Just days after allegations made against BTS‘s Suga for using speech samples from American controversial cult leader Jim Jones, the rapper once again appears back in the spotlight facing very similar but ultimately unconfirmed accusations.
On June 4, Vietnamese media made a report that the voice of Ngo Dinh Diem was inserted into the track “What do you think?”, the same track that was first claimed to have used the excerpt from Jim Jones. The media source said it had “received reports from anonymous netizens that they heard the voice of the deposed leader on the track;” however, these claims have been under heavy debate since they first arose, with some Korean media outlets stating they’re false while others wish for further investigation before making a formal claim.
Ngo Dinh Diem was a Vietnamese politician who formerly served as president of what was then South Vietnam, leading the country with dictatorial powers. He was assassinated in 1963 following a coup d’état, which is a forcible removal of a political leader or type of government rule, usually by violent means.
In response to the new sampling allegations, Suga’s company Big Hit Entertainment has dismissed the claims, calling them “factless” given the alleged lack of fact-checking by the Vietnamese media source. This comes just days after the company released an official apology for the use of samples from the Jim Jones sermon. Following that statement, Suga’s song was re-released as a “new version” with Jones’s speech excerpt edited out.
There have been mixed reactions to the claims that Vietnam’s former deposed president’s voice could be heard in the song. Some Vietnamese speakers on Twitter have confirmed that they can hear the audio sample, some say that they can hear some Vietnamese but not necessarily the former president’s speech, and other speakers say that can’t hear any Vietnamese at all. Responses to many of those tweets appear defensive and reactionary.
Suga’s second mixtape, D-2, which was released under his other stage name Agust D, was released at the end of this past May. The mixtape, along with Its title track “Daetchwita,” has broken commercial and chart records all over the world despite the growing controversy surrounding audio sampling on “What do you think?”.
While some news sources claim these new allegations to be false, others are still reporting the investigation ongoing as more information is gathered.