BTS’s second chapter is moving full steam ahead with j-hope kicking off his next era of solo work with new single “MORE.”
Known for his sunny disposition and optimistic energy, j-hope subverted expectations when he started rolling out teasers for the single ahead of his first full-length solo album, Jack in the Box, due later this month on July 15th. Promising a darker tone from the rapper and dancer, promotional photos for “MORE” echoed j-hope’s recent statement describing the new sides of himself that longtime listeners might not be expecting: “If I was going to convey the things I wanted to say, I would have to be darker. It’s something I’ve never done before, so I was excited to try something new,” he explained.
The first single is a major departure from the vibrant, rainbow-hued buoyancy of j-hope’s first mixtape, Hope World. While details are still yet to come regarding the length of Jack in the Box and what else listeners might be able to expect, it’s certain that j-hope’s magnetic energy as a performer will continue to be front and center.
The accompanying music video for “MORE,” which contains some overt references to 1999’s Fight Club, shows j-hope weaving through a mundane office, breaking the fourth wall, and performing the song backed by a gritty band. While there aren’t any moments of intense choreography from BTS’s dance leader, as opposed to Hope World‘s “Chicken Noodle Soup” collaboration with Becky G, the energy in the music video makes it easy to imagine how an onstage performance might look.
According to a statement from BIG HIT MUSIC, one of the focuses for the track was providing a space for j-hope to explore his “flame-like aspirations and pure passion to escape the box and show the world what more he can offer.” With “MORE” offering such a marked departure sonically and aesthetically from his previous solo efforts, anticipation is high from the BTS ARMY on what else might be in store from this new era.
j-hope is also currently gearing up to headline the closing night of Lollapalooza, marking the first time a South Korean artist has appeared at a major US festival. Before he takes the stage on July 31st, he’ll unveil Jack in the Box in full on July 15th.