J-Hope of BTS fame makes his debut as solo artist with latest album "Jack in the Box"
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J-Hope of BTS fame made his debut as a solo artist with his latest album "Jack in the Box". On the album, J-Hope showcased that he was not afraid to embrace the reality of the world, and that he was ready to work his through any broken path or challenge to reach his goals.
The 22-minute long album starts with an introduction track titled "Intro", that tells the tale of Pandora's Box.
The female narrator for "Intro" says, "It was Hope that was kept in the innermost nook of the box. It trailed behind the miasma of darkness, assuaging the ill effects on humankind. Hope gave people the will to keep on living amidst the pain and strife."
While J-Hope's 2018 mixtape "Hope World", was full of colours and shared the artist's gratitude for his life and work, "Jack in the Box" is full of darkness. This contrast of light and dark is prevalent throughout the album, with the artist hinting that 'hope' is the only thing helps us survive the darkness of life.
Using the sounds of hip-hop, rap-rock, R&B, and grunge, J-Hope was able to shock fans with a new and unique sound that they previously did not associate with the artist.
While listening to the first single of this album "More", I was stunned because I had never expected to see this version of J-Hope in my dreams, let alone in reality. This album is almost like a storybook, which one needs to approach chronologically, with all 10 tracks acting like 10 chapters of a novel.
"Stop", followed by "More", gave us an idea of the ideals with which J-Hope lives his life, particularly the idea that there are no 'bad people' in this world. The artist questions if people are truly black and white, which to him does not make sense. Instead, he feels that people are almost like the different shades of grey, where it is impossible to just label them as just good or bad. Eventually, J-Hope asks listeners to stop the judgement and calm down.
"= (Equal Sign)" is another song with a message, that asks to put a stop to the endless discrimination that we engage in and face ourselves in this world. J-Hope tries to send the message that everyone, irrespective of age, gender, and borders, are equal. By the end of the song, the artist urges people to not fill their hearts and minds with hate, as this will only paralyse them; leaving us with the message that it costs nothing to be kind.
The first half of the album tells us the story of Jack, which in this case is J-Hope himself, who is living inside a box, hoping to eventually get out. After the interlude, "Music Box: Reflection", it is presumed that Jack has finally escaped from his box, and now is finally able to see that life no longer looks the same as it did from inside.
From questioning what would he would be without the success and fame he has now, to thinking about the future, J-Hope bares it all on "Jack in the Box". The album ends with the song "Arson", saying, "Do I put out the fire, or burn even brighter?"
The Daily Star