Today, BTS’s main dancer and lead rapper, J-Hope, announces his plans to enlist in the military in a statement from BigHit Music. BigHit Music is the entertainment company that put together the seven-member phenomenon, BTS. J-Hope is the second member to announce his military plans following the oldest member, Jin, who enlisted on Dec. 13.
J-Hope did a live stream on the idol-to-fans platform, Weverse, to reassure fans that this enlistment didn’t mean his immediate departure. Instead, he said that he would be concluding his postponement. So that he could return back to his fans quickly. Fans enjoyed his music, and the members supported his decision. He also exclaimed that enlisted member, Jin, supported him in his decision and urged him to train alongside him. This friendly interaction reassured fans that J-Hope would be in good hands.
Following his live stream, BigHit announced J-Hope’s latest single would be released on Fri, Mar. 3, called ‘On the Street’. The song is a nod to J-Hope’s Hip Hop dance origins that led to his audition at JYP Entertainment. Before being transferred to his current agency, he went to BigHit Music. In acknowledging his origins, it is perhaps J-Hope approaching his music full circle before his enlistment. The single follows his hit album, Jack in the Box, which he performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago last summer.
The news was a surprise considering that on Friday, Feb. 24, Louis Vuitton formally announced j-hope as the House Ambassador on Twitter. Although the range lasts from one to five years, brand ambassadors typically promote the fashion brand using social media, attend fashion events and model in editorials. To contrast, the South Korean military enlistment law requires men to serve for at least eighteen months. This requirement must be fulfilled by 28 – 30 in Korean age. This means that J-Hope’s contract would largely be completed through pre-recorded content and complicating his ability to promote the brand.
Another surprise would be that J-Hope is the third oldest in the group. The second oldest– SUGA– who recently was named as brand ambassador for an Italian fashion brand, Valentino, recently announced his world tour. His world tour includes five American cities across 11 dates, four Asian cities, and more projected to come in Japan.
The oldest member, Jin, who enlisted in December postponed his enlistment until he turned 30 years old. He recently was promoted to training new enlistees in northern Gyeonggi province following his initial five weeks of training. Jin’s projected promotion to civilian will be in June 2024.
Edited by: Maria Cornejo
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