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Bangtan Web
Bangtan Web
By IndoMarch 21, 2023

Weverse Magazine: On j-hope’s street

A street is a means by which we move to different locations. The traces of your movement as you change coordinates form a street. Plenty takes place not just at your departure point and destination but while on the street between them too. In art, streets symbolize many different things. The street is a very familiar metaphor—one whose subject matter can take many different forms.

Not surprisingly, the street in j-hope’s new single, “on the street” (with J. Cole), symbolizes many things as well. The street is the stage he got his start on with street dance, the transitional phase between the work he’s done up to 2023 as a part of BTS and as a solo artist and his entrance into the military, a mutual understanding between himself and fans ARMY, and his continued life journey as an artist.

As many people know, j-hope got his start in the world of music through dance. As he mentions in the lyrics to “Chicken Noodle Soup” (feat. Becky G), he grew up dancing on Choong-jang Street. In his second year of middle school he became the youngest member of local dance crew NEURON and went on to scoop up awards at several dance competitions. He was already considered a dance maverick in the area long before he ever became an adult.

As revealed in the track “Hip Hop Phile” off BTS’s first studio album, DARK & WILD, j-hope was listening to old-school hip hop and other pre-2000s music from the time he was dancing boogaloo and King Tut. But it’s an understatement to say he was simply listening.

He necessarily listens to everything in the music—from the beat to the lyrics—very thoroughly, and it’s fair to say at this point that he’s soaked up the music so completely that it’s embedded itself into every corner of his mind and every inch of his body. He also started rapping once he began training as a singer. It was at that time that he discovered J. Cole. j-hope shows his love for the rapper in “Hip Hop Phile,” where he dedicates more than two lines to him.

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