The song “What Do You Think?,” from Suga’s solo album “D-2,” contained a vocal sample from a 1977 speech given by the cult leader. Jones was responsible for the mass murder-suicide of hundreds of his followers at the Jonestown jungle commune in Guyana in 1978.
Since it was released on May 22, “D-2” — released under Suga’s Agust D nom de plume — has topped the Apple iTunes album charts in 80 countries and regions. The album debuted at No. 10 this week on the Rolling Stone album chart.
In a statement, Big Hit Entertainment said the vocal sample was selected by the producer who worked on the song “without knowing who the speaker was.”
Big Hit Entertainment added: “We have our various processes for reviewing our content that are targeted to our global audience, to try to avoid social, cultural and historical issues, but we also have our limitations in understanding and responding to every situation.
“In this case, we were not aware of it in advance, and we lacked the understanding of the historical and social situations relating to the sample. We apologize to those who have been hurt or felt uncomfortable by this.”
Big Hit has since deleted the sample, and has re-issued a revised version of the track.
“Suga himself is embarrassed and feels deeply responsible for a problem that he did not realize,” added Big Hit. “In the future, we will learn from this situation, and take a closer look at the entire production process.”