As I mention many songs that led me into this journey, I am sharing a YT playlist that I've created to help you enjoy what I heard as well. Enjoy!
How I met NCT
Watching the 2022 MBC Music Festival for my Kpop ultimate bias, Lee JunHo, I ran into a performance that changed my life. It was "Can We Go Back (후유증)" by Jungwoo, Jaehyun & Doyoung of NCT. Now, I had no idea who NCT was or really who these three men were. I’d seen Doyoung, the one doing the most talking, on a show before but I couldn’t remember where. I discovered as
Master in the House was coming to an end that I met Doyoung there about a year ago as the scared guy when they had mixed martial artist Choo Sung Hoon (SexyYama) on the show. No clarification on the bunny ears but I kept in mind he was the timid rabbit guy.
The performance led to me creating memes and TikToks because I liked it that much. After seeing the replies from other fans, I started looking them up and found out they were in a group called NCT. The most hilarious part is that I had always talked about these large groups with so many members that you can’t keep up and of course, I’d found the largest one. There are 23 members. That made me intimidated, so I put them down.
In my drama watching, I’d shifted to more variety style watching and I was bored at the time (Feb. 2023), so I looked for some variety shows to watch on Kocowa while I waited for PeakTime updates and for Jinny’s Kitchen to start. I saw something called NCT Life in Gapyeong and decided to watch it. My guys, 2PM, didn’t have any new content for me to watch, so I decided to see what other teams were doing. As I watched, I noticed that I’d seen that guy, Doyoung again from the music show in December. I decided to stick it out despite there being a lot of these guys. I noticed that this show only had 9 of them and they were fun to watch.
As I watched NCT Life in Gapyeong, I started to really enjoy this group who I found out was
NCT127 and I started falling for one who had this awesome smile and he was amazingly attractive. Well if you know me, I start digging and researching stuff. I looked up NCT127 on Google and found out there are 9 of them currently. I discovered Cutie Pie’s name is Jaehyun and that he’s also an actor. The drama he starred in was on my watchlist on Viki as someone had recommended it to me but I hadn’t watched it yet. I started it. It was alright. The story line was really cool, and I like how it played out BUT there was no real spark or impact. I’d love to see him in a drama with more moody or dark tones based upon his personality that he gives when performing or interviewing.
From here, I began to explore the music. I like to start at the beginning, so I find their debut (or so I thought) song, 일곱 번째 감각 (The 7th Sense) and fell in LOVE!! My nephew and I are very close so I sent him the song (I never do that). He knows me best and my musical tastes. When he was younger, I was his transportation everywhere and I have always been a music head so when I was really feeling a song, he was privy to it or better yet worn out by it. One song in particular is among our jokes. I was in my Master P era and was rocking Weed and Hennesey every day in the car. He requested that I PLEASE find a new song. So when I texted him to tell him about the song, I said this was my new Weed & Hennessy.
I grew up in a musical family. There are lots of musicians in my family. Some have released albums, some are Grammy awarded, and others are still active in bands or groups. We always had music playing and a wide variety of it. We have a dedicated once a year party that was just to get together to vibe to music & chill. It's called "The After Christmas Party" and that has been going on for about 37 years minus two years for the pandemic.
So, I’ve listened to old school R&B, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Big Band, 80’s & 90’s Rock, Pop, current R&B, World Beats, Old School Hip Hop, East Coast Rap, West Coast Rap, Gangster Rap, Dirty South Rap, Zydeco, Christian, Gospel, French Rap, etc. So, I had no problem listening to Korean music. As with any music, it has to sound good to me and I’m good. NCT’s 일곱 번째 감각 (The 7th Sense) did that for me and sent me down the huge ass NCT rabbit hole.
(I need you to know I am still falling down this hole as I type).
As I explored their WIDE discography and learned about the units and members, I realized that I really, really liked this group and the machine behind them that was producing these gems. I mean like I was having trouble finding music I didn’t like. I just kept discovering new "Weed and Hennessys". I didn’t think it was possible but here I was getting prepared to buy old albums because I liked that many songs. I have a rule, unless I can find 5 or more songs on an album that I like, I won’t purchase but stream what I like. But when I have that many, I want to own a physical copy. NCT127 had a new album drop and I was digging it as well.
I also wanted the swag that comes with buying Korean pop albums - photo cards, posters, photo books, etc. Uhm, I went in! I have six albums, a light stick, and have started trading photo cards for ones of Jamal. (That’s a iykyk)
I realized that as I was deciding to become a NCTzen that NCT127 had a concert in my city just a month ago before I had gotten to know them. Do you know how devastated I was?! If I had done this digging in December, I would have had a chance to see them live! At any rate, my one plus is that the SM Machine does a wonderful job of feeding their fans because we eat all the damn time and sometimes too much it seems (but I PROMISE I am not complaining because I'm coming from a group that bread crumbs are hard as hell to find. Even the fan creators are tired but understandably so (but that’s a tale for BGS Kpop Kronicles, Part 3).
Alright, I’ve given you enough about my new loves - let me try to explain them to you:
NCT stands for Neo Culture Technology. There are 23 members and there are/will be 6 fixed units (that’s as of March 2023). The fandom name is NCTzen (meaning all the fans are citizens of NCT). NCT Fan Color is Pearl Neo Champagne (which is in the lime green family).
NCT 127 - consists of nine members: Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan. They are known for neo music which is heavily experimental hip-hop, r&b, pop, and ballad sounds. The 127 is the longitude coordinate for Seoul, South Korea.
NCT Dream - consists of seven members: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung. They were intended to be the teenaged unit of NCT but have become a fixed unit with a focus on youth/adolescence, growth, and the transition into adulthood through teen pop.
NCT U - is NCT United which has a rotational line-up that means members change depending on the song's concept.
WayV (pronounced WēiShén V) - WayV stands for We are your Vision. This is the Chinese group. There are officially seven members: Kun, Ten, Winwin, Lucas, Xiaojun, Hendery, and Yangyang but only six are active right now as one was caught in controversy that has benched him. They are known for C-pop (Chinese popular music), Mandopop (Mandarin popular music), K-pop (Korean popular music), hip hop, and R&B.
NCT DoJaeJung - They are a three-member group consisting of Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Jungwoo. Their music is mainly r&b. The name is made from the three members' names “Do" from Doyoung, "Jae" from Jaehyun and "Jung" from Jungwoo. This unit’s pre-debut performance ["Can We Go Back (후유증)"] is what led me to the NCT fandom.
NCT Tokyo (?) - The name is to assign the region that will be covered but it's not the formal name. This group has been part of the plan for some time but as SM Entertainment has been going through some management changes, it appears to be taking longer than initially thought to come to fruition. SM Entertainment did announce that this year this unit would debut. There have been no official dates or members mentioned yet.
Suffice it to say, I am in this neo culture for life now! As a NCTizen, I have begun to look ahead and I see we have military duty in our near future. I plan to ride out these upcoming military duty losses knowing we are going to get some great solo work and more NCT U work than before. The good thing is that the members are from all over the world, so all of them don’t have mandatory military duty to fulfill which will leave members to keep creating while others take care of their nation’s duty. I wish them nothing but success & growth as a whole and within their respective units!
Preview for BGS Kpop Khronicles pt. 3 -
Song Rae talks about being a multi and the difficulty it poses her heart. She’ll share about her two ult bias (ultimate bias) loves and conflicts she’s been dealing with. Check back in two weeks for part 3!
*Not to be confused with "My Kpop Chronicles" by Patrina Mitchell.