J-Hope finally understands what it’s like to walk in the shoes of his fans. In the behind-the-scenes video for “On the Street,” the song and music video he recorded with his musical idol J. Cole, the BTS member shakes off nerves and buzzes with excitement at the manifestation of his dream collaboration.
“Is this the mind of a fan?” J-Hope asked no one in particular as he penned a thank you letter to the rapper ahead of their day together in New York City, constantly fretting about the quality of his handwriting. “Our fans probably write me letters feeling like this, right?”
Most BTS fans are not getting to record a song and film a music video with them, but the feelings of admiration are likely similar. “Being able to meet my muse J. Cole is nerve-wracking,” the musician shared. In the letter, between various starts and stops, he wrote: “Thank you for making my childhood dream come true and for walking with me on the street. You’re always an inspiration to me.”
J-Hope’s love of J. Cole’s work stretches back more than a decade. In 2013, BTS reimagined his song “Born Sinner” as “Born Singer,” which appears on last year’s album Proof.
At the first shooting location, a rooftop overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, J-Hope nearly has to pinch himself as he watches J. Cole film his solo portions of the music video. When they first meet, he’s all giggles and gratitude in the presence of his idol.
“Being able to work with J. Cole after 10 years as a fan, I’m so happy,” he said. “It’s just all new and I still can’t believe it. It feels like a dream.”
The singer had time to decompress and filmed the remainder of the video the following day. Dancing in the middle of the road, strutting down the street, and filming in alleyways, J-Hope attempted to capture the essence of the single.
“‘On the Street’ literally captures all situations that happen on the street,” he says in the video. “People in love, people holding on to childhood dreams, saying goodbye because of unavoidable situations.”