Despite the ongoing whirlwind of chart-topping comebacks from leading K-pop idols, BTS's SUGA and solo artist IU continue to secure a high spot on the charts with their collaborative song 'People Pt.2,' over a month after its release.

As of the morning of May 13th, according to the domestic music chart Melon, 'People Pt.2' (feat. IU) by SUGA (under the alias 'Agust D'), released on April 7th, has managed to snag the 26th spot. It claimed the 20th position on the monthly chart for April.

BTS SUGA and IU's 'People Pt.2': A Quiet Long-Run Success Amid Fierce Competition
(Photo : EDAM Entertainment, Big Hit Music)

In the Circle Chart, 'People Pt.2' secured a place within the top 10 in both the streaming and download charts for three weeks post-release (April 9th - 29th).

'People Pt.2' marks the second collaboration between IU and SUGA. Their previous track 'People,' released in May 2020, skyrocketed to the top spot of major domestic real-time music charts just an hour after its release, ultimately securing the 5th place on the annual chart that year.

BTS SUGA and IU's 'People Pt.2': A Quiet Long-Run Success Amid Fierce Competition
(Photo : Big Hit Music)

Compared to 'People,' the performance of 'People Pt.2' might seem slightly underwhelming. However, considering that April and May saw a flurry of comebacks from top-tier idol groups like Aespa, Blackpink's Jisoo, Seventeen, Leseraphim, and IVE, the fact that 'People Pt.2' continues to hold its ground in the upper echelons of the chart testifies to its enduring popularity among listeners.

The chart competition during 'Eight's release was less intense, with tracks like OH MY GIRL's 'Nonstop,' Bolbbalgan4's 'Leo,' and Taeyeon's 'Happy,' making it difficult to compare 'People' and 'People Pt.2' on equal terms.

Furthermore, 'People Pt.2' is a track by SUGA featuring IU, whereas 'Eight' was a song by IU featuring SUGA, drawing different levels of attention given IU's renowned stature as a digital powerhouse.

BTS SUGA and IU's 'People Pt.2': A Quiet Long-Run Success Amid Fierce Competition
(Photo : EDAM Entertainment)

The Appeal of 'People' vs. 'People Pt.2' at 28 vs. 31

'People Pt.2' tends to cater to a more niche audience compared to the widely popular 'Eight.' Released when both IU and SUGA were 28, People' encapsulates a longing for an 'orange island,' a place free from the repetitive powerlessness of their past.

The upbeat sound and high notes of IU contrasted with the lyrics of 'People,' invoking sudden separations and pain, encouraging the young generation to recall memories of the past, thereby resonating with them.

BTS SUGA and IU's 'People Pt.2': A Quiet Long-Run Success Amid Fierce Competition
(Photo : Captured from IU's YouTube channel 'Now')

On the other hand, 'People Pt.2' delves deeper into the evolved emotions of IU and SUGA at 31, exploring the seemingly futile but incessantly repetitive human relationships and emotions.

The intro of 'People Pt.2' starts with IU's tender vocals, creating a more subdued and darker atmosphere than 'People.' SUGA's rap is gentle in tone but candid in lyrics, "You know, there's no such thing as a forever fortress, even a calm wave can easily crumble it. Why is loss sad?" It makes listeners contemplate the meaning of 'loss,' felt more intensely in the course of life beyond a breakup.

As they step into their 30s and their thoughts and emotions deepen, 'People Pt.2' offers a glimpse into the matured musicality of the duo over the past three years.