The Importance of J-Hope of BTS Making Headlining History

J-Hope was the third person to join BTS and later released his mixtape Hope World and launched his solo career.

File:J-Hope for BTS 5th anniversary party in LA photoshoot / Dispatch / Wikipedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

J-Hope was the third person to join BTS and later released his mixtape “Hope World” and launched his solo career.

K-Pop, and BTS, the band that launched the genre into international stardom, face a lot of disrespect and backlash from those that don’t really understand it. This can lead to a lack of recognition and therefore lessen the chance that Asian artists and those from different cultures alike can showcase their talent and music in the U.S.

So when J-Hope from BTS snagged a top headlining spot at Lollapalooza music festival, K-pop fans were obviously very excited. It was in this occurrence that J-Hope made headlining history as the first South Korean artist to ever hold the main spot at a music festival in the U.S. He even increased his time due by releasing a new mixtape and performing extra songs for adoring fans. This is important for so many reasons. 

J-Hope performs his hit “Chicken Noodle Soup” during his set at Lollapalooza. (Mallori Alder)

Around 100,000 people saw J-Hope perform at Lollapalooza, along with the 14.9 million people who watched it on live stream, which was offered on Hulu due to the overwhelming excitement his performance garnered. This shows how many people were planning on dedicating their time to watching this groundbreaking performance. This is especially important considering Lollapalooza’s history with headliners.

All throughout the years, not only was Lollapalooza limited in terms of varying genres, but in terms of varying people. Notoriously in previous years, Lollapalooza has only showcased either black or white artists and has left behind the Hispanic and Asian communities. So, this headline has made the festival take a turn for the better.

Like this author said before, much disrespect can be shown to things that people in the U.S. might not understand, this hate is centered toward k-pop on occasion. But Lollapalooza giving this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to J-Hope opened up a whole new interest and world to many people who attended the festival and weren’t aware of his existence.

Among the 100,000 people at the venue were festival goers who decided to stop and watch the next performance, and many were pleasantly surprised and the set was very well received. The upside to this was even though J-Hope performed his songs that were either fully Korean or with integrated English lines, along with the elaborate foreign concept of his new album Jack in the Box, was that k-pop was presented in an interesting, fun, and impressive fashion that he worked 6 hours a day for leading up to his performance. The amazing turnout of his headlining performance hopefully will yield a more inclusive showing of the arts not just at Lollapalooza, but at music festivals everywhere in the country.