Photo: Courtesy of BIG HIT MUSIC
5 Takeaways From J-Hope's New Album 'Jack In The Box'
With the arrival of j-hope's debut solo album, 'Jack in the Box,' the BTS rapper proves he's a star in his own right — one who loves to push the envelope.
Often nicknamed the "sunshine" of Korean septet BTS, rapper and dancer j-hope has officially shown us that it's possible to be a light without being limited to one emotion. His highly anticipated debut studio album, entitled Jack in the Box, dropped July 15.
The project was teased to show a darker and more mature side of j-hope, and the end result is just as enjoyable as one could imagine. The rapper's previous 2018 mixtape, Hope World, and 2019 single "Chicken Noodle Soup" featuring Becky G were high energy and danceable, but j-hope has graduated to a new level of artistry that transcends any limits previously placed on him.
The album contains 10 tracks, including the hip-hop-inspired and rock-infused lead single, "More." On his fiery second single, "Arson," j-hope poignantly tells haters to "f off" and details his journey as a popular music act. He continues to explore various emotions with raw honesty throughout the rest of the tracks on Jack in the Box,* including "Pandora's Box," "STOP" and "Future."
Just two weeks after the release of Jack in the Box, j-hope will bring the album to the stage at Lollapalooza on July 31. It marks a history-making performance, as j-hope will be the first Korean artist to headline a major music festival.
In the meantime, witness j-hope's growth on his new album, and check out 5 key takeaways from Jack in the Box below.
The Songs Are Short But Sweet
At exactly three minutes, "More" is the longest track on Jack in the Box.In total, the album is a concise 21 minutes and 41 seconds long, with most songs falling between 2 and 3 minutes. The shortest song is the intro, which is just below a minute long at 58 seconds. The length makes it extremely easy to stream over and over, while still packing a lot of gems.
j-hope Isn't Afraid To Take On Social Issues
On a standout track called "=(Equal Sign)," the message of equality is loud and clear. The song celebrates our differences and champions diversity, all while encouraging listeners to be aware of and fight against inequality. With lyrics like, "The world's so big/ But people's minds are narrow" and "Hate will paralyze your mind/ Gotta see the other side," the song makes a strong case for tolerance across age, gender, nationality, and anything else that sets us apart.
With the platform j-hope has, his choice to uplift different communities is admirable and will surely touch the hearts of many. Social change has always been at the core of BTS, so this is an unsurprising yet welcome message to receive.
He's A Student Of Hip-Hop, But Still Versatile
The influence of '90s hip-hop is apparent throughout the project, and feels very fitting for the rapper — despite differing sonically from his previous mixtape, Hope World. Take a deeper look, and it's clear from the production and lyricism that j-hope has taken note of what makes a great hip-hop album, with genres like R&B and rock sprinkled in.
He adds his own flavor, but tackles the rebellion and societal critique that is key in the genre, even more specifically from the '90s. On tracks like "=(Equal Sign)" and "Future", j-hope harmonizes like a natural born singer, further showcasing his versatility. His voice is laced with passion as he bounces between rapping and singing throughout the 10 tracks.
"What if…" Samples '90s Hip-Hop Legends
If you take a look at the credits for the song "What if…," you'll see the names R. Jones (Ol' Dirty Bastard) and R. Diggs (RZA) of Wu Tang Clan. That's because the song samples ODB's 1995 song "Shimmy Shimmy Ya," which the two co-wrote. The legendary artists are well respected for their contributions to music, and it's only fitting that j-hope would want to include a piece of that legacy on his debut album.
"Chapter 2" Is Officially Here
The release of Jack in the Box ushers in BTS's new era where they focus on individual projects. j-hope's maturity is exhibited in a compelling way on this album, and shows how much he's grown in confidence as an artist over the years.
After establishing a persona that's bright and cheery, j-hope took the leap of going in a completely different artistic direction for his debut project. The rapper showed that he's not going to let society or expectations affect how he makes the music he loves.
While there's something for everybody on the 10 tracks, ultimately, this project is a personal milestone and a re-introduction to j-hope's world. Thanks to Jack in the Box, it's clear that j-hope has a bright future ahead of him, both as a member of BTS and as a solo act.
BTS - "Black Swan" Music Video
BTS Release Stunning Music Video For 'Map Of The Soul: 7' Single "Black Swan"
The striking visual is the latest offering from the South Korean septet's chart-topping album
BTS are back with another stunning music video off their newly released, chart-topping album Map Of The Soul: 7. Today (March 4), the global pop superstars released the official music video for "Black Swan," the first single off the album.
Simple yet striking, the "Black Swan" video shows the South Korean septet deliver a gorgeous dance performance inside an equally beautiful theater. Directed by YongSeok Choi and co-directed by Guzza, both from the Lumpens creative collective, the visual depicts the members of BTS transforming from swans into the song's eponymous black swans onstage.
The "Black Swan" video follows the group's recent cinematic visual for Map Of The Soul: 7 single "ON," which last week (Feb. 28) broke YouTube's record for most views for a video premiere. Last month (Feb. 21), BTS released the Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima, the first visual for "ON" that unfolds like a short film.
Released last month, Map Of The Soul: 7, BTS' fourth studio album, is breaking records around the world. Already the best-selling album of the year worldwide, the album topped the Billboard 200 chart, their fourth No. 1 album in the U.S., while lead single "ON" currently sits at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking their highest record on that chart to date.
In an interview with the Recording Academy last month, BTS explained their creative approach to Map Of The Soul: 7, which sees the group exploring everything from pop ballads to hip-hop jams.
"I think it's less and less meaningful to divide music into genres now," BTS member Suga said.
"The genre is BTS. That's the genre we want to make and the music that we want. New genre," the group's Jungkook, V and J-Hope added.
Map Of The Soul: 7 follows a dazzling performance from BTS at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards last month. They joined Lil Nas X in a star-studded performance of "Old Town Road" that also featured Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo and Mason Ramsey.
Map Of The Soul: 7 marks BTS' first full-length project since their 2018 album, Love Yourself: Tear, which topped the Billboard 200 chart and solidified the group as the first Korean act to accomplish that record-setting feat. It's also the second installment in BTS' ongoing Map Of The Soul series, which launched with the chart-topping Map of the Soul: Persona EP last April.
Photo: Emma Mcintyre/Getty Images
62nd GRAMMYs Poll: Which Artist Had Your Favorite Red Carpet Look?
From Lizzo’s classic Hollywood gown to Ariana Grande’s puffy grey dress, who wore your favorite red carpet look?
The 62nd GRAMMYs red carpet didn’t disappoint. Every color, pattern, style and texture under the rainbow was represented.
Take, for example, Lizzo’s elegant white classic Hollywood-inspired gown or Lil Nas X’s hot pink cowboy suit. Shawn Mendes opted for a vibrant purple suit and Tyler, The Creator made a splash with a light pink bellboy outfit. Billie Eilish homed in on the color green for the evening while Yola rocked hot pink.
With so many great looks to see on Music’s Biggest Night, we wanted to know, which artist wore your favorite look?
Check out the complete 62nd GRAMMY Awards nominees and winners list here.
Source Photos (Clockwise L-R): The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images; Rick Kern/WireImage; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella; FilmMagic/FilmMagic for Outside Lands; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella
Japanese Breakfast, Blackpink, Enhypen, Stray Kids, Mxmtoon & More | Listen To GRAMMY.com's AAPI Month 2022 Playlist
As we celebrate the contributions of AAPI artists throughout the month of May, GRAMMY.com presents a genre-spanning playlist of emerging and established artists you should know, including BTS, Jhené Aiko, B.I, TWICE, Arooj Aftab, and many more.
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) musicians have created a plethora of transformative art, which is ripe for exploration. To help you do it, GRAMMY.com has put together a 30-song list with music from AAPI musicians including Luna Li, Wallice, Weston Estate, Kainalu and OHYUNG, along with other AAPI artists you should know like Deb Never, Lucy Liyou and Sunset Rollercoaster. You may even find your new favorite artist along the way.
This playlist spans genres and moods, and its primary goal is to expose you to fantastic new AAPI artists you might not find in less curated places, like your motionless Spotify algorithm or crooning through your car radio. You can think of this playlist as a first-rate tasting menu of what AAPI-made music has to offer — something to turn to when you’re looking for solidarity, inspiration or just some really good music.
Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Everything We Know About BTS' New 2022 Album 'Proof'
Later in 2022, BTS will release a three-part anthology of key tracks, new songs, and previously unreleased rarities. Here's everything to know about 'Proof.'
There's a new stirring in the fabric of the BTS universe — a big one.
On June 10, the GRAMMY-nominated pop juggernauts will release Proof, a collection of tracks from throughout their discography, as well as brand new tracks, never-before-heard demos and more.
Spanning three discs, Proof promises to celebrate the band's past, present and future through a lovingly curated song cycle. If members of the BTS Army ever wanted to hear demos of tracks like "Jump," I Need U" and "DNA" — as well as an a cappella version of Jungkook's "Still With You" — they're in luck.
In the wake of Proof's recently released tracklisting — featuring well-known tunes like "Dynamite" and "Butter" (and so much more), here's everything GRAMMY.com could find about the career-spanning compilation by a giant of 21st-century pop.
It's Called Proof, And It's Out June 10 Via Big Hit Music
That's according to the official press release.
It'll Contain A Wealth Of Treasures, Previously Unreleased Or Not
According to said press release: "The new album consists of three CDs that contain brand new tracks, members' selections, demo versions, unreleased tracks and more."
Proof Acts As A "Chronicle Of BTS"
The first disc begins with a remastered version of "Born Singer," from all the way back in 2013, which the press release describes as "BTS' candid emotions they felt after one month of their debut." The disc ends with the lead single "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)."
The second disc consists of "15 solo and sub-unit tracks," beginning with the new track "Run BTS," and highlights each BTS member's distinct tastes and personality.
The third disc, only available on CD, is said to be "dedicated to the fans," featuring unreleased tracks and demo versions that any fan will eat up — as well as a new fan song, "For Youth."
The Album Celebrates Nine Years Of BTS
Can you believe it's been almost a decade? Yet it feels like the Bangtan Boys are just getting started.
BTS Initially Teased The Music Back In April
During their Permission To Dance Onstage concert in Las Vegas, BTS shared short clips with the text "We Are Bulletproof" and "2022. 06. 10." While this initially fueled speculation that a new album was coming, the release wound up materializing as Proof.
They Shared The Tracklist On Instagram
It's in the Highlights section of their Stories, where BTS also announced that "Yet to Come" will be the lead single.
They Released A Trailer, Too
See below — and watch this space as more details of Proof are unveiled!