Happy Hobi Day! February 18 is a special day for BTS ARMY because it is the birthday of Jung Ho-seok a.k.a. j-hope, the main dancer, producer, and rapper of BTS.
In recent years, members of BTS balanced their group and individual projects, where fans get to know them more. In j-hope’s case, he recorded a number of solo songs as part of BTS’s albums.
In 2018, he released his first mixtape Hope World which was well-loved by fans worldwide because of its positive and hopeful vibe. He surprised us in 2022 when he released his first official studio album Jack in the Box with a dark concept and rock sound that is almost a complete contrast to his debut mixtape.
If you’re a new j-hope fan or you’re curious about this talented guy, here's a list of his solo tracks that best represent what he can do as far as music and performing is concerned—he can almost do it all!
1. Intro: Boy Meets Evil
For most fans, the 2016 BTS album Wings was the group's turning point. It paved the way for them to attract more international fans and as we all know, this group continues to break records to this day.
Intro: Boy Meets Evil is the intro song for the album. It was the first time j-hope recorded a solo song to set the tone of the record. J-hope sings and raps about the luring temptation of "good" and "evil" deeds. He interpreted the song further with a dance choreography that impresses the audience. Who could forget his performance with Jimin at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)?
Even though j-hope is known as the cheerful one in the group, this track proved that he can be a dangerous man too. Be careful because you might fall for him!
Also listen to: Pandora’s Box
2. Hope World
When you hear the name j-hope, you often think of vibrant colors and get automatically convinced to have a more positive outlook in life.
The title track of his first mixtape Hope World offers you that experience once you hear the song. In one of his past interviews, j-hope mentioned that Hope World is a track that describes him the most.
It is an uplifting song where he shares that he is living up to his name (hope) and how it influences his perception of the word. It is a track we must play every morning to give us a hopeful vibe!
Also listen to: Daydream
J-Hope surprised fans when he released the teaser photos and videos for Jack in the Box last year, which was a complete contrast to Hope World. One of the most notable songs in his solo album his MORE.
With a more punk-rock and grunge sound, the song narrates j-hope's challenging journey to reach his current status as one of the members of the biggest band in the world today.
Despite the success, he admits he is hungry for ‘more’ achievements as a member of his group and as a solo artist. It isn’t about the money. It is the adrenaline rush working and performing gives him.
Also listen to: Arson and What If…
4. Chicken Noodle Soup (featuring Becky G)
Despite the language barrier, people can get together and unite for a good cause. This is what j-hope and Latin singer/rapper Becky G. proved when they collaborated on the 2019 dance track Chicken Noodle Soup.
Based on DJ Webstar and Young B’s 2006 hit song of the same name, the two artists were able to keep the vibe of the original song with j-hope performing his lines in Korean while Becky G. did hers in Spanish verses. The upbeat track became extra special as it also shows how music can unite cultures.
This track also brings j-hope back to his street dancer days. Yes, he is still the same Jung Hoseok!
Similar Tracks: HANGSANG and Rush Hour (ft. Crush)
5. Trivia: Just Dance
One of the highly anticipated moments of BTS: Love Yourself World Tour is the solo perfomances of the members. J-hope is the first one to hype up the crowd with his commanding performance of Trivia: Just Dance.
The song expresses his love and passion for dancing and performing. In a way, listeners might’ve felt j-hope’s romantic side on this one especially in the part where he expresses his excitement while dancing in sync with someone.
ARMY often cheer his name out towards the end of the song. I am hoping that I’d be able to witness him sing and dance this song live onstage, too. Maybe in an upcoming solo world tour? Hope right there!
Also listen to: Blue Side (Outro) and Airplane
J-hope has a lot of admirable traits, but one thing ARMYs love most about him is his love for his family, particularly his beloved mama.
Just like most Asians whose parents strived in raising their children by working hard and making sacrifices, j-hope wrote this heartfelt track to honor his mother, who worked extra hours just to support her children’s ambition. She even encouraged the young Hoseok in pursuing his passion for dancing.
He also reassures her that she can lean on him and will always be by her side.
Also listen to: P.O.P (Piece of Piece Pt 1)
7. = (Equal Sign)
My personal favorite from the Jack in the Box album, =(Equal Sign) is leaning towards the softer side of the track list. The artist expresses his sentiments toward equality, which BTS fights for.
The English chorus jjust gives comfort to listeners, serving as a reminder that it costs nothing to be kind to others especially when you’re having a bad day. We are all human and we’re equal so we should love and have compassion toward each other. Isn’t that being hopeful?
Also listen to: Stop and Safety Zone
8. Outro: Ego
Probably the best outro of any BTS (or K-Pop) album ever, we will end this tribute post with Outro: Ego from BTS’ 2020 Map of the Soul: 7 album.
With the studio album exploring the Jungian psychology principles of persona (RM), shadows (Suga) and ego (j-hope), our birthday boy looks back on his humble beginnings as a simple kid who dreams of becoming a dancer and reflects on what could’ve happened if he didn’t pursue his dreams.
Though being a famous idol and celebrity have its downsides, j-hope embraces this reality and accepts that this is his life now. Instead of overthinking, he’d rather let go of his worries and ego and just go with the flow.
Also listen to: Bass Line and Future
The diverse discography of j-hope just proves that he is one versatile performer. If you want to know more about j-hope, watch his newly-released documentary j-hope in the Box on Disney+. Happy Birthday Hobi! Keep dancing!