BTS' j-hope makes many references to BTS in his music video for on the street. (Images via Twitter/ @bts_bighit and @AUS_BTS_FUNDING)

4 BTS references in j-hope's on the street music video

j-hope's latest single, released on March 3, 2023, on the street (with J. Cole), has won BTS fans' hearts due to its lyrics, melody, and collaboration. Since this is the last piece of music he will be putting out for a while, the rapper has called it a gift for fans, even dedicating the lyrics to them.


The music video has a nostalgic color tone, with the feeling of adios exacerbated by the heartfelt verse of J. Cole, who delivered his rap with the finesse and comfort of an experienced artist who has spent years in the industry. Apart from this, the video had a slew of references to the group's music, which showed the strength of the connection between the members.

The iconic train, J. Cole, and more BTS references in j-hope's on the street

1) j-hope sending off the little kid like Jin in The Astronaut


#on_the_street #JHOPE #JHOPE_ON_THE_STREET

Jin's music video for The Astronaut was about preparing ARMYs for the time he would have to spend not interacting with them due to his then-impending service in the military. In a similar vein, j-hope started the video with a young child who he pats on the head and gives a fist bump to before waving him off.

There have been several interpretations of who the kid in the video could be. While some fans say it is a younger version of the MORE rapper himself, most agree that it is meant to be BTS ARMY. With Jin teaching the young girl how to ride a bicycle and j-hope gently saying goodbye to the kid before their respective enlistments, it is clear why fans became emotional over both music videos.

2) The train station from Danger MV making an appearance

The way Hobi used the same subway from danger, a song about hatred, to be used for a song about love #on_the_street #HopeOnTheStreet

Older fans of BTS would have caught the reference that j-hope made to the Danger music video released in 2015. With a hardcore addictive beat, Danger was from the group's Dark and Wild album, which spoke of the angst and heartbreak of youth.

By including this little snippet in his music video, the Blue Side singer acknowledges the journey that he took to get to where he is at the moment. He also danced a little during this part, which was overlaced with J. Cole's verse about understanding the heaviness of being at the top of his profession - a crown that BTS' j-hope wears as well.

3) The legendary Spring Day train makes a comeback

spring day x yet to come x still life x on the street

One of the most well-known motifs from BTS' music videos is the train, or the band sitting inside one, which has appeared multiple times, meaning different things with each iteration. After being seen on Spring Day, the train scene appeared in the Yet To Come music video, RM's Still Life, and of course, j-hope's on the street.

While an obvious throwback to past videos, the subway train ridden alone by the Hope World rapper seems more wistful. He is all set to start a journey that he will have to undertake by himself, but the memories of the past and hope for the future accompanies him nonetheless.

4) When Cole World met Hope World

“Hope hope world, before I built my own world, there was Cole world”

(Hope hope world, 내 세상을 만들기 전에 Cole world)

From the song “Hip Hop Phile” (Dark and Wild album, 2014)

Translation from:…+

Another throwback from Dark and Wild, j-hope references J. Cole's debut studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, in his verse of the rap-line song, Hip Hope Phile. This also led to the BTS rapper naming his first mixtape, Hope World, as an ode to the American rapper's music. Apart from this, the band released Born Singer in 2013, adapting Cole's Born Sinner with their lyrics, and recently obtained permission to release it as a part of Proof.


When he met J. Cole during his stint at Lollapalooza in 2022, j-hope called the rapper-basketball player his "muse," which made the recent cross-border, bilingual collaboration between the two artists all the more special. In his verse, the American rapper looks back at his first LP and seemingly references the Korean rapper's MORE from his first album, Jack in the Box.

The two rappers meet at the end of the video, bridging the differences that the world tries to enforce with the grace of a musician meeting his idol and creating a masterpiece in the process.

Prior to the release of on the street, it was revealed that j-hope would be the next member of BTS to enlist in the mandatory military service that every male citizen between the ages of 18-28 must undergo. The announcement made the single even more significant for fans who will now have to wait two years for more music from the rapper.


Meanwhile, the on the street challenge, kickstarted by BTS' j-hope and Jimin, has been slowly drawing viewers who are following along with the choreography presented by them. Apart from fans, TXT, NewJeans, and SUGA have participated in the challenge so far.

Edited by
Priya Majumdar
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