K-Pop: “Rush Hour”

Promotional photo of Jung Hoseok (J-Hope) and Shin Hyoseob (Crush) for the new single “Rush Hour”. Copyright goes to P NATION.

Hey! Hallie here!

We’re getting a lot of solo content from the members of BTS at the moment, and after quite a few collaborations, J-Hope is jumping in on the action! I really wasn’t expecting anything for a while after ‘Jack In The Box’ was released, and I honestly wasn’t sad about that because it meant Hobi was taking a break, but he’s briefly exited his break to collaborate with Crush! “Rush Hour” is one of those songs that feels like a perfect fit for J-Hope, so much so that I’m wondering how I functioned without this song in my life. This song is, first and foremost, Crush’s song so I’ll definitely be praising his work here as well. But I’m coming to this as an ARMY without much knowledge of Crush’s work, so keep that in mind! Let’s get into this!

The Song:

“Rush Hour” is a really fun funk song that could easily be placed up there with other funk greats like “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament or Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. It doesn’t take itself too seriously with lyrics from both Crush and J-Hope that stick to describing how much fun they’re having with their current successes, and that really works for the song. It’s a dance piece. Something that makes you want to get up out of your chair and learn the choreography in the MV. It really doesn’t have to be deep. Crush’s vocals cut through the energetic instrumental with a harsher cadence that makes him stand out during verses, before switching to the even more addictive tone for the chorus. He’s very talented at both flow and singing, and he’s clearly pulling out all the stops for his comeback after military service. When J-Hope jumps in he brings something completely different to the table, his voice and flow a bit more playful in the way it matches the background music. J-Hope has always been an expert at matching his verses to the individual sounds of each song, and the way he adapts to this one’s positivity and energy feels so natural to his personality and style. I especially love the end of his verse, where he goes from the more conversational-like sound in both verses, to something more sing-songy, to a rap flow reminiscent of his solo work. Each style blends together so seamlessly you almost don’t notice he’s doing it. Overall this song is just complete joy. Between Crush’s mastery over his voice and J-Hope’s killer verse, there really is nothing to dislike here.

The MV:

This is a really simple MV and I love how well it works for the song. There aren’t many sets in this MV, instead sticking to the same street corner with a few buildings in the back and plenty of cars to mess around on. Occasionally we’ll get other areas too, like a bus stop, that are indicated to be around this street corner as well. What makes this set so effective is the way that it feels lived in. There’s graffiti on the walls and scaffolding in the background with construction workers around it. The beginning of the MV starts with the backup dancers going about seemingly everyday activities. In one scene a cop chases down a few people. In another the dancers are briefly interrupted by a team of runners. Another thing that makes this MV striking is the lighting. It’s dark around all the sets, and lights are on in all of the buildings to indicate that it’s nighttime. But throughout the entire video the set is lit with a bright yellow light that feels like it’s highlighting the positive energy of the song. The dancing throughout is also fun but simple. There’s nothing too complicated here, but there’s happiness to be found in the fact that everyone can attempt this dance if they want. Not to mention that every single person in this MV looks like they’re having the time of their lives dancing to this song. But simple doesn’t mean there’s a lack of talent here. Every one of the dancers shows a mastery over the rhythm of this song that’s completely enviable. I especially loved watching J-Hope embrace his roots in dancing, something he’s talked about missing for a while, with his own moments to lead the dance crew with his crazy body control. He even threw in a dance move from “Mic Drop” that nearly made me squeal. There’s so much enjoyment to find in the simplicity of this.

Outfits:

The outfits in the MV get their own section just because I love them so much I feel like rambling a bit. They’re all very casual, and some of the dancers, like the construction workers, are wearing work clothes. But they’re all casual in the way that I want every single piece I saw in this video in my closet immediately. Crush himself shows off a matching flannel and shorts with a pleasing plaid pattern in the first part of the MV, all paired with bright yellow shoes and a matching fluffy bucket hat. It’s such a bold but casual style that it makes him eye-catching but still extremely approachable. The same goes for his end-of-MV outfit, where he shows up in a nostalgic mix of a patterned shirt underneath a plaid vest with bedazzled jeans. It feels 80s but in a very fun way. J-Hope wears a brown varsity jacket with various bedazzled details and matching brown pants when we first see him. Once again, it’s a casual style with pieces that certainly look bolder than if you were to catch Hobi on his day off, but still makes him look approachable. His final outfit is similar, with instead light-wash jeans, a brown sweatshirt, and some of his signature colored glasses. Old-fashioned colored glasses always look amazing on Hobi. There’s this amazing mix of comfort and personality in each piece worn in this video that I would love to emulate in my own personal style.

I will now stop gushing about this song. For now. It will likely come up in another post, though, because I’ve been listening to “Rush Hour” on repeat all day and I can’t see that stopping any time soon. I’ve said on this blog that J-Hope’s ‘Jack In The Box’ album may be my favorite album of all time partly due to its deeper themes. But sometimes you just need a song about enjoying life to lift you up. “Rush Hour” definitely lifted me up after a hard week, and I hope it did the same for everyone else who listened to it!

Don’t do anything until I get back!

Hallie

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