BTS member Jung Ho-Seok, known to a frankly staggering portion of the planet by his stage name J-Hope, has just announced his first full solo album. Titled Jack In The Box, the new album follows a recent announcement that the mega-successful South Korean boy band would be taking a break—but not, their label would like to remind you for stock price reasons, a “hiatus”—in order to focus on more individual work.
Although pretty much all seven of BTS’s members have released solo work at some point during their tenure with the group, said projects have usually been limited to individual songs, or the occasional mixtape. (J-Hope, for instance, released a Billboard charting tape, Hope World, back in 2018.) That makes, as far as we’re aware, Jack In The Box the first full solo album by a member of the group—but not, presumably, the last. The great BTS solo album rush is almost certainly on its way; god knows what that’ll do to the BTS Army’s various fervent loyalties when it comes.
Jack In The Box will reportedly arrive on July 15, with its lead-off single set to land on July 1. Per a statement accompanying the announcement, the album “lends voice to J-Hope’s aspirations to break the mold and grow further. The album represents J-Hope’s own musical personality and vision as an artist.” News of the album comes just a few weeks after Lollapalooza announced it’d be bringing J-Hope on for a headlining slot this July, making him the first South Korean artist to ever headline the festival.
Back when they announced the we’re-not-calling-it-a-hiatus, J-Hope issued a statement to fans that absolutely, positively did not sound like the shit people say when they initiate a separation that will inevitably end in divorce, averring, “I think we should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again. I hope you don’t see this as a negative thing, and see it as a healthy plan. I think BTS will become stronger that way.”