BTS member J-Hope‘s latest single “On the Street” is an ode to his artistic roots, drawing a connection between hip-hop and street dance, according to HYBE. That said, it was only fitting that he recruited J. Cole, one of the genre’s greats, to assist on taking 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,” sings J-Hope as he moves along a cityscape in the music video, which was released alongside the new single.
Soon, the camera cuts to J. Cole who delivers a thought-provoking verse following his journey as an artist and the evolution of his craft. “I contemplate if I should wait to hand over the crown/And stick around for a bit longer/I got a strange type of hunger/The more I eat the more it gets stronger,” he raps.
“The key motif of the track comes from the word ‘street’ which can be interpreted as a place where many people’s everyday lives pass by—a metaphor for life,” HYBE shared 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 that he will continue to take with his fans around the world.”
For the past few years, J-Hope has shared dance videos as part of a series titled “Hope On the Street,” welcoming guests such as his bandmates Jimin, Jung Kook, and V. Prior to his placement in BTS a decade ago, J-Hope performed as part of the Gwangju dance crew Neuron.
“On The Street,” down to the appearance of J. Cole, who J-Hope has expressed admiration for in the past, marks a full-circle moment for the musician. It also arrives just days after it was announced 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 applying for the termination of his enlistment postponement,” Big Hit said in a statement.
“We will inform you of further updates in due course. We ask you for your continued love and support for J-hope until he completes his military service and safely returns,” the South Korean music label added. “Our company will spare no effort in providing support for our artist.”
BTS are currently on a hiatus that is scheduled to conclude in 2025. Jin has already enlisted.