BTS: J-Hope becomes first member to release solo material with new album Jack in The Box

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BTS: J-Hope becomes first member to release solo material with new album Jack in The Box
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BTS’s J-Hope has become the first member of the South Korean boy band to officially go solo, releasing album Jack in The Box today.

And, despite the millions of eyes on him, the rapper, singer and dancer seems to have delivered.

The 10-song record, which totals just 22 minutes of music, is an expansive hip hop album and is already getting raving reviews: NME gave it 5-stars, calling it “sublime” and “thought-provoking and full of fresh new flavour”.

In his nearly decade-long career in the seven-member group, J-Hope has always lived up to his name – never seen without a massive grin spread across his face.

So Jack in The Box, with its darker themes and heavier beats, sees the 28-year-old really step outside of his BTS persona for the first time.

Speaking to Rolling Stone in an article released today, J-Hope said: “Since I’m the first one to go solo, I feel a sense of responsibility and there’s definitely some pressure as well. This album is really meaningful to me, and mostly, I feel proud and excited it’s coming out.”

He added: “I felt the need to show some of my darker aspects … and I think I really wanted to do something like this. I wanted people to realize that J-Hope isn’t limited to bright things.”

“He can do these concepts and has a wide spectrum. I wanted to call attention to this ability by challenging myself. I didn’t think much of the future.”

As well as releasing the album, J-Hope, born Jung Ho-seok, dropped the music video to Jack in The Box’s tenth song Arson and it has already garnered over five million views.

This isn’t the first time J-Hope has released solo music: he shared his mixtape Hope World in 2018 and it peaked at number 38 on the US Billboard 200. Then, in 2019 he dropped single Chicken Noodle Soup, which went to 81 on the US charts. In anticipation of Jack in The Box, he also released the single More on July 1.

BTS perform onstage during the 2021 American Music Awards (Getty Images for MRC)
BTS perform onstage during the 2021 American Music Awards (Getty Images for MRC)

Next, J-Hope has a headlining slot at the Chicago four-day music festival Lollapalooza taking place on July 31, making him the first South Korean solo artist to ever grace a large US festival’s main stage.

The album release comes only a short time after BTS announced that the band would be taking some time to embark on personal projects. The band, whose first release, a single album called 2 Cool 4 Skool, dropped in 2013, announced the shift in mid-June.

Then the same week they released their first anthology album, Proof. Showing their continued popularity, the album went on to peak at number one on the US Billboard 200 album charts.

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