K-Pop and K-Dramas: Happy Birthday Jung Hoseok!

Concept photo of J-Hope (Jung Hoseok) from the “BE” album. Copyright goes to Big Hit Entertainment and BTS.

Hey! Hallie here!

Jung Hoseok, or J-Hope, is turning a year older on February 18th! However, considering South Korea is quite a bit ahead of my time zone, that means he will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow. In the interest of getting this post out in time for this marvelous man’s birthday, I’m going to go ahead and say an early happy birthday to my bias! Hoseok will be turning 27, or 28 in Korea. Which is absolutely insane considering he was 19 years old when BTS debuted. Since BTS’s debut he’s released several amazing solo songs and an entire mixtape of his own. His songs are considered some of the best in the entire K-Pop industry, and it isn’t hard to see why. Between singing about his desire to make others happy, to confessing the struggles he faces as a figure meant to represent only positive thinking, Hoseok makes music that is easy to love and relate to. So for his birthday, I’ll be going through all of his released solo music to look at the powerful messages and fun songs he’s gifted to us over the years. Let’s get into this!

“1 Verse”:

This was J-Hope’s first solo release. It’s rap heavy and shows off his major skills, especially with flow. This track is directly addressing his haters. At the time BTS’s rappers were, and sometimes still are, attacked for “Idol” rapping. Many disregarded the praise BTS’s rap line were receiving because BTS is considered an Idol group, and therefore attempted to criticize the rap line for being sub-par compared to “real” rappers. The entire rap line has responded to these comments with diss tracks of their own, but this one is the one J-Hope released. This track directly challenges his haters by showing off just how powerful J-Hope’s rapping is. It criticizes them for only looking at him on the surface and shows them not only that they underestimate him, but that they aren’t even on his level. J-Hope mainly uses the track to tell his naysayers that their hate doesn’t effect him at all and that he’ll continue getting the praise and recognition he deserves. It insults the negative commenters and tells them that they aren’t worth his time all at once, and it’s incredibly satisfying to listen to.

“Intro: Boy Meets Evil”

This song was the introduction to the “Wings” album and it showed off just how dark Hoseok could go. In it, Hoseok talks about how his ambitions and success have made him greedy for more and are consuming his life. He talks about how he can’t escape his fame now that he has it, and while it’s terrifying, it’s also enticing. The entire song balances a bleak look at his fame with the sweetness he also sees in it. It’s an admirably blunt look at his career. It also showcases his amazing singing voice with some intensely captivating rapping. This is one of those songs that you NEED to look up the music video for. Hoseok choreographed a dance piece that is so insanely complicated and badass, you can’t help but admire his talent.

“MAMA”

“MAMA” was a song written to thank Hoseok’s mother for being a major influence on him. It details what his life was like growing up with his mother and how much she supported his dreams. The lyrics talk about how she had to work hard to financially support him. Hoseok tops it all off by telling his mother how grateful he is for her support and how he feels he is finally able to support her back and make her proud. It’s a sweet song that focuses on Hoesok’s strong singing voice more than many of his other songs. He also admitted that it touched his mother so much, she cried when she first listened to it. And who wouldn’t?

“Hope World”

I could go into detail on every song of this album, but it would take a very long time. So I’m going to do an overview of it. The concept of the album is an idealistic world that fans can visit when they are sad or depressed. It provides upbeat melodies and hopeful vibes that very much reflect his stage name, J-Hope. In the title song he talks about how happy he is with his life and he invites fans to be happy along with him. In “P.O.P (Piece of Peace) Pt.1” he talks about how he knows what it’s like to struggle, but he encourages listeners to find happiness within themselves and to use his music to find strength. In “Daydream” he reminds his audience about the dual life he must live between his personal life and his public life. J-Hope wishes that he could always be himself without being judged by the public, but knows he also has to be a role model to his fans. “Base Line” is another track where J-Hope disregards his haters and conveys how hard he worked to be where he is now. “HANGSANG” reveals how grateful he is to be experiencing the incredible life he has with his seven best friends. Despite the fact that it’s his solo album, he’s heartwarmingly quick to mention how grateful he is for the members of BTS. “Airplane” is a song that was so appreciated by BTS, the group made a sequel to it. J-Hope uses the song to look back at how far he’s come and how grateful he is to be so successful. “Blue Side (Outro)” ends the album with both nostalgic desire for the innocence of his past and a wish that the listeners could stay in Hope World with him. The entire album shows the complexity of J-Hope while still attempting to share a positive outlook with the world.

“Trivia: Just Dance”

Hoseok uses this song to tell a love story through the frame of dancing, one of his biggest passions. He talks about sharing the same rhythm with someone and compares dancing together to falling in love. It’s a beautiful song that focuses a lot on his singing. It also has some impressive choreography that I highly recommend checking out.

“Chicken Noodle Soup”

This song is majorly influenced by the 2006 song of the same name. The original song, by Webstar and Young B, was something J-Hope listened to a lot when he was first learning to dance. He paid royalties in advance to pay tribute to it, and he eventually decided to bring Becky G into the project. The lyrics they wrote for the song are in their native languages and demonstrate both love for their heritage, and how hard they’ve worked to be recognized for their talent. It’s a fun song with some surprisingly impactful lyrics.

“Outro: Ego”

This track takes an even deeper look into what Hoseok struggled through to get where he is. It talks about self doubt and depression. But he ultimately shares how he learned to trust himself and is now more confident in the decisions he makes. Just like many of his other songs, Hoseok is up front about his struggles. He shares that he hasn’t been optimistic all the time, despite the hopefulness many expect of him. But he also encourages fans to be hopeful about their own futures and to pursue their dreams. This song is upbeat and fun to listen to, but you can’t help but appreciate it’s deeper meaning.

That’s all of Hoseok’s solo work so far. He also was the main writer for the song “Disease”, which talks about his relationship with work, especially during the pandemic. Hoseok is known for his happy and upbeat songs. But he’s also known for his very honest depictions of his life. While many people, including myself, find his optimism extremely inspiring, I sometimes find his honesty about his mental health even more inspiring. J-Hope’s smile lights up a room, his dancing makes you gasp in awe, and his laughter is contagious. His sound effects and loud screaming instantly make anyone within earshot happier. But his kindness and integrity are just as beautiful. I couldn’t have picked a better bias. Thank you for everything Jung Hoseok, and Happy Birthday!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

3 thoughts on “K-Pop and K-Dramas: Happy Birthday Jung Hoseok!

  1. I’m late again! Happy Birthday Hobi-ah!

    Surprisingly, the first songs of BTS that I listened to were Trivia: Just Dance, and BTS Cypher 4. I never even knew I was an ARMY! I’m thanking Hoseok for getting me into BTS, the band that made my life brighter.

    Like

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