"I love that one of our greatest motivators is one another."
J-Hope dropped his first solo album, Jack in the Box, on July 15 and ARMY is all about the edgy new sound. As the first BTS member to release a full solo album rather than a mixtape or EP like others have in the past, J-Hope’s album is a pretty big deal. The BTS breakout spoke about what his fellow band members had to say about his new music in a July 15 interview with Rolling Stone, and also revealed who he shared the album with first among the seven member group. The reactions were a supportive surprise for J-Hope, who is the first in the band to release a solo project since BTS announced its hiatus on June 14 to focus on individual music.
The 28-year-old South Korean rapper, who’s real name is Jung Hoseok, spoke with Rolling Stone about his creative process and divulged how his bandmates RM and Jungkook responded to his new musical direction. J-Hope said RM was the first person he shared the album with. According to J-Hope, RM said, “Wow, I didn’t think you’d do music like this. I have a bit of a brain freeze. And it’s so you. The fact that you brought this music at this time… I really respect it, and I love that it’s so you.”
Hobi, as ARMY calls him, shared the new album with Jungkook next, and his reaction was apparently “really funny.” J-Hope recalled that after hearing the album, Jungkook “suddenly went to his studio.” He thinks it’s because “[Jungkook] felt the motivation to start” creating music. “I love that one of our greatest motivators is one another. I’m like that myself,” J-Hope told Rolling Stone. “When one of my members is doing a certain type of music or working on an album, I see their individuality and color, and think to myself, ‘I have my own color, too. I want to reveal mine, too.’”
J-Hope said he could have shared the album with Suga too, the third rapper of BTS alongside J-Hope and RM, but Suga “likes to be very respectful of the process” and always tells J-Hope that he will listen to it when it comes out. J-Hope said the other members, Jin, V, and Jimin, heard the title songs, but not the full album. So, in other words, you are listening to the album at the same time that the majority of BTS is for the first time, too.
The full album consists of 10 tracks, including the lead single “MORE,” released on July 1 with a banger of a music video, and the followup single “Arson,” released on July 15 with a music video that is straight fire, literally. While this is Hobi’s first studio album, fans first heard J-Hope’s solo sound in his 2018 mixtape Hope World. “It’s half nervousness, half excitement. Since I’m the first one to go solo, I feel a sense of responsibility and there’s definitely some pressure as well,” J-Hope admitted in the Rolling Stone interview.
Now that it’s officially out, you can listen to Jack in the Box in its entirety and celebrate the “strong visual direction” that even BTS was surprised by. As J-Hope raps in “MORE:” “Soak up the music.”