Hey! Hallie here!
J-Hope is my favorite K-Pop artist of all time and he’s very much setting out to prove why he deserves that recognition right now. “More”, his most recent release, is just one song from J-Hope’s upcoming album ‘Jack In The Box’. The idea of this album has excited many people, including me, for a long while now. But it was only recently that we discovered that Hobi’s intention for this album involves exploring his darker side and molding what had once been a mixtape into a full album complete with a cohesive storyline. “More” is the first taste of a lot more greatness to come. Its hip hop/punk rock sound and strange visuals are just as dark as promised, the beat is addictive, and the lyrics are incredibly important examples of Hobi’s self exploration. I really can’t wait to dive into this music video and the things I’m looking forward to for the rest of the album, so let’s get right into it!
The percussion is the first thing that hits you in this song, and it carries consistently throughout as a gripping beat that adapts from verse to chorus without having to change at all. Clear perfection. I was completely caught off guard by the electric guitar that comes in during the chorus. As a fan of hard/punk rock, it was a really pleasant surprise, and as I said above, really suits the edgier vibes Hobi is going for with this album. As for the rap in this song, Hobi’s well known for morphing his flow depending on the rhythm or beat of a song. This one is no different. During verses we get a slower, lazy feel that gradually gets faster and more frantic. Hobi makes the transition so effortless during each verse, you don’t notice how complex the wordplay actually is. It’s beyond impressive. Leaning more into the punk feel again, the rest of the song is delivered at a stylistic yell that pairs perfectly with the backing track. And the message of the song? Just as powerful as the rest of it. This song is entirely about his toxic relationship with his career. Although he’s passionate about music and admits that making music comes naturally to him, he never feels like anything he does is good enough. He expresses that he’s so addicted to attempting to make something unattainably perfect, he never lets himself rest. Instead, he always demands “More” from himself. This song is a raw, real look into the way he’s been struggling with BTS’ shoot to fame and all of the many pressures that came along with it. I feel very grateful that he decided to share something so personal with us.
This MV is mostly about the vibes. And I loved it. We have some pretty simple sets in this video, like a regular flat or a workplace, but the video still manages to be visually stunning. It has a grunge look, where every color is darker but more vibrant than usual, and Hobi stands out among it all in his entirely black (save one white) outfit and dark eye makeup. Dark eye makeup looks SO GOOD on him. During the video we see him receive a mysterious box in what appears to be his apartment, trash his workplace and press what might be his boss’ face into a copy machine, rock out with a band of humans with strange faces, and walk down a hallway of black doors. After all that is the most confusing scene, where Hobi walks in on himself in a hospital bed where parts of his jester hat seem to be attached to him and moving around on their own. Then skeleton Hobi performs for a while and it’s kind of badass. The big reveal at the end? All of the sets we explored were in one box. Fitting. I can’t really say I know what this music video is meant to convey, though I do get why so many people are drawing comparisons to the movie ‘Fight Club’. The hallway in this MV seems like it was pulled right out of the movie, and the depressive state of the main character could easily reflect the Hobi we saw in this video. I could also see the scene where Hobi walks in on himself paralleling the fact that in the movie, the second main character is an invention of the main character’s imagination and a reflection of part of his personality. Even if none of it is in reference to the movie, I still feel like the similarities are worth discussing.
‘Jack In The Box’:
After this release I’m interested to see what the storyline Hobi promised is going to be like. We can all count on it continuing to explore his psyche in the very least. What excites me most about this song and the full album release, which will be mid-July, is the lack of the J-Hope persona. Like it or not, J-Hope is not completely who Hoseok is. No one can be hopeful all the time. No one can be a ray of sunshine for every minute of their life. While Hobi has brought light and happiness to many fans, he’s been open about his struggles to keep up that persona. Just like everyone, he experiences bad days and difficult battles with his mental health. This album is the first time he can express all of that. This is the first time we’re seeing Hoseok without the hope persona. And as difficult as it may be to hear how much he’s been struggling, it’s so empowering to hear him express his emotions, especially the negative ones. He’s encouraged so many ARMY to embrace their emotions and love all sides of who they are. This feels like his attempt to do the same for himself and I’m so happy to be able to witness that.
Those are my thoughts on “More”! I’m anxiously anticipating the full album release. This song is already one of my favorites he’s ever made and I don’t doubt that the rest of the album will have just as large of an impact on me. But I’m not just in love with the sound of this song. I’m in love with the message of self-discovery and embracing the bad. I’m in love with the fact that Hobi seems to have written his album free from the expectations that come along with his stage persona. I hope he becomes even more comfortable with who he is now that he has time to step away from BTS and focus on his solo work.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!