BTS‘s J-Hope recently sent the internet into meltdown after the wait was finally over and his album Jack In The Box was released. For weeks, ARMYs have been looking forward to hearing the music from the BTS member and it truly didn’t disappoint.
After the music video for “MORE” was shared prior to the album’s release, “ARSON” was the next track for ARMYs to watch and they rightly became obsessed AF with the song.
Yet, aside from the title track, J-Hope released an album that really showcased a new side to the idol and sent out messages that resonated with ARMYs worldwide. Every track had a message that you could relate to, and netizens loved the diversity.
I feel like listening to Jack in the Box is like getting to know the hoseok that bts knows
— Liz⁷ in the box 🃏 (@baepsayed) July 15, 2022
Jack in the Box is in top100 in over 80 countries on Apple Music
— Nicolle⁷ in the box 🃏 (@EgosShadow7) July 15, 2022
Jack in the box is a no skip album, every song gives you a different kind of feeling, jung hoseok the greatest of all time REALLY
— sen⁷ in the box 🃏 (@sugatradamus) July 15, 2022
In particular, one song that has gained praise is his track “= (Equal Sign),” particularly because of the thought and message behind the song.
When introducing the track, J-Hope touched the hearts of ARMYs with his description of the track. During the Jack In The Box listening party, J-Hope shared that the track “= (Equal Sign)” was created to share the message that everyone is different.
He added that through the song, he wanted to emphasize that although everyone is different, it should be respected by others.
I wanted to say through this song that everyone should acknowledge their differences and be respected.
Although the introduction was heartwarming enough, the lyrics from the track itself truly emphasized the message J-Hope wanted to portray through the lyrics.
From the very beginning of the track, J-Hope shares that everyone should be equal in society and that nobody is above or below another. Each of the words in the song has a meaning and no matter how long or short, they portray a message of equality.
Step by step.
— The lyrics from J-Hope’s song
In particular, the chorus quickly caught the attention of fans as J-Hope shone a light on how “hate” can impact people, enforcing a message of kindness no matter how different a person’s views or lifestyles might be from your own.
Hate’ll paralyze your mind
Gotta see the other side
It costs ya nothin’ to be kind
Not so different you and I
Lookin’ for love in a different light
Until we find that equal sign.
Even as the song comes to an end, J-Hope continues to promote this message of love and equality through his lyrics.
By ending the song with the words, “Equality is you and me,” and looking at the rest of the song, the idol is speaking about ending discrimination regardless of someone’s age, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity.
So I’m singing for love in this world. Come on. Let’s come together. Equality is you and me.
When the song was released, ARMYs online couldn’t hide their praise and gratitude toward J-Hope for creating a song that aims to promote equality when many countries see disunity.
when j-hope said "hate will paralyse your mind, gotta see the other side, it costs you nothin' to be kind" in equal sign and "Someone’s split-second becomes someone else’s memory, Someone’s anger costs someone else’s life" in UGH!
— nir⁷ 🃏 (@ughtan7) July 15, 2022
EQUAL SIGN I HAVE TEARS IN MY EYES HELLO JUNG HOSEOK???¿??
— Sel⁷ (@BTStranslation_) July 15, 2022
equal sign’s “it costs you nothing to be kind” // p.o.p’s “if i can give strength to someone, can be a light to someone. i wish, i could be a piece of peace”. hoseok choosing kindness despite despite despite.
— rahma⁷ in the box (@lbtsishomel) July 15, 2022
In particular, one ARMY pointed out that being so vocal about topics like this in Korea is always risky, especially as fans pointed out that some of the views regarding the topic are quite traditional.
For many, it is proof that BTS isn’t afraid to talk about serious issues regardless of the backlash they might face.
Releasing a song like Equal Sign with this current administration is such a statement. Bravo Hobi 🌈💜 pic.twitter.com/fqLbTGH3UG
— bora 💜 (@modooborahae) July 15, 2022
i don't want to say too much but hobi releasing equal sign, a song that explicitly talks abt equality n ending prejudice n discrimination, after the election of a far-right conservative president is so powerful. esp knowing the ways politicians try to use bts for their own gain.
— 🍬 (@thejoonmoon) July 15, 2022
Even leader RM shared that it was this track that he loved the most, after sharing his support for J-Hope on Instagram.
Yet, it isn’t the first time J-Hope has shared a message of equality. In particular, when it comes to love and acceptance in a society that still has traditional views when it comes to gender and sexuality.
When accepting the award for “Artist of the Year” at the 2018 Melon Music Awards, J-Hope said that he had learned about different types of love. Through his words, he showed how much the group had matured and learned from various life experiences.
As always, the members of BTS continue to find ways to make a difference in any way possible, particularly through their music. Since debuting, they have sent out a message of hope and love to fans worldwide and continue to ensure that everyone feels heard.
You can read more times when the BTS members have promoted a message of equality and love below.