Alongside the long (long!) trail of accolades J-Hope has earned with his fellow BTS members, the performer will now make (more!) history this summer as the first ever South Korean artist to headline a major U.S festival solo when he helms Lollapalooza’s Sunday night. But, if J-Hope is taking on Lolla solo, what does this mean for BTS as a group?
The Chicago festival announced their new headliner via Twitter on Tuesday, who is set to be closing out the Sunday shows on July 31. The festival gushed over the introduction of J-Hope’s performance, sharing a video introduction to the rapper’s solo single “HANGSANG (항상)” featuring Supreme Boi, adding that they are “thrilled” to announce his history-making performance. J-Hope will be joining an already impressive list of headliners, featuring Metallica, Dua Lipa, J Cole, Green Day and more.
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The 28-year-old BTS rapper put out a statement of his own, saying he is excited to take on this new experience. “It’s a thrilling new challenge that I think will become a really memorable chapter in my musical history,” he said on Instagram, “I’m gonna give you guys a great show. Get ready to get crazyyyyyy!”
But what will he perform? Well, likely much of his chart-topping solo mixtape from 2018, Hope World. At the time of the energetic set’s release, it peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, something very few South Korean solo acts have experienced. And, with the release of his language-barrier breaking 2019 single “Chicken Noodle Soup,” featuring Becky G, he broke into the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the very first time alone.
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However, while we revel in this news for J-Hope and for those already lucky enough to have scored tickets to Lollapalooza, we can’t help but wonder what this means for the rest of the band. For many Western boybands, a solo feat this big is typically not a good omen for the continuation of the group (I’m looking at you One Direction.) But, for BTS this could mean something different.
J-Hope is actually not the first member of the band to have released projects and broken records under his own name. The group’s other rappers, Suga and RM, have also released full solo mixtapes over the years, as well as some high-profile collaborations. The vocalists of the group Jin, Jimin, Jungkook, and V have also dabbled in solo releases, by dropping on singles here and there as well as participating in official K-Drama soundtracks. Not surprisingly, along the way, they too have broken many of their own records.
When it comes to BTS, we suspect fans need not worry too much. Don’t forget that the group’s leader, RM, actually had his own headlining slot back in 2015 for the Korean hip-hop music festival, ‘ALL FORCE ONE.’ During his show, he brought out the rest of BTS’s rap-line: Suga and J-Hope. With that in mind, it makes you wonder if we’re set to see more than just one BTS member at Lollapalooza… BRB, off to scramble for tickets.
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