It’s a mutual admiration society in the behind-the-scenes video for “On The Street,” BTS member J-Hope‘s collaboration with his longtime idol J.Cole. “Being able to meet my muse, J. Cole is nerve-wracking,” Hope says in the video’s open, during which he’s getting final-touch make-up applied backstage before the shoot begins.
One way the K-pop superstar soothes his nerves is by writing Cole a letter, telling the MC, “working with you has been a meaningful moment,” while repeatedly stopping to comment on his poor handwriting and trying to put himself in ARMY’s shoes when his fans pen gushing odes to him.
“Look at this horrific handwriting,” he laments as he holds the note up to camera and says that it’s not only an honor to work with Cole, but actually the realization of a childhood dream. “You’re always an inspiration to me and always give me good energy,” he writes in the note. The BTS star then heads to the set, where he can’t hide his excitement upon finally meeting his hero.
Hope beams as Cole starts filming his bits, watching the performance in a monitor and marveling at how he went from watching the rapper as a child on TV to filming a video with him on a bridge in Manhattan. “Is this real life? Is this a dream or is this real life?” J-Hope asks as the two share a series of handshakes and Hope hands over a gift bag featuring the note and some other goodies.
The rest of the 13-minute chronicles the process of shooting the video on the streets of New York, including a freestyle dance scene in a subway station.
“On the Street” is particularly meaningful to J-Hope. While BTS has long shared their admiration for the North Carolina-raised rapper — revealing in 2013 their reinterpreted take on J. Cole’s “Born Sinner” with “Born Singer,” which was only officially released last year on Proof — J-Hope has always shared how Cole is one of his ultimate favorite singers.
“On the Street” is J-Hope’s first new solo song since hopping on “Rush Hour” with Korean R&B singer “Crush,” while Cole dropped a surprise song in mid-January, “Procrastination (Broke).”
Check out the “On the Street” behind-the-scenes video below.