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BTS member J-Hope’s latest single, “On the Street,” is an ode to his artistic roots, bridging the gap between hip-hop and street dancing, according to HYBE. That said, it was only fitting that he would recruit J. Cole, one of the greats of the genre, to help take the record to new heights.
The new track opens with dreamy beats as J-Hope’s smooth vocals blend seamlessly from the chorus to J. Cole’s verse. “Every time I work/Every time I run/Every time I move/As always, for us,” J-Hope sings as he moves along a cityscape in the music video, which is released with the new single.
Soon, the camera cuts to J. Cole delivering a thought-provoking verse about his journey as an artist and the evolution of his craft. “I wonder if I should wait to put the crown back on/And stay a little longer/I get a weird hunger/The more I eat, the stronger it gets,” he raps.
“The key motif of the track comes from the word ‘street’ which can be interpreted as a place where many people’s daily lives pass – a metaphor for life,” HYBE explained in a statement. “It comes from ‘street dance,’ the genre that represents J-Hope’s roots as an artist, and it also symbolizes the path he will continue to walk with his fans around the world.”
For the past few years, J-Hope has been sharing dance videos as part of a series titled “Hope On the Street,” hosting guests such as fellow bandmates Jimin, Jung Kook, and V. Prior to his placement in BTS ten years ago, J-Hope performed as part of the Gwangju Neuron dance team.
“On The Street,” until the appearance of J. Cole, whom J-Hope has expressed admiration for in the past, marks a full circle moment for the musician. It also comes just days after news broke that the BTS member will soon begin the enlistment process to complete his mandatory military service in South Korea.
“We would like to inform our fans that J-hope has initiated the military enlistment process by requesting the termination of his enlistment deferral,” Big Hit said in a statement.
“We will notify you of further updates in due course. We ask for your continued love and support for J-hope until he completes his military service and returns safely,” the music label added. South Korean “Our company will spare no effort to support our artist.”
BTS is currently on hiatus and is set to end in 2025. Jin has already enlisted.