10 standout moments from J-Hope’s historic Lollapalooza set

When J-Hope joined in Lollapalooza lineup as a new headliner, the BTS member had already made history as the first Korean artist to headline a major American music festival. But the star wasn’t resting on his historic laurels as he put together his 70-minute set.


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J-Hope’s headline set for the famous Chicago festival — dubbed #HOBIPALOOZA by Twitter fans since the announcement — was a more comprehensive representation of various aspects that make up the star. Viewers got to see J-Hope’s electrifying persona on stage, his respect for hip hopthe social messages he believes in, his humility and much more.

“I pour my heart and soul into my music,” J-Hope told the crowd early in his set. “Even though we speak different languages, I hope you listen to my story.”

Get a feel for the bigger story with 10 standout moments from J-Hope’s history-making set.

1. The literal Jack in the Box introduction

In J-Hope’s first major performance for Jack in the Box, the BTS star started bringing his solo album to life. After the lyrics to the album’s “Intro” played across the massive LED screens, fireworks shot into the Chicago night sky and J-Hope jumped out of his own box to take center stage on the giant Bud Light stage.

2. The live band opens with “More”

Already heavy on the percussion and guitar elements, opening track “More” was lifted with the live band backing J-Hope on his Lolla debut. With a bassist, drummer, guitarist and keyboardist behind it, #HOBIPALOOZA was that much more musically special.

3. The curse!

Not only did J-Hope rock his performance, but we got several moments where K-pop star became playful and also let her mouth run wild. Something was so cool but cute when the star told the audience: “You guys are absolutely crazy” with a big smile on her face. The screams of approval all pointed to the audience loving it too.

4. A BTS “Cypher” moment

Some of the best moments in a BTS concert are when the group performs one of their “Cypher” tracks, which they’ve been recording since their earliest releases in 2013. J-Hope took it back to the group’s O!RUL8,2? album by performing “BTS Cypher Pt.1” for, as J-Hope said, “the older ARMY out there.” But the audience’s electric reaction when he began showed everyone enjoyed the inclusion.

5. To respect hip hop greats

Throughout their career, BTS has done an amazing job of showing love to the hip-hop artists who have inspired them. One of the prominent tracks on plug in the box “What if…” tries the classic Ol’ Dirty Bastard single “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” and J-Hope included a tribute to the late Wu-Tang Clan the rapper by showing his picture on stage as the song began.

Later in the set, after performing his solo single “Chicken Noodle Soup,” the K-pop star also called out DJ Webstar and Young B, the artists who originally released the song that this track sampled. J-Hope made the night not only about himself, but about the artists who helped him take the stage.

6. The social messages in “Equus”

Another standout on Jack in the Box is the anthem “=(Equus),” which features lyrics like “Hate will paralyze your mind/ Gotta see the other side/ It costs you nothing to be kind.” J-Hope took a microphone stand to sing the song at center stage as powerful statements such as “All Our Bodies Deserve Respect,” “Why’s It a Crime to Be Different?” and “Let’s get together.”

BTS have set themselves apart from their peers by never shying away from important social messages. It was powerful to see J-Hope sing this track with relevant messages for the thousands (if not millions, including live streams) who watched him live.

7. His remixed “Dynamite” returns

After a quick outfit change, J-Hope returned to the stage (through his stage plug in the box, again) with a group of dancers for a choreographed performance of the tropical remix to BTS’ Hot 100 None. 1 “Dynamite.” With his backup dancers and during solo moments, J-Hope focused on his dancing skills and reset the mood.

8. Becky G‘s surprise appearance

Becky G made a surprise appearance for J-Hope to give the first ever live performance of their collaboration “Chicken Noodle Soup.” Becky didn’t miss a beat of the trilingual number’s playful choreography and showed why this set was once in a lifetime.

9. Becky’s sweet speech

After their “CNS” performance, Becky G took a moment to show her appreciation for her collaborator. “As an artist, this moment right here means so much to me,” she told the audience. “So much for me because I’m not only so honored to be here but also so proud. I’m so proud of you [J-Hope]; I am so grateful for our friendship and for this opportunity.”

The tender moment culminated in a big hug between the two, who undoubtedly recognized the importance of this big festival moment as artists who do not operate in the traditional musical mainstream.

10. Shoutouts to the band, dancers and ARMY

No one would hold it against J-Hope if he was overcome with emotion or excitement by the end of his set. Still, the star showed his professionalism and humility by making sure to introduce and thank all members of his band and his dancers, giving them a moment in the spotlight on stage. And of course, he couldn’t end without thanking his ARMY fans, who lit up Chicago’s Grant Park with their lightstick bongs.

Bonus: J-Hope and Jimin’s live stream afterwards

After #HOBIPALOOZA and the rest of Lollapalooza officially ended, J-Hope hopped onto the group’s V Live account to do a live stream with fans and BTS members Jimin, who were present in Chicago. Jimin showered his bandmate with praise – including pointing out how cool he was at cursing – and the two celebrated the milestone with their fans.

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