If you have been keeping up with who has been dominating the domestic and international K-pop charts of late, the name NCT should ring more than just a few bells. Short for New Culture Technology, the newest group from SM Entertainment is built around the idea of being limitless — in terms of the number of members, genres, and concepts — fit for a global audience. With 18 members, three subunits (NCT U, NCT Dream and NCT 127) and more to come, read on to get a better understanding of who these talented and charismatic group of boys are and what makes them so "well-charted" compared to their peers.
NCT in 2018 is made of: Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Kun, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun, Winwin, Jungwoo, Lucas, Mark, Renjun, Jeno Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle and Jisung. According to fans, rapper Taeyong apprises the role of leader in the group, while Ten is the main dancer.
Lucas, Jungwoo and Kun were officially added to the line-up earlier in February this year, bumping the original strength count of 15 to 18. But that definitely will not be the last of the exciting changes we will see happening to the group.
So there are three subunits: NCT U, NCT Dream and NCT 127. They have also recently released their first album with all 18 members, titled NCT 2018 Empathy and headed by an intense, dance-heavy Black On Black. However, the other three subunits have been putting out tracks since 2016, and will probably give you a better idea of how well these boys can move and sing to such high-energy tracks, and still look flawless, if you are just getting to know them.
NCT U, according to SM, "represents all units of NCT". In other words, the members of this subunit will rotate according to how well they suit a comeback concept, a way of taking advantage of the various members' different fortes. Their latest release includes bops like 'Boss', featuring the members Taeyong, Jaehyun, Doyoun, Mark, Winwin and newcomers Lucas and Jungwoo, as well as 'Baby Don't Stop', shining the limelight on Taeyong and Ten.
The other subunit, NCT Dream, is based very simply on the fact that its members are below 20. Debuting in August 2016, they consist of Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Chenle, Jisung and Jaemin. Mark, a rapper, is the only member to have been featured in all the subunits so far, but their latest release, 'We Go Up', marks his graduation as he turned 20 on 2 August.
The "127" of the last subunit, NCT 127, represents the longitudinal coordinate of the Seoul. You guessed it, this subunit is Seoul-based, and includes the members Johnny, Taeyong, Jaehyun, Doyoung, Taeil, Yuta, Winwin, Mark Haechan and newbie Jungwoo. Their debut track "Fire Truck" made for quite the party song of 2016's year-end festivities.
So why exactly are they so popular? It could be that beyond catering to different types of audiences, the members themselves come from a myriad of countries, (Thailand (Ten), Canada (Mark), Japan (Yuta), the United States (Johnny) and China (Winwin, Renjun, Chenle, Lucas and Kun)), and thus have affinities with different places.
It could also just be that there is a very healthy mix of different personalities, making it truly a blast to watch their meme-filled variety show, NCT Life.
But a larger part to all of this is really just how spectacular their performances are, and the fact the you can always see how hard the boys go to give their everything in their music videos, dance practices and every other stage. Their hip-hop swag seems to have been in them ever since forever, coursing through their veins and coming off with every single stare or smirk.
If you are interested and now more ready to listen to their music, we recommend NCT U's 'Baby Don't Stop'. However, if you're more down for the fun on-the-go, head straight for NCT 127's 'Cherry Bomb' and 'Limitless'.
Don't say we didn't warn you about irresistible grooving!