Today, Tomorrow, and the Future with JJ Project
JB and Jinyoung; those names are most commonly associated by K-Pop listeners as two members of the popular JYP Entertainment boy group GOT7. However, the duo actually began two years earlier than their other members when they debuted together in 2012 in their own group called JJ Project.
JJ Project had their first taste of stardom not with their debut single, but with their acting debut; Jinyoung and JB played roles in the JYP Entertainment High School Musical-esque drama Dream High 2. The drama features the iconic dance move the JJ Cross, where JB and Jinyoung form an “x” with their arms and body-slam each other in mid-air. Yes, Dream High 2 is truly a drama worth watching for any GOT7 fan.
From there, the group released their own mini-album before they were sidelined by the members re-debuting with GOT7 in 2014. JJ Project was on hiatus for five years before they came back with their second mini-album in 2017.
The group is now considered a sub-unit of GOT7, but they are a unit known for their ridiculously catchy first single “Bounce” and their R&B-influenced “Today, Tomorrow”. Both songs couldn’t be more different from one another; “Bounce” is all about forgetting worries while “Today, Tomorrow” is solely about worrying. Instead, the two singles can be used to highlight the incredible evolution of Jinyoung and JB as musical artists.
Released in 2012, “Bounce” is the definition of chaotic beauty. There is so much happening in JJ Project’s debut single that it’s hard to find a place to start. It features Jinyoung as the sole rapper of the track, a side of him not commonly seen in GOT7, and allows JB to be the cool rock vocalist. It is also ridiculously addictive, which is probably why the song’s music video reached over one million views just two days after it was released.
It also features maybe one of the catchiest choruses and easiest choreographies in K-Pop history. Is there someone who can genuinely resist the charm of shouting “Bounce! Bounce! Everybody!” and furiously head-banging when the chorus kicks in? The song’s chorus is entirely in English as well, and goes through so many genres including Classic Rock, Hip-Hop, and Electronic. It’s zany, silly, and lighthearted, which is probably why it’s become a staple for GOT7 to perform it as a group whenever they can.
The song’s message is surprisingly simple: don’t worry! Written by JYP himself, “Bounce” is all about forgetting the stress of the real world for one blissful moment. JB and Jinyoung sing: “Now everyone gather here in front of my microphone / Now let go of all the worries stacked up in your heart / Our song will make you forget everything / Now get up from your seats, don’t hesitate / Look at me and go crazy with my music / Now if you’re ready, I’ll start running, follow me.”
The music video carries over that need for relaxation and fun. In the beginning, JB and Jinyoung sit in class, bored and tired, but when they get the chance to shake up the school day by performing their hit debut single, everyone’s worries are forgotten. Instead, they party it up, and shake it, shake it, shake it for the iconic debut single.
After a five-year hiatus, JJ Project returned in July 2017 with the new album Verse 2 during a gap in GOT7’s promotions. The mini-album featured eight total tracks all written and composed by Jinyoung and JB. Six of the album’s tracks, including their comeback “Today, Tomorrow,” were performed together, but Jinyoung and JB also released a single solo track each that were album exclusives too.
Verse 2 shot straight up onto the Korean and U.S. music charts, hitting second place on the Gaon album charts in Korea, ninth on the Billboard Heatseekers Album chart, and second on the Billboard World Albums chart in the U.S. It’s easy to see why this album was so popular; where JJ Project’s first mini-album is bubbly, chaotic, and full of youthful energy, Verse 2 is a mature, relaxed discussion through the trials and tribulations of adult life.
Their comeback single, “Today, Tomorrow,” speaks to that storyline. The song’s lyrics deal with the feelings of intimidation and trepidation that come along with starting out on a brand new path in life, like starting out in a new career, experiencing new love, or even leaving home for the first time. The duo sing: “Again today, there are questions I don’t know / I’m trying to answer but I’m not confident / Is it this way or that way? / I’m afraid of my decision / With an anxious heart, I’m standing in front of the next choice / Between paths that I’ve never gone on before / How can I find my way? / I’m afraid, day by day.”
“Today, Tomorrow” is a gorgeous, bittersweet R&B track that doesn’t end with a solid resolution in its lyrics, which is actually very fitting; there is never one straightforward answer to beginning a new life transition. Instead, the song’s music video features JB and Jinyoung walking in separate directions, but not without sparing each other a quick glance.
Whether it’s experimenting in new genres or continuing on their path of slow-grooving R&B and EDM songs, we know we can’t wait to see what direction JJ Project goes with their next album.