Is NCT doing really good?
NCT U released its debut single "The 7th Sense" in April 2016, while NCT 127's 1st mini album was released 3 months after that. And NCT DREAM, which is comprised of teenage NCT members made a debut in August 2016, and NCT 127 made a comeback with its 2nd mini album in January 2017.
Well, As NCT is the new boy group of SM Entertainment, the biggest k-pop agency, it was expected that NCT rises as a super star as soon as it debuts. However, the result is below expectations. NCT U, NCT 127 and NCT DREAM ranked poorly on online music charts and couldn't attract public attention. Frankly speaking, many ordinary people in Korea never know of NCT. People say it's SM’s ignominious defeat, while some of them say that the slow growth of NCT is due to Taeyong's past wrongdoings. Well, it's true that SM is quite embarrassed by the slow growth of NCT because the agency expected NCT to become the next EXO. It seems like NCT has a long way to go.
By the way, SM is not in despair either. NCT is just a rookie boy group, and the group is now in the process of finding out its own musical characteristics, while SM has plenty of capital, which means NCT has enough time.
And if SM wanted to turn NCT into a super star right away, the agency would include some catchy hook songs in the group's album. But NCT's songs are quite experimental, while they don’t have the typical characteristics of k-pop music either. You know, k-pop music usually has Korean sensibilities, but NCT’s songs don’t.
Well, there’s a reason for it. SM is looking at the bigger picture now because the agency is dreaming of ruling the world music market by producing many different NCTs who are based on various different cities. To SM, NCT 127 is just a “Seoul-based” NCT, and the agency’s goal is not to make songs which are popular only among Korean fans but to make songs which are loved by many people all over the world. That’s why NCT’s songs could be unfamiliar to Korean music fans and the songs couldn't rank high on online music charts.
Actually, NCT's music is now winning rave reviews from people in the k-pop industry. When the music video of "The 7th Sense" was released, professional dancers and performers in the industry said "It's really awesome." Even though the song was not that popular among the public, the song and NCT's choreography were a big issue among industry workers. And they say NCT 127’s new song “Limitless,” which was released in January 2017 is also really outstanding because the unique song includes well designed sound and no other k-pop idol groups try such an experimental music. That NCT shows refined, high-quality music and performance is a view shared by people in the k-pop world.
And the notable thing is that NCT is now evaluated as the best rap performance group in the history of SM. The group’s rapper Mark shows really impressive rap performance, and some people in the k-pop world even say he’s better than young rappers of YG Entertainment, one of the biggest k-pop agency which has some of the biggest hip hop musicians.
So, even though it can’t be said NCT is a huge success yet, many people in the k-pop industry predict that NCT will be able to rise as a super star in the near future. And it is encouraging that NCT has a high record of album sales despite its low ranking on online music charts because it means the group is making many loyal fans.