Say Hello to “Hope World”

A Free Mixtape Achieving Global Success & Recognition

Wandering Shadow
5 min readDec 19, 2018
Hope World’s Cover Photo

With 2018 nearing its completion, let’s talk about one mixtape which was released in the first quarter of this year: Hope World

J-Hope is one of the rappers from global boy group “BTS” along with fellow members Suga and RM. After RM’s RM and Suga’s Agust D, J-Hope released his first mixtape named Hope World on March 1, 2018 to showcase his rapping skills and talent as a songwriter and producer.

Hope World is considered a proper album having all original songs. But, J-Hope added one specific key element of a mixtape in Hope World by uploading it on SoundCloud for free for the fans to enjoy. The mixtape was also uploaded on Apple Music and Spotify to increase availability and reach a wider audience.

Hope World’s global success was not highlighted enough by the media and many have missed the charts breaking records this mixtape has accomplished. So, let’s check the significance and success of Hope World in different music charts.


Hope World’s success in iTunes was impressive. J-Hope became the Korean soloist with the most #1s by getting #1 (currently, it is #1 in 78 countries so far). He kept this record for around 8 months till his band member and leader of BTS, RM, released his playlist mono.The crown was passed to RM when he became the Korean artist with the most #1 with 90 countries (mono. was released on October 23, 2018).

Even though RM now holds the record, this still proves that J-Hope raised a huge bar in iTunes albums chart and still to this date, no Korean artist outside BTS and RM has broken his record.


Hope World was released on Thursday which is the last day for the Billboard tracking week. The mixtape had around 12 hours to chart before the new tracking week was set. Therefore, it was not the best release date for a non-promoted mixtape to achieve any chart success.

Nonetheless, Hope World managed to enter the Billboard charts. The artist became the highest ranking Korean soloist and second highest charting Korean artist(after BTS) in Billboard 200 at #63. But, he didn’t stop there. On the second week, the mixtape further jumped up and gained a new peak at #38. He kept the record till RM’s mono. charted at #26 in Billboard 200 in November, breaking his record.

J-Hope was the first Korean soloist to enter the top 50 of the Billboard 200. He is also the first and only Korean soloist to spend more than one week on the Billboard 200 chart so far.

He is also the second Korean soloist after PSY to enter the Artist 100 chart at #97 and is the only Korean soloist to stay in the chart for more than one week. He also entered the Emerging Artists Chart at #3.

According to Billboard, J-Hope was the 10th Korean artist to get a #1 in the World Digital Song Sales chart with “Daydream”. Other songs from the mixtape also peaked in the chart; “Airplane” at #5, “Hope World” at #6, “Base Line” at #8, “Hangsang” at #11 and “P.O.P (Piece of Peace), Pt. 1” at #12.

As for the Wold Albums chart, the mixtape peaked at #1 in the World Albums chart. In the rap category, the mixtape debuted in the Billboard Rap Albums chart at #19.

Recently, Billboard released its Year-End chart results where Hope World debuted at #5 in the World Albums Year-End chart for 2018 and the artist himself debuting at #6 in the World Albums Artists Year-End chart (making him the Korean soloist with the highest ranking for 2018).

Hope World managed to break records with a free mixtape in the Billboard charts and proved his dominance in the charts. Many Korean artists either chart low or don’t chart at all in Billboard 200. According to archives, less than 5 solo artists were able to chart in Billboard 200 before J-Hope. Hope World’s charting in Billboard was momentous for Korean music.

Other International Music Charts

Majority of the people focus on the Billboard 200 only and fail to see the global impact the mixtape made.

J-Hope became the highest charting Korean soloist in the Billboard Canadian Albums chart with Hope World at #35 in March. The record was later broken by RM in November with mono. at #22.

Outside North America, Hope World made entries in multiple music charts across Europe, Japan and Australia. The global music chart table below shows rankings for all music charts around the world.

Hope World’s Global Impact (for Ref numbers, check the “References” at the bottom)

Update: Hope World also debuted in the Estonian Albums Top 40 at #8.

Impact and Reception

J-Hope is the first Korean soloist since PSY to make an impact in multiple music charts around the world. Many Korean artists release their albums and a lot of them never have a wide spread of charting in the music charts around the world. J-Hope managed to make entries in music charts of different countries, despite the mixtape being free and non-promoted.

J-Hope had the chance to give an exclusive interview at TIME magazine to share his story and feelings behind the mixtape. His mixtape was included in the “5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week” list by TIME.

The mixtape was also given positive reviews. The 405 gave a rating 7/10 summarizing, “J-Hope showcases exceptional creativity, genuine personality, and a cohesive sense of direction over the 20 minutes of the project”. His mixtape was also praised by fuse and Billboard.

Radio Disney showed appreciation by playing the song “Hope World” around 154 times (14+62+78) on their radio station. It even peaked at #2 in the Radio Disney’s Weekly Most-Played Songs. Besides Radio Disney, 103.7 KISS FM also played all tracks from Hope World for listeners.


The charting records and reviews indicate that Hope World was a commercially successful mixtape which is still appreciated by everyone for its quality & versatility of the themes in his songs. It gives J-Hope strong credibility as a rapper, producer & writer.

Two songs from the mixtape “Daydream” and “Airplane” were released as music videos on YouTube. You can watch the MVs below. Enjoy!

j-hope ‘Daydream (백일몽)’ MV
j-hope ‘Airplane’ MV


For the global music chart table, rankings were taken from the official charts [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]



Wandering Shadow

I love to serve tea, data and facts about BTS. My Twitter / IG is @shadow_twts