The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Jump into spring with j-hope’s ‘Hope on the Street Vol. 1’

Photo courtesy of Genius
“HOPE ON THE STREET VOL. 1” cover art.

Rating: 8/10

Jung Ho-seok, known professionally as j-hope, released his newest extended play “Hope on the Street Vol. 1” on Friday following the release of his Amazon Prime docuseries “Hope On The Street.” 

Multiple songs on the EP placed in the top 20 on iTunes during their release day, with “Neuron” at No. 6 and “i wonder… (with Jung Kook of BTS)” at No. 8. Friday was a big day in music, with Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter” undoubtedly taking center stage. 

Anticipation has been building since the tracklist for the EP was released in February. Excitement spiked when fans saw fellow BTS member Jung Kook featured on “i wonder… (with Jung Kook of BTS),” the EP’s second track.

March has been an eventful month for BTS fans in general, with fellow member Kim Taehyung — also known as V — releasing his EP “FRI(END)S” with three different versions of the titular song on March 15. 

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BTS announced they were taking a temporary hiatus in 2022 in order to focus on solo projects and serve their mandatory military service. This includes j-hope, who is expected to be discharged from military services this October. 

Both as a solo artist and member of BTS, j-hope paved the way for South Korean artists to enter mainstream music. At Lollapalooza 2022, j-hope became the first South Korean artist to headline the main stage at a music festival in the United States.

His solo career continued in March when he collaborated with J. Cole and released “on the street (with J. Cole).” 

When asked about the song, j-hope told Variety that he “wanted to share warmth through the song to serve as ‘shelter’ from the cold wind and support everyone’s new beginning.” 

The EP fulfills a similar goal he had for “on the street (with J. Cole).” This most recent release has a spring feeling with uplifting beats.

The first track is a solo version of “On the Street” with a whistling backtrack — a feel-good track to kick off a refreshing EP. 

The second song “i wonder… (with Jung Kook of BTS)” continues a similar feeling of happiness, love and the freedom of dancing. A story is painted of wondering about the future, while ultimately enjoying the present.

“We’re happy right now/ So why don’t we ride this feeling?/ Just dance right now,” Jung Kook sings in the chorus.

The third track “lock / unlock (with benny blanco & Nile Rodgers)” is a similar electro-pop beat, with lyrics revolving around dance. The ending contains an electrifying guitar solo. 

Track four “i don’t know (with HUH YUNJIN of LE SSERAFIM)” is highlighted by Huh Yun-Jin’s soprano vocals. Their harmonizing on the chorus is satisfying and includes a beat that makes you want to move. 

The vibe of the EP shifts drastically with track five “what if…(dance mix).” 

j-hope opens the song rapping, “You’ve asked me dozens of times/ Am I really like that?/ Hope, positivity, always smiling face.” 

He raps over a deep and grating backtrack, speckled with metallic sounds. The song blends into JINBO the Superfreak’s melodic singing over a calmer backtrack, with the sound of fingers snapping to the rhythm. 

The final track, “NEURON (with Gaeko & YOON MIRAE),” has an alternate meaning for this artist, as j-hope was part of a dance crew named Neuron in middle school. The artist still interacts with this dance crew from his past and released a mashup dance with them for his 30th birthday in February. 

This track itself begins with soft indie-feeling vocals, rounding off the EP with a relaxed air. South Korean rappers Gaeko and YOON MIRAE showcase their unique styles. 

“Music and family that’s what it’s all about,” YOON MIRAE repeats, closing out her verse. The track has a finality to it that ties the EP together and leaves the listener feeling like they have embarked on a springtime journey with j-hope.


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