The album was officially released on March 14 and reached an impressive 200,000 pre-orders, which is double the amount of NCT 127’s 100,000 pre-orders for ‘Cherry Bomb’ last summer.
NCT, or Neo Culture Technology, debuted in 2016 with a new concept never seen before in K-pop–a concept of openness and expandability. This means that members will continue to be added and new units will debut in Korea and other countries around the world (China, Japan, etc).
Most groups have a set line-up of members; sometimes members are added late and some may leave their group, but K-pop has not tried this system yet. It can be compared to the system of Japan’s best-selling girl group AKB48 where members can “graduate” from the group and more members can be added.
Everyone gets confused by this concept, so to break it down: right now NCT’s units consist of NCT U–the rotational unit, NCT 127–the unit based in Seoul, NCT Dream–the unit with the youngest members, and now NCT 2018–a large scale project planned for 2018.
The members can also move freely between units–something that might prevent more SM Entertainment idols from leaving the company, which has led to lots of drama and many legal battles (i.e. TVXQ, EXO).
In January, SM Entertainment introduced NCT 2018 and it’s three new faces–Lucas, Jungwoo, and Kun–making NCT an 18 member group. The members are from all over the world: Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, America, and Canada.
NCT in total is made up of Taeyong, Mark, Jaehyun, Doyoung, Haechan, Ten, Winwin, Johnny, Yuta, Taeil, Chenle, Jisung, Jaemin, Jeno, Renjun, Lucas, Jungwoo, and Kun (and you’ll literally fall in love with every single one of them).
In February, NCT U made a comeback after two years with the hard-hitting single “BOSS” with two new members: rapper Lucas and vocalist Jungwoo.
After that, Taeyong and Ten teamed up for the seductive single “Baby Don’t Stop” where we get to hear the rapper’s and the dancer’s sweet vocals. The group traveled to Ukraine to film both of the music videos.
Aside from the intro “Neo got my Back” and the outro “VISION,” the album only contained one brand new song–”YESTODAY”–a mellow, urban R&B track which features Taeyong, Mark, Lucas, and Doyoung. Lucas’ rap is completely in English too!
At the album’s showcase, all 18 members performed on stage for the first time ever with the track “Black on Black,” proving again how powerful they are in performance, vocals, rap, and visuals.
You can listen to NCT’s latest album EMPATHY on Spotify and iTunes now!