5 Takeaways From J-Hope's New Album 'Jack In The Box'

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.

GRAMMYs/Jul 15, 2022 - 07:11 pm

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.

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5 Takeaways From Jimin's Debut EP, 'FACE'
Jimin attends Paris Fashion Week in January 2023.

Photo: Victor Boyko/Getty Images


5 Takeaways From Jimin's Debut EP, 'FACE'

With no features and a hand in every aspect of the project, Jimin's first solo EP proves that the BTS star is a visionary in his own right.

GRAMMYs/Mar 24, 2023 - 10:03 pm

For the past year, BTS fans have been getting a taste of what each member has to offer musically as the group has been on hiatus. And now, it's Jimin's turn.

Jimin's debut EP, FACE, arrived on March 24. The 6-song EP spans genres sonically, and is lyrically both intense and delicate — much like Jimin himself — detailing his sincere feelings from the pandemic. FACE doesn't just tell Jimin's unique story, but it also has personal touches in every way — he had a hand in everything from songwriting to conceptualizing music videos, showcasing his prowess as a solo star. 

Jimin's lead-up to FACE has been feeding the fans at every turn. After collaborating with one of his idols, Big Bang member Taeyang, on "Vibe" in January, and dropping songs once only available on Soundcloud and Youtube, he officially kicked off the FACE chapter with "Set Me Free pt. 2" a week before the EP's release. With the full project now out, it's clear those songs were only a glimpse of what Jimin is truly capable of as a solo act. 

Below, take a look at 5 takeaways from Jimin's highly anticipated debut FACE.

Jimin Was Partially Inspired By Film

For the main track "Like Crazy," Jimin took inspiration from one of his favorite films of the same name. Released in 2011, the film is a romantic drama about a couple from different places falling madly in love in college. They're separated by distance because of visa issues, but consistently find their way back to each other.

Much like the movie, the lyrics of the song touch on the pain of losing oneself. The music video visualizes this storytelling with hazy expressions and visually stimulating scenes.

He Isn't Afraid To Experiment

While "Like Crazy" is a danceable synth-pop record — similar to that of Jimin's BTS roots — the rest of the EP explores several different sounds. "Face Off" is has a trap-soul feel; "Interlude:Dive" is a trance-like transitional track; "Set Me Free pt. 2" has a strong hip-hop beat; and "Alone" is a ballad laced with R&B.

To close out the project, there's an English version of "Like Crazy" that demonstrates Jimin's versatility while also appealing to his global audience. Overall, the EP allows listeners to feel both familiar and new sounds from the singer, ultimately cementing his ability to entrance an audience no matter the tune.

Dance Adds To The Storytelling

As one of the main dancers of BTS, and a master of contemporary dance, it's only natural that Jimin's solo music would be grounded in movement. The music videos for "Like Crazy" and "Set Me Free pt. 2" are very different, but both relate to dance: the former captures a vibe at a club, while the latter focuses on elaborate dance numbers.

There Are Hidden Gems

Though the EP is technically only six songs, the physical version has an additional "hidden" track called "Letter." The song provides an intimacy that stands out from the other FACE tracks, capturing Jimin in his best form.

The lyrics are poignant and vulnerable, as Jimin pleads for someone to stay ("Baby, don't leave/ Just stay by my side, yeah") The biggest surprise, though? Fellow BTS member Jungkook contributes vocals to harmonize with Jimin. 

Jungkook isn't the only BTS bandmate to play a role in FACE, either: Group leader RM co-wrote two tracks, "Face Off" and "Like Crazy."

"Interlude: Dive" also includes a BTS Easter egg, as Jimin included his intro from the group's last concert before their hiatus in Busan, South Korea. Seeing as Busan is also his hometown, it's clear he wanted to pay homage to his roots in more ways than one.

It's An Honest Reflection Of Jimin's Thoughts

Though he may seem delicate at first glance, Jimin demonstrates his unpredictability and willingness to take risks on FACE. He exposes emotions that may be tough to divulge in relatable ways, while also creating music that simply sounds good.

Challenging himself with intense choreography, rapping and bold conceptual choices, Jimin's first solo project proves he's a visionary in his own right. FACE offers an impressive introduction to Jimin's abilities as a solo performer — and a promising one at that.

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Everything We Know About Jimin's Debut EP 'Face'
Jimin from BTS during Paris Fashion Week 2023

Photo: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images


Everything We Know About Jimin's Debut EP 'Face'

While other BTS members already have established solo careers, 'Face' is Jimin’s first full solo effort — one that ARMY eagerly awaited. His debut EP drops March 24.

GRAMMYs/Feb 23, 2023 - 05:06 pm

As members of BTS gradually enlist in South Korea’s mandatory military service, this new chapter sees the septet focused on individual activities tailored to their best talents. 

After J-Hope’s studio album Jack in the Box, Jung Kook’s collaboration with Charlie Puth on "Left and Right" and the 2022 FIFA World Cup song "Dreamers," Jin’s single "Astronaut," and RM’s debut album Indigo, the next in line to release new music is Jimin. The skilled dancer, new global ambassador for Dior, and owner of an instantly recognizable falsetto just announced his first solo EP, Face, to be out on March 24.

Jimin was the sole singer on three BTS songs: 2016’s "Lie," 2017’s "Serendipity" and 2020’s "Filter." In 2018, he co-wrote and released "Promise" — his first credited solo work — followed by "Christmas Love" in 2020. In 2022, Jimin collaborated with singer Ha Sung-woon on "With You," a soundtrack to TvN’s drama Our Blues, and in January of this year, he featured on and co-composed the single "Vibe" for Big Bang member Taeyang, which reached No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

While other BTS members already have established solo careers, Face is Jimin’s first full solo effort — one that ARMY eagerly awaited. It’s finally time to discover what colors Jimin will bring forward and what surprises he will deliver on this brand-new path. While you wait, take a look at everything we know about Face so far:

Jimin Co-Wrote Five Of Its Six Tracks

The singer has been steadily developing as both a lyricist and composer, so expectations were high for more credits under his name. Luckily, Face will give us five songs where he participated in the creative process, including the title track "Like Crazy" and its English version.

Bandmate RM also collaborated on the title track and on the opener "Face-off." The album also enlisted a slew of frequent BTS producers such as Pdogg, EVAN and GHSTLOOP.

Jimin Will Face Himself

BigHit Music announced on global fandom life platform Weverse that "Face is all about Jimin facing himself head-on as he gets ready for his next step as a solo artist." Through a press release, they also promised that Jimin "will present his own musicality with distinct timbre and impeccable dance performance."

The Pre-Release Track "Set Me Free Pt.2" Alludes To Agust D’s "Set Me Free"

Not only will fans be blessed with an official title track, but Jimin will also drop the pre-release single "Set Me Free Pt.2" on March 17. The "Pt.2" in the title has fans speculating that it will be a continuation of the 2020 track "Set Me Free" by bandmate Suga (released under his Agust D alias).

The Concept And Cover Relate To The Resonance Phenomenon

The physical album will come in two versions: Invisible Face and Undefinable Face (plus a special Weverse Albums edition). The cover image preview suggests a shiny, reflective material like a mirror, so that your own face is reflected on the cover. The title, written in bold sans serif, is covered by water ripples. On the bottom of the cover, the sentences "circle of resonance," "reflection of vulnerable minds and unexposed wounds" and "an echo, tremor, and small movement to reach out" invite the listener to dive deeper into the concept.

Resonance is ubiquitous in nature, and occurs when an object's own tone or frequency is intensified by a supplementary vibration. When using the resonance phenomenon to express himself, Jimin hints at how everything that he has gone through led him to today, and how each of his actions ripples towards infinity.

"Promise" And "Christmas Love" Will Be Available On Streaming Platforms

Although they are not an official part of Face, fans will finally be able to listen to Jimin’s first official solo songs, "Promise" and "Christmas Love," on all streaming platforms. 

The release will happen on March 6 — a little treat to make the month-long wait for Face less painful.

Face Is Available For Pre-Order

While there is still some time until the release of Face, you can pre-order the album on Weverse Shop now.

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The Official 2023 GRAMMYs Playlist Is Here: Listen To 115 Songs By Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Kendrick Lamar & More

Get to know this year's nominees with the official 2023 GRAMMYs playlist, presented in partnership with Amazon Music, which features 115 GRAMMY-nominated songs across pop, rap, country, and beyond from today's stars.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2023 - 04:24 pm

With the 2023 GRAMMYs less than a month away, excitement is bubbling over in the music community.

Whether you're rooting for innovative newcomers like Wet Leg and Omar Apollo or beloved legends like Beyoncé and ABBA, there is an abundance of spectacular talent to be celebrated this year. And the 2023 GRAMMY nominees are not only leading music, but they’re creatively transforming genres, from rap to alternative to reggae — and beyond.

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A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 


A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."


Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.


L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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