What the literal fudgesicles! Where do I begin with this!?
Seriously it’s only our boy J-HOOOOPE‘s first mixtape and already it looks like he has taken the world by storm. Ok that might be an over exaggeration but you gotta admit, in like less than a week he has totally blown away ALL expectations out of the freakin’ water with this newest solo release. I hear he has charted well not only in america but in over 70+ territories for starters. (Meaning he surprisingly beat out BTS‘s own LY:H‘s previous record 😮 ) Even beat the odds and landed a spot on the Billboard 200 chart coming in at #63 of all things. All by his lonesome self, and those were done within just what, only a 14 hour tracking period… since he has probably only gone on to achieve many more milestones.
I think at this point it is safe to say he really can not be stopped. To say it’s been an absolute joy to watch this rise of his would be quite the understatement. I’ve been singing his praises since as long as I can remember. So it warms my heart to see his solo project get this level of world wide recognition. I even hear he finally got his own wiki page as a result. Yay! 🙂 Props to him. He is one heck of an artist and deserves all these type of accolades as far as I’m concerned.
Like the guy dances, sings, raps, continues to challenge himself musically, but most importantly amazingly enough, chooses to use all this ever growing fame of his to inspire positive change. All in all this is why he’s one of the kindest individuals who has my upmost respect. This is why today like I promised, I will be looking more in depth into this amazing person’s 7 track mixtape. To give him his much deserved dues. I’m super excited to finally go down one by one and share my full thoughts with you. 🙂
So get ready and buckle up!
Hope World (The Introduction)
Aaaaaand the first track we got on our hands to talk about is aptly tiled Hope World. and what an adventurous track it is. Actually this whole album has that kinda feel but I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I?
To start I simply gotta say that after having the chance to listen to all the tracks already, I think this was the perfect choice to place first. Out of all the songs I wholeheartedly believe this track is the one that truly encapsulates J-Hope‘s positive personality down to a tee. It’s so upbeat and lively that it serves as the perfect introduction to all the newcomers out there. In fact I’d say it’s such a hype song and it serves it’s purpose so well, I was kinda rooting for this to get the MV treatment. However it looks like that honor recently went to Airplane instead. It’s cool and all but this track could easily be it’s own title track too couldn’t it?
It really gives you a well rounded representation of what the world is like through his eyes. One full of wonder, respect, gratitude, possibility, and overall general good vibes. But in addition to that it’s also good in another KEY aspect. It’s also a good song to simply throw people off right from the start. I think most people upon first listen, whether your a long time fan or not, will be surprised by just how much of a funky and groovy song this really is.
I think that’s cuz over time people have been conditioned to think “mixtapes” have to be edgier, grittier, more dark, and that’s simply not the case or what this is attempting to be. Which ultimately makes this a breath of fresh air because it stands apart from the work done previously by his other fellow rappers of the group, Suga and RM. But don’t get me wrong, just because it’s not like theirs doesn’t mean these tracks lack fire and intensity. Not in the slightest. If anything these tracks all have good layering, interesting usage of samples(not your same ol same ol ones either), and instrumentation, to stimulate your ears and keep you vibing right along.
This one especially doubles down on the high energy and is one heck of a busy track. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard as many different sounds mixed together as was done here. That beginning really slaps you wide awake for realz. O_O
P.O.P.(Piece Of Piece) Pt.1 (The Mission Statement)
Next we got Piece of Peace.
I’ll be frank with this one and say that while I liked it the first time around it was kind of my least fave originally. At least for the first couple of playthroughs that is. This one alongside Airplane. I still liked them don’t get me wrong because the beats did feel fresh and unique, but they leaned too much on the trancey and chill side of things for my tastes. And while I did like how he extended some of his words here and there it was a slow build of a song, these type rarely connect with me on a substantial level. It comes down to a matter of preference there.
That being said, this really hooked me much much more after having the chance to check out the lyrics and understanding them. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though, BTS‘s lyrics are always known for having a lot of thought behind them. 🙂 The reason in this case though is because I think if you would call Hope World and introduction, then I think you would need to call Piece of Peace the mission statement. A really good one at that.
In short I’d say it’s a song about how life isn’t always an easy and straight path. And how despite the unlikelihood, J-Hope himself has managed to navigate himself through it into a better position that many could only dream of. Except instead of it being a braggadocious track like you might think. As would be really easy to do. It’s about him wanting to instead take the opportunity to help and raise others alongside with him. There was apart that really got me and well there is this other comment I found online that really hits the nail on the head better than I could.
here it is:
I mean whether you’re religious or you’re not, or anything in between, I think we can all appreciate these kind of beautifully uplifting lyrics. I think the world would be a much better place if we all attempted to be a “Piece of Peace” like he states. 😀 It may have been a slow burn of a song for me but all that matters is that I did like it in the end.
Daydream (I’M Human too)
This then leads us to Daydream which I think might be the most important song of the bunch.
Because prior we were all going on about how J-Hope wants to introduce us to this Hopeful world of his and how he wants to serve as a symbol of inspiration right? However when we get to this song things suddenly change course. We suddenly begin to hear about the things that he CAN’T do himself. Mainly talking about the kinds of sacrifices he has to make in order to maintain this duality between his true self and this Kpop Idol persona(his public figure so to speak). Some pretty deep stuff is covered, and for a guy who sure wants to help others, here it sounds more like he could be the one who could use the help.
So upon first glance while it may be a good song, thematically you might think it doesn’t seem to fit with the overall positive narrative of Hope World. But does it? Well, I think there is a deeper meaning than talking about that inner struggle he faces. There is more to it than being able to do the things he wants to in his “daydreams” as he says. Cuz if you notice the beat behind the song is actually pretty funky and chill. Not the vibe you associate with a sad song.
Which is why I think the song is ultimately about reminding us all that he is a human after all. It’s not about making you feel sad for him per se or making you think he has regrets about were he is right now. No, I think he just wants to point out that he doesn’t live a perfect life. But still that’s not very positive is it? However when you put it in perspective I think it is. Why, cuz it shows it doesn’t really take a special kind of person to aim for all the things he has been aiming for with the other songs. Meaning you the person reading this right now despite your own struggles could choose to help others as well.
I think that’s the main theme of the album overall that this is a major piece of. That life will always have it’s set of challenges but you should always move forward and help others and that others will be there to help you back too. At least that’s how I’m taking everything.
Base Line (The Baseline that keeps you centered)
Afterwards we change gears again and hit the short but yet deeply amazing track that is known as Base Line.
The funny thing about this one is that every reaction to it I’ve seen has had people go ,”what, that’s it!” Not in a bad kind of way either cuz they are clearly seen left wanting more. Everyone just seems puzzled by it’s short length. In my mind they should feel lucky to have it at all though. I heard in an interview that it was originally gonna be a simple bridge or interlude(not sure what you call it) in this spot instead. It wasn’t until late apparently that J-Hope heard this beat and felt inspired to actually write lyrics for it. lol
Personally I’m glad he did because Base Line is easily in my top 3 songs from this HIXTAPE. This along with HANGSANG I think are more along the lines of what we expected from the getgo. You know, tracks were J-Hope could let his free form type of rap style really cut loose. Not sure about you but my favorite J-Hope rap tracks are when he is able to jump all over the different registers as he does here.
Sure I’ll concede the lyrics are simpler with this one, but I like how it has room to be its own thing and still be impactutful. Other than the word “base line” it doesn’t really have to repeat because it’s so short. This in turn makes it feel fresh from start to finish. That and I do like how it can serve as a mini history lesson into the life of J-hope but more so how it also mentions that gratitude from his humble beginnings is what keeps him in check. 👍 Again I can get behind that sort of message.
HANGSANG Feat. Supreme Boi (Allies Help)
Now we have reached my personal fave out of the whole album, the dirtay sounding HANGSANG. The kind of song you wanna play as you’re cruisin’ or walkin’ with your boys.
As mentioned before, I love this because it feels so late 80s to early 90s hip-hop inspired. Like the kinda stuff you would hear from the L.A. underground scene. It’s got the rawness and intensity but most importantly it showcases the fuller range J-Hope is capable of. With this you get to hear him jumping all over the registers, you get his rapping going from more nasally, to more throaty, and making all sorts of weird noises too. Of all the BTS rappers I label him the KING of being able to manipulate his voice.
In addition you got my other boy, Supreme Boi tearing it up in there too. In my previous post I mentioned how he shares a lot of these similar qualities. So I do think they compliment each other fairly well in this. He too mixes it up a couple of times and shines. One of my favorite lyrics is his actually
“we appear on magazines every time we open our eyes, it’s like we’ve rented out the chart”
Such a boss way to say to say it. 😎 Personally out of all the songs this is the one I wanna see live the most. I could just imagine this and Base Line being performed as a pair by them.
However funny enough, for as hard as this lyric or all the other lyrics may sound, this is surprisingly a very soft song actually. It may not sound it on the surface because it does have a slower bass-y beat that makes it sound unnervingly tense, specially with the little added sounds effects thrown in there to make it feel more off and ominous. But really it’s a bro-mance anthem when you get down to it. It’s pretty much about persevering with your friends. How even when the world doesn’t believe in you, having the right friend(s) can make a difference. If anything I see it as an open lover letter to the other members. 😊
Airplane (you Can Do it TOO)
Next up, all aboard the Airplane. ✈
I’ll admit that while I’m not the fondest of this song compared to the rest it is a nice change of pace after getting turnt up with Base Line and HANGSANG. You can only get pumped up so much before you NEED something with a more soothing atmosphere like this to mellow you out. And in that regard I gotta say it’s a win. Definitely makes you feel like you are up on the clouds due to it’s floatier and simpler beat. Also the way J-Hope deepens his voice and extends the word ‘Airplane” is guaranteed to give you life if it hasn’t already.
Plus it’s hard not to be supportive of the message behind a song like this. Because again, it’s an inspiring one about the importance of perseverance. It’s basically about not being afraid to reach high in regards to your dreams and aspirations. In this case by telling you a story of a small town boy(him I’m guessing) who use to stare up high at an airplane thinking he would never be in one. Now to not only getting to be in one, but traveling back and forth because he is in such high demand world wide! Truly inspirational.
P.S. I like the part at 2:26 when you hear the other members of BTS shout “Airplane.” It’s funny cuz I’m sure all ARMYs will agree, you can hear Suga’s voice so clearly. lol
Blue Side (A final Wrecking of your soul lol)
Lastly, we have the outro
Sadly I don’t have much new to add onto this. I mean I did hear J-Hope on a vlive say it didn’t have any particular meaning behind it, so again I don’t know what else I could add to it. All I can really say is that it’s a chill song, it gets across a more generalized sad emotion without a doubt, and I suppose I could also say the base part at 1:04 is sick. Other than that I don’t know. lol If you have any deeper/interesting thoughts on this one please share with me.
And so there you go, those were all my thoughts. Feels good to finally share and put them out there for you. 🙂 Please don’t be shy and share some of yours too whether you agree or disagree. At the least let me know what your personal fave track was. Did you like the “dirtay” type of sound of HANGSANG like I did or were you more taken aback by the likes of a funky track like Hope World or Daydream? No worries, there’s no real wrong answers here, just good ol’ fashioned preference.
See you peeps next time.
#EXTRA: Here is my own rankings of the songs from most re-played to less re-played
- Hope World
- Base Line
- Blue Side