BTS J-Hope‘s newest single, “On The Street,” is receiving widespread recognition from hip-hop fans across the globe. It is a landmark song in the BTS member’s career, given he got to collaborate with his lifelong idol J. Cole.
J-Hope has always vocalized his admiration for J. Cole. In BTS’s 2014 track “Hip Hop Phile,” he mentioned the huge influence J. Cole had on him as an artist in the following lines: “Before I made my own world, Cole world/ Ever since he shone on Friday night/ I got inspiration and wrote my songs.”
He also named his first mixtape “Hope World” after J. Cole’s first album Cole World: The Sideline Story.
With “On The Street,” J-Hope continues paying his respect to his idol and very cinematically so. The opening frames of the music video show J-Hope walking down an alley, which caught the eye of J. Cole’s fans for its familiarity.
It turns out that J-Hope filmed that sequence in the exact location where J. Cole shot his music video for “Simba” in 2007! The cinematography of the two sequences is also identical, which is why fans could immediately detect the reference.
Fans have also theorized other parts of the “On The Street” music video that potentially carries metaphors of how J-Hope idolizes J. Cole. One of the most popular theories on Twitter right now pointed out that while the former is seen dancing in a subway station, the latter is rapping on a rooftop. Eventually, J-Hope makes his way out of the station and ends up on the roof with him. This sequence, according to the OP (original poster), symbolizes that while J-Hope was a struggling underground artist, J. Cole was already at the top and his idol. J-Hope then made his way to the top and met his role model at his level as an equally inspiring artist.
“An amazing metaphor. while J-Cole raps on the rooftop, hobi dances in the subway. it’s the way hobi shows his great respect for Cole. while he was striving for his dream in the underground, cole was already his icon, like his sky. later hobi gets out of the underground and goes+ pic.twitter.com/SVymFhI3Lk
— jayvee on the street (@uarmyvibe) March 3, 2023
J-Hope is known for being meticulous with his craft and very involved with every aspect of his music. Given the type of respect he has for J. Cole, it comes as no surprise that he would go to such lengths to create a true masterpiece, both as a tribute to his idol and a parting gift to ARMYs.