J-Hope Of BTS Has Released A Solo Album So Let's Dive Into His Music

    Welcome to Hope World.

    With the release of Jack in the Box on July 15, J-Hope, most famous for his work with BTS, has become the first member of the group to debut a full-length solo album as part of BTS's "Chapter Two."

    With inspirations as broad as old-school hip-hop and Ancient Greek mythology, Jack in the Box is an intense, thoughtful, and experimental work that's not afraid to lean into the darkness and dwell there.


    Across the album's 10 tracks, J-Hope examines his past, present, and future, with musings on his interior world — his identity, struggles, and ambition — as well as wider issues of human nature, good and evil, and discrimination and equality.

    The two music videos that accompany the album's tracks — "MORE" and "Arson" — also encompass a dark aesthetic and gritty narrative.

    View this video on YouTube

    Big Hit Music / youtube.com

    View this video on YouTube

    Big Hit Music / youtube.com

    If you're only familiar with BTS's recent Billboard pop hits like "Dynamite" or "Butter," or J-Hope's reputation as the always happy and bright "sunshine" member of the group, Jack in the Box might come as a surprise.

    But, while being very fresh, Jack in the Box is also the natural culmination of J-Hope's career to date; from his early roots in dancing, to his decade in BTS, and the solo projects he has already worked on in the past. Here's a little look back at his journey so far...

    Close-up of J-Hope looking to the side and smiling; photo is from 2014

    J-Hope, whose real name is Jung Ho-seok but who is often called "Hobi" by both BTS and fans, got his start in street dance. He was part of an underground dance team before joining Big Hit Entertainment as a trainee in 2010, when he was just 16 years old.

    View this video on YouTube

    Big Hit Music / Via youtube.com

    J-Hope was added to BTS as a rapper, joining RM and Suga (vocalists Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook were added shortly after). During his time as a trainee, he featured on Jo Kwon's song "Animal," before finally debuting together with BTS in 2013 with the album 2 Cool 4 School and its lead single "No More Dream."

    As one of the group's rappers, J-Hope participated in songwriting across the majority of BTS's music from the very beginning, and also got involved in producing. J-Hope also became dance leader, playing a a key role in the group's impressive choreography and performances.

    We are bulletproof dance break by 3J is something else... Only they can do it.

    Big Hit Music / Via Twitter: @Preyoti_1

    J-Hope actually sometimes livestreams or uploads clips of himself dancing in a series he calls "Hope on the Street."

    Both his dance and rap skills (not to mention darker side) were showcased in J-Hope's first solo song within BTS: 2016's "Intro: Boy Meets Evil" off the group's second studio album Wings.

    View this video on YouTube

    Big Hit Music / Via youtube.com

    J-Hope co-wrote the song with RM and Big Hit producer Pdogg, and it served as an intro to Wings, setting up the themes of seduction, greed, and temptation. 

    J-Hope's other solo songs for BTS are all brighter in nature, although not always in subject matter. He explores his relationship with his mother in "MAMA" (also on Wings); the feeling of falling for someone in "Trivia 起: Just Dance" (from the Love Yourself album series); and the questions of identity and the future that come up again in Jack in the Box in "Outro: Ego" (from Map of the Soul: 7). 

    Another important part of getting to know J-Hope's work (other than diving into, like, the entire discography of BTS) is the subunit songs he's done within the group — especially with his fellow rappers RM and Suga.

    This fancam. This Hobi. This "Tear" Verse. I am not breathing.

    Twitter: @badbye7G

    Together, the three of them have collaborated on a bunch of songs, including "Intro: Skool Luv Affair" and "Intro: Never Mind," several in a "Cypher" series, plus the emotional "Outro: Her" and "Outro: Tear" and the fierce "Ddaeng" and "UGH!"

    Then there's J-Hope's collaborations with BTS's vocal line members, which bring out another, softer side of him: the heart-aching "Jamais Vu" with Jin and Jungkook, the boppy "A Brand New Day" with V and featuring artist Zara Larsson, and the upbeat "Fly to My Room" with V and Jimin as well as rapper Suga. He was also a feature alongside Suga and Jungkook on a remix of Jason Derulo and Jawsh 685's "Savage Love."

    J-Hope has also released solo projects before Jack in the Box, including 2015's "1 Verse" and a mixtape in 2018 called Hope World.

    SAY HELLO TO MY HOPE WORLD🌏#HopeWorld https://t.co/Utq1IgxMa5

    Twitter: @bts_twt

    Hope World and its two music videos, for "Daydream" and "Airplane," have a much brighter vibe than Jack in the Box — but even here, J-Hope explores not just his hopes and his happiness but his fears and pain, too. He further interrogated his feelings of longing and regret in the full version of the mixtape's outro, "Blue Side," which he released on the third anniversary of Hope World in 2021.

    But J-Hope's most famous solo project before Jack in the Box was perhaps "Chicken Noodle Soup," a collaboration with Becky G, in which he paid homage to his street dance roots.

    View this video on YouTube

    Big Hit Music / Via youtube.com

    You can check out a playlist of J-Hope's solo and subunit tracks here:


    And once you're done with that, you might like to explore more of his personality in BTS's shows and performances, which you can find out more about here, or follow J-Hope himself on Instagram here

    Now is the perfect time to get caught up — J-Hope will be headlining Lollapalooza this year, and it's sure to be a performance that gets everyone talking.

    What is your fave J-Hope track? Let us know in the comments!