Big Hit Entertainment has issued an apology after controversy started brewing around a new song from BTS member Suga, which samples a speech from cult leader Jim Jones.
The official statement released by Big Hit on the 31st read: “The sampled speech that is featured in the intro of ‘What Do You Think?’ on Suga’s mixtape, D-2, was selected by the track’s producer in consideration of the overall atmosphere of the song, without any special intention or knowledge of the speaker.”
The label added, “During the review process that was carried out after the selection of the vocal sample, we failed to recognize the inappropriate nature of the sample’s content. There is a limit to our ability to understand all situations and respond accordingly.”
“The part in question has been removed, and the song has been re-released. Suga also feels embarrassed and responsible for a problem arising from a part that he had never expected [to be problematic],” the statement went on to explain.
The controversy surrounding the sampling of a speech by Jim Jones on “What Do You Think?” – a song on Suga’s second mixtape, D-2, which was released on May 22 – first began growing via an online community. James Warren Jones was an American preacher turned cult leader, and the speech that was featured in the track said: “Though you are dead, yet you shall live, and he that liveth and believeth shall never die.”
Jim Jones, who launched the Peoples Temple in the United States during the 1950s, was behind the Jonestown massacre of 1978, in which 918 people were coerced into mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced punch.