It’s February 18th, meaning that one of the BTS boys is turning 25. J-Hope is one of BTS’ older members, the third oldest after Jin and Suga. Despite this fact, it’s hard to pinpoint this at times. J-Hope is known as the group’s sunshine. His energy and fluid dance movements are near impossible to miss and make him stand out in a crowd. His stage name comes from this fact, that he wants to be the one inspiring smiles and hope in others. His message is doing its work; J-Hope is my favorite, and my one of my role models. There are many things to appreciate about BTS’ dance machine, but for the sake of not writing a whole essay, I can keep it to five.
1. His Dancing
We have to start with the skill that J-Hope is known for. He is BTS’ lead dancer. He started as a b-boy performer at a young age. Even before joining BTS he could both contort his body like a robot, and move like fluid water. Once he joined BigHit, he started his career in rapping and even singing.
Still, it’s Hope’s dance skills that really put him in the forefront of all BTS’ choreography. He is responsible for helping teach the rest of his members, as well as being in the front of many dance breaks and intense choreography sequences. He even had a significant part in Drake’s In My Feelings challenge because of his dance skills. J-Hope also has little segments titled “Hope on the Street” on Twitter or VLive that showcase his free-styling abilities whenever he feels like it. The unscripted and personal videos make fans want to see even more dancing from J-Hope in each new song BTS releases.
There are many notable ones to look at, too many in fact. One of the earliest would be the "No More Dream" dance break, one that is legendary among ARMYs worldwide. J-Hope does what he does best, mixing his b-boy style with a k-pop vibe. He moves his shoulders in sharp bursts and body rolls like a wave. It’s amazing to watch, and one you can’t help but replay over and over. There are also bits and pieces that everyone can recognize and love, like Baepsae’s hip thrusts, Blood Sweat & Tears’ spins, and who could forget that introduction to Idol at the 2018 MMAs? Another stand out for me would have to be "Boy Meets Evil." This intro track to the Wings album is what actually made me a complete J-Hope biased ARMY. I adore this dance. Besides the powerful arm movements and that incredible flexibility in the way he puts his leg over his head, J-Hope dances with his face. Every frame can show the intense facial expressions he puts on in order to complete the aesthetic of the video. I adore this video, and suggest you check it out below at the end of the article!
Overall, what makes J-Hope a dancing king would have to be the emotion and passion you can feel from watching it. It can be the energetic moves in "Fire," the softer ones in "I Like It," or even free-styling in “Hope on the Street," but they all show how J-Hope feels in the moment. He smiles and smirks with all the confidence of a trained professional. When he has an audience, he puts on a show to remember. It’s always refreshing to see someone get to experience their passion. When an entire venue of thousands can feel the energy radiating from one man on stage, it’s safe to say that he loves to dance. Watching him dance is an experience, both in person and on the internet. J-Hope is a dancer, and I can’t recommend him enough.
2. His Rapping/Singing
To match his dancing, J-Hope is also an accomplished rapper. It’s hard for someone to stand out when you’re paired with amazing and well-known rappers like RM and Suga. Both were underground rappers before joining BTS, J-Hope being the only one to really learn while starting BTS. Where RM is known for his lyrics and Suga for his speed, J-Hope has another asset to the rapping squad that makes his role just as important. J-Hope has an interesting voice, one that’s hard to describe. It can sound throaty or nasally depending on what tone he wants to achieve. He can manipulate his voice to make different sounds, voices, and speeds. Things like "Outro: Tear" showcase his deeper tones while other songs like his solo single "Daydream" include upbeat and whimsical verses. He’s a balance between the other two and can either add to the intensity of a verse or introduce some levity to it. J-Hope can change depending on what the rap line needs, showcasing his fluidity isn’t just limited to his dancing. Some other songs worth checking out to listen to some awesome J-Hope raps include "Ma City," "Let Me Know," "Am I Wrong," and of course "Mic Drop."
However, J-Hope is a triple threat. Not only does he dance and rap, he sings, too. Songs like his background vocals in "Let Go," and "Daydream," and "Piece of Peace" on his solo mixtape, Hope World, can attest to that. A particular favorite of mine is "Spring Day." At first listen, J-Hope doesn’t have a verse. While this is true, he actually has the most amount of lines in the song. He’s harmonizing behind Jimin and Jungkook in each chorus. His voice fits beautifully with the trained singers and makes "Spring Day" one of the best songs BTS has ever released. Another favorite of mine is his opening in BTS’ Christmas song, "Crystal Snow." I have a real soft spot for that song, and J-Hope’s voice is incredibly fitting for the tone that follows in every verse after him.
3. His Smile
You know I had to throw in at least one physical feature, right? I had to go with the smile. J-Hope’s smile is one of the first things you notice about him, and it’s something you’ll never forget. What many say about J-Hope’s smile is that it is almost heart-shaped. When you look at it, it is actually heart-shaped. It’s something so fitting of the mood maker of BTS.
Other notable features about J-Hope’s smile include a lip mole that is super unique and has its own place in ARMYs’ hearts, and his dimples. Though not as pronounced at times as RM’s, J-Hope’s dimples are incredibly charming. They show up when he smiles, or when he eats. It’s adorable.
The thing about J-Hope’s smile that makes it so lovely is that it really is an extension of his personality. The smile often accompanies something silly he does, such as making finger hearts, playing with dogs, or making his wonderful, funny sound effects. J-Hope is often compared to a flower, or the sun. He’s always considered a source of life and energy for BTS, and it shows in his smile. There’s an iconic video floating around Twitter of one of his performances from the Wings tour. At the start of his performance of his solo song "Mama", he looks up at the camera and smiles. It looks as if his face literally lights up when he smiles. Though this is most likely due to the lighting of the stage, it’s a perfect representation of what happens when J-Hope smiles.
4. His Support of the Other Members
If there’s one thing fans truly appreciate about BTS, it’s that they are all brothers. It’s so easy to see how much they love each other. J-Hope is one of the most affectionate of them all. He babies Jungkook, smothers Jimin and V with hugs and kisses, and throws himself onto the closest member whenever he laughs particularly hard. When he’s not giving out hugs and casual touches to his friends, he’s outspoken in his support for them. The love he has for his fellow rappers is particularly touching. J-Hope is always quick to acknowledge how talented and hardworking RM and Suga are. He talks about how RM is the best leader they could’ve asked for, and that Suga is one of the most dedicated writers out there. He praises Jin as well for how far he’s come with his dancing. Though J-Hope is a better dancer than members like Jin and RM, he’s never treated them any different. Instead, he dedicates a lot of time to work with them and have fun while they learn a dance together.
Something I always find funny is that a lot of newer BTS fans believe J-Hope is younger than RM. J-Hope is a lot goofier than his leader, and when it’s just him and the three youngest, usually chaos and funny pranks ensue. J-Hope is older than RM by a few months, but he can connect with the youngest better than anyone. He can be both an older brother to play games with or a pillar of support for them to lean on. Even the older members can lean on him and goof around with him when they feel like it. There are times when Jin and J-Hope act like absolute children when they’re together. Then there is Suga, who can be at his silliest when he’s hanging out with J-Hope. At the same time, the two are passionate music lovers that bounce ideas off each other when needed. BTS is a huge family, and J-Hope is such a huge part of it. Without him, BTS wouldn’t be BTS.
5. His Optimistic Nature
By now it’s easy to see J-Hope shows his feelings and loves to smile and laugh. Though sometimes he can be seen as the loud and bubbly one, J-Hope is very thoughtful and introspective with himself. In plenty of interviews and on VLive streams J-Hope has admitted to second guessing himself. He always thinks about what he’s doing in life, if he’s happy, what he’ll do next, etc. He’s recommended a book to ARMYs (Living, Loving, and Learning by Leo Buscaglia) about how to love yourself, others, and the life around you. RM has even said when he feels troubled, J-Hope helps him out and is almost like a second leader in certain scenarios.
What’s so admirable about J-Hope is that he always puts on a smile even when he feels stressed. When others need him, he’s there with encouraging words and a positive outlook for things ahead. It does more than just provide a source of entertainment for the camera. What J-Hope’s positivity does is inspire millions of fans around the world. J-Hope doesn’t deny that he feels stress or that sometimes he doubts himself. Still, that doesn’t stop him from doing his best to look up and try to make the best of everything. It makes him more than just a pop star with a handsome face. J-Hope can actually make a difference in how others feel about themselves and life as a whole. That’s truly powerful, and making J-Hope deserving of all the love he receives from fans he touches.