, but fans ended up respecting BTS’s decision to refund the tickets rather than “put on an imperfect show”.
Once BTS returned to Korea, Suga and V received additional medical care and spent some time away from the spotlight. As fans grew curious about how the members had recovered, Suga tweeted a long heartfelt message to ARMYs on January 10, 2016.
안녕하세요 슈가입니다 많은 분들이 나의 휴가에 대해 궁금해 하시더라
간단하게 말하자면 많이 걷고 많이 자고 많이 생각했다
믹스테잎을 작업하기 전 생각 정리를 하고 싶어 여행이 가고 싶었다 꼭 가야하는 곳도 있었고
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) January 10, 2016
This tweet, retold in a cartoon by an artist ARMY, shared Suga’s most insightful look back at what had happened and how it had changed him. Fast-forward to 2020, ARMYs believe Suga’s raw and real emotions in this tweet come pretty close to the same kind of fear, anxiety, and pressure being described in his latest “Interlude: Shadow” dropped as a comeback trailer for BTS’s upcoming MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 album.
Hello, this is Suga. A lot of people wanted to know about my vacation. Simply put, I walked a lot, I slept a lot, and I contemplated a lot. Before I started working on the mixtape, I wanted to get my head straight. So I wanted to go on a trip. There was a place I had to visit too. I wanted to do things as the 24-year-old Min Yoongi and not as Suga. It was a time of reflection. The story I’m about to tell isn’t from an artist to his fans. It’s not from BTS to ARMYs. It’s from a human to other humans. So here goes.
In the tweet, Suga admitted the cancelled Kobe concert continued to taunt him.
I feel the most conflicted when I’m with a lot of people and I realize I cannot be fair and be equal to all of them. I don’t want to hurt anyone but there is always a time I end up doing so anyway. I am, still, not enough. After the second day of the concert in Kobe, Japan, I have not been able to sleep that well. Could it be because I know I hurt so many people? I’ve been waking up covered in cold sweat.
I insisted that I perform because I’ve already hurt people before by not going up on the stage. But everyone stopped me. I cried my eyes out when I realized I cannot perform on stage. That was defeat.
Suga shared that he actually had to go back to Kobe, Japan — to confront his failure and come to terms with how he had let his fans down.
For me, holding back my own sadness isn’t difficult. But watching the sadness of those who love me — that is difficult. People have adored me but I’ve made them sad again. If I could turn back time, to the day of the concert, I would fight to get back on that stage. That’s why I had to go back. During my time away, I went back to Kobe. A lot of people told me not to go, but without going back, I wasn’t sure how I would live with myself again. So I just headed to Kobe. I don’t want to be numb. I don’t want to take for granted these glorious days of so many people sending me their love.
I don’t want to be numb. So I went back to the YES 24 Live Hall and the World Memorial Hall. I used to love going on stage — I still do. When I was 17 years old, I performed in front of two people but I didn’t back down. I looked them in the eyes and showed them. After I debuted though, I’m not sure I had been that honest with myself. It might have been because I knew better than anyone that I don’t deserve it all. It was on the first night of the HYYH On Stage that I felt like I could look at the audience in the eyes again though.
In Kobe, Suga tried to relive the moment he disappointed ARMYs. In this process, he faced and accepted the truth: He can’t not make any mistakes, he’s only human.
But since the second day in Kobe, Japan, the day I couldn’t get myself on stage, I wasn’t so sure if I could face a lot of people again and look them in the eyes. So I went back to Kobe, that same concert hall. From the time I arrived, until the time the concert should have begun, I wandered around the hall. I went to the box office. The entrance. All over the stadium. I wanted to feel what everyone felt.
I came to face a lot of feelings. The joy. The thrill of waiting for the show to start. The sadness. The resentment. The rage, the disappointment, and more. I want to understand. And I do. So I am sorry. I am sorry that I am an imperfect human being. I am sorry that I act tough when I’m only a weak and vulnerable person. I came to admit once again that I am not enough. I prayed there, though I don’t have a religion. The end is already set. But even though I know how this ends, I will not change. I won’t ever turn numb to these emotions.
After pouring out what he called his most vulnerable — but really his strongest — thoughts, Suga was filled back up with gratitude.
I wanted to be alone all the time, but you all have become such a big part of me already. Age, sex, nationality, religion… What language you use does not matter to me. I hopped on a plane back home because a Music Bank schedule had suddenly been set. That day, I was able to clear my mind.
I realized once again what a blessed person I am. I realized that I should be grateful every moment of my life. Thank you, ARMYs, for blessing my life. I’m never good with words so I may not express it all the time. But with this writing, I share my thoughts with you. Yes, I am not enough but that is why I will live, always thankful of what I have. I love you ARMYs.
And since this tweet, Suga has been more than up front with his “less-than-perfect” side. That very vulnerability in his songs is what reaches out and “saves” ARMYs trapped by the same weakness. Not only did his experience in Kobe mature him as an artist, it added so much more to layers his music.
Read more about Suga’s music: