Neo Culture Technology, or NCT as the more familiar term, is an intriguingly unique concept. SM Entertainment’s vision of an unlimited boy group that could potentially span the globe is an ambitious goal indeed. While I’ve definitely been caught in the web of releases from both NCT 127 and NCT U, the subunit of youngest members, NCT DREAM, have more often than not, fallen off my radar. This week’s edition of K-pop Katch-up is a concerted effort to remedy that.
My first impression of NCT DREAM was via their debut release, “Chewing Gum,” and not really to my taste. The music video for that song was sugary sweet, like the song itself, and wholly appropriate for the members who were between the ages of 14 to 17 at the time.
It is apparent from the very beginning of “Go” that this was not going to be anything like that. The sound itself is just so dirty, for lack of a better word. And I don’t mean dirty in the lewd way (although it is a bit sexy, I’ll admit.) No, it’s more like … perhaps gritty is the best way to describe it. It’s just there, in your face, a fist curled into your shirt as it screams, “Hey! Hey, pay attention to me! ” I was seriously not expecting that from the NCT babies. They didn’t come to play around, and they’re not going to let you forget that.
One of my favorite things is the way that this song is both an anthem and an oath:
Another pain, another page
Another song, this one
If no one can understand me
Then my dream will make you understand
Shout out even louder, go
Trust your ego and for everything else, eyes closed
This isn’t just my monologue
We’re dreaming together, dreamers shout back
It’s this message, blended with the grungy beat that basically sealed the deal for me. I’m a sucker for these types of ideas, be it in a song, a book or on the screen. I think because it sparks the rebellion inside of my own soul, helps me remember to step outside this box — encapsulated perfectly in the lines, “We have a desire for a better world / Add on your story if you can relate, your voice.”
Visually, this video is a perfect fit for the song — misfits, banded together, running through the streets, gathered under the moonlight. A gang of Youth, filled with the fire of dreams and the brazenness to go out and take what they deserve. It’s interspersed with shots of the choreography, knife-like in the precision that all NCT subunits excel at, and, even more fitting in my opinion, little candid scenes of the members. It really seems to bring home these are children/young adults coming into their own and having that determination that one has when they’re young and passion-filled.
So yeah, a bit surprised at this one and looking forward to more from these boys. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tear down the patriarchy.
Life moves fast. K-pop moves faster. K-pop Katch-up is a weekly feature that offers a second chance on that one music video that got away!