BTS’s J-Hope headlines Lollapalooza 2022



Staff Reporter, Nasya Stevenson. writes about BTS’s J-Hope headlining at Lollapalooza.

Nasya Stevenson, Staff Reporter

A white light stick sea illuminated the stage as over 100,000 people chanted, “J-Hope! J-Hope! J-Hope,” for the South Korean rapper during his performance on stage at Lollapalooza. The performer made his historic debut at the festival on Sunday, July 31, in Grant Park, Chicago. 

J-Hope is the credited main dancer and vocalist of the trio rapline in the South Korean boyband BTS. Following the band’s release of their first anthology album, “Proof” and 9th debut anniversary, J-Hope released his first solo album, “Jack in the Box.” BTS revealed over their emotional and heartfelt anniversary dinner that they each have their own solo projects in the works. J-Hope was the first to release his own work during the start of the second chapter for BTS and their beloved fans known as “Army.” Undoubtedly, he had taken on a challenge by transitioning from his 2018 mixtape, “Hope World,” to his solo album, “Jack in the Box.” In his album, exposed listeners to K-pop and modern hip hop on “Hope World,” but also experimented with old school hip hop on “Jack in the Box.”

Lollapalooza announced on June 7 via Twitter that J-Hope would be a headliner, making him the  first South Korean artist to perform at a major American music festival. J-Hope made another historic achievement by selling out the most tickets in Lollapalooza’s 31-year history. Despite performing on the last day of the four day festival, he still attracted the largest crowd of attendees. J-Hope’s setlist for the show consisted of songs from both his mixtape and album. He also performed two songs by BTS, “BTS Cypher Pt. 1” and their renowned hit, “Dynamite – Tropical Remix.” 

Bold and energetic backup dancers joined J-Hope on stage for “Dynamite” and each song that followed (except for the finale). He performed 19 songs over the span of around an hour. The first single, “More,” from “Jack in the Box” was the grand opening. Becky G was brought out as a special guest to perform alongside J-Hope on their collaborative single, “Chicken Noodle Soup.” The grand finale of J-Hope’s performance was the penultimate song, “Future,” from his latest album. 

BTS. (AMA2020)

BTS’s Jimin flew from South Korea to America to support J-Hope. Five months ago, he promised to pay a visit to J-Hope on a live broadcast and through his surprise visit, he fulfilled that promise. The promise was to attend J-Hope’s solo concert in America, joined by V and Jungkook. However, V and Jungkook did not attend. J-Hope’s Lollapalooza performance was a surprise to fans. 

J-Hope spoke on a live broadcast and Jimin joined to talk to the “Army” after the end of the performance. Jimin provided J-Hope much needed support after reported weight loss and sleep issues. He revealed that J-Hope was tired from practicing for over five hours per day and that he had a hard time sleeping and only slept for three hours. 

Despite J-Hope’s weight loss, exhaustion, and the fact that it was his first time performing solo, his stage presence and visuals with a band and dance crew proved he can still light up the stage. J-Hope’s wonderful performance showed the duality of light and dark. At first, he wore all black and had more edgy, dark visuals. Then, J-Hope changed into an all white outfit and the performance became brighter, hopeful and joyful, just like how fans know him to be.

You can watch J-Hope’s full Lollapalooza performance on the YouTube channel, BangTanTV. “Jack in the Box” and “Hope World” are available on all streaming services.