Fans of the Korean pop group BTS (방탄소년단) have long been anticipating the release of rapper J-Hope’s mixtape, and following its release on March 2, followers were met with a mixtape that exceeded expectations.
Jung Hoseok, or J-Hope, is known as the lead rapper and main dancer of BTS, and is the most recent of the group to release a solo project. Comprised of seven songs, “Hope World” has been wildly successful upon its release, climbing iTunes charts worldwide.
“Hope World,” or “Hixtape,” as it was referred to by fans prior to this month, meets the expectations of fans whose anticipation has built since the first mention of the solo project in October 2016, in an interview portion of the group’s “Wings” album concept book.
The first and titular track, “Hope World,” is a fun and energetic song that offers a look into J-Hope’s personality and experiences; inviting listeners to “say hello to [his] Hope World” in the songs that are to come in the rest of the mixtape.
The tracks that follow, “Piece of Peace” and “Daydream,” express just that; both providing insight into his complex role and life as a K-pop idol. “Piece of Peace” conveys his desire to be “someone’s strength” and “light” – a source of the peace for his fans. On the flip side, J-Hope illustrates the balance between his public and private lives in “Daydream,” revealing a “different picture in [his] life” that is his daydream.
The vibrant, bold colors in the “Daydream” music video highlight the upbeat track and the rapper’s bright persona that he describes in “Hope World,” and the rap details the feeling of escaping into a “world of mirages.”
“Base Line” and “Hangsang” are where the mixtape diverges into the hip-hop and trap elements reminiscent of BTS’s older sound, present in songs such as “Silver Spoon.”
“Base Line” recounts the hard work J-Hope has dedicated to his career and his origins as a street dancer. Featuring Supreme Boi, a rapper and producer who frequently collaborates with BTS, “Hangsang” builds on “Base Line” by focusing on BTS’s rise to the top as a group.
“Airplane” and “Blue Side” are left to conclude the mixtape, with “Airplane” describing the still surreal feeling of sitting in an plane while traveling to perform to fans worldwide; in doing so, being on top of the world physically and metaphorically. “Blue Side” then scales it back, concluding the mixtape with a slower beat and more mellow melody.
Hope World is available to stream on Spotify and Soundcloud, and for purchase on iTunes.