A Journey through “Hope World”

The long-awaited “hixtape,” the pre-release name his fans (A.R.M.Y) created after mixing the words “hope” and “mixtape,” is finally here!

A year and a half after its announcement Jung Hoseok, known as BTS’s J-Hope, released “Hope World” on March 2, 2018 at 12AM KST. With the title-track “Daydream,” he drifts apart from the usual style of his group and fellow rapper members, finding his own distinctive style.

Throughout the title-track, we can perceive his hopes on an everyday basis. With references like “the hole Alice fell into” and “the road to Hogwarts” he relates to the thrill of trying something new without regrets. This upbeat song also shows his wish of feeling “normal” despite his idol status with lyrics like “So what I get drunk until I go crazy/So what I go out without thinking about work/Let's feel the youth/Young Wild and Free /Wild and Free/Let me try it once too.” He also talks about how a daydream from his perspective is not only a fantasy but something he wants to reach.

In the songs “P.O.P (Piece of Peace) pt.1” and “Airplane,” he narrates his story from two different points of view. On the first, he tells how his struggles made him self-conscious of the difficulties of realizing one's dream like getting their desired job and having the feeling of fulfillment (peace). He reflects on his wish of becoming an important piece of strength and enlightenment for the people and fans “brightening the dreams and clearing the nightmare” because he knows the feeling of not being heard or noticed.

On “Airplane,” he contemplates his life from the seat of an airplane. He thinks how he, a native of the city of Gwangju, became a star who travels all the time—something he could only imagine in his wildest dreams. He goes back to his first trip he had with his group members to Japan, and how that “fluttering feeling” remains with him because it was a stepping stone onto his dream that shaped him to be the man he is today. He ends the song saying no matter how lonely jealousy and hate from outsiders make him, he’s thankful to be living his dream.

“Base Line” paths the way to “항상 (Always)” talking about his essence. He explains how his years of street dance, his practice to become a great rapper, his choice of working instead of sleeping lead him to debut. He reaffirms his dream of making music and how this real base is the gratitude he has for his work; the one who lets him live without worrying about the basic necessities. On “Always” he also talks about his team’s success and their happiness of being where they are. He compares his debut days with the place they’re in now saying how the “team (BTS) have turned the table” arriving together to the top. He celebrates the fact they went from rock-bottom to be a world-wide sensation, looking at the future with confidence while showing gratitude to his fans.

J-Hope achieved number one in 63 countries with “Hope World,” becoming the K-Pop soloist with more number ones in the iTunes’ charts. He also became the reason behind four worldwide trending topics the day of the mixtape’s release.

 

With this release he has won the respect of various social platforms, especially Dispatch Korea who said in their article: “We hope J-Hope’s mixtape will make another wave in Korean music scene which he can deliver his message fully without swearing or diss. J-Hope is the musician who can use his energy and his power of influence properly.”

You can listen to the hixtape on Spotify, Apple Music, buy it on iTunes and watch his title track here.