Being an older-than-your-average fan, who is already working and has stanned groups since 2009, I am perpetually worried about NCT 127.
Don’t worry, I’m not trying to inject unnecessary panic into people’s thoughts, I just wanted to share with y’all why it’s important to show our support for them in any way we can.
It’s just that you can really see how much different the group is compared to other groups and how different this era of kpop is for idols from the rest.
In this day and age, the success of a group suddenly seems linked to how viral they can be or how much hype they can illicit from the public. The “it” groups tend to be the ones who make it to popular dance covers and vines and trend words, etc.
But we all know NCT 127 has strayed from that path, as their music to begin with is unique (more k-hiphop than kpop really), and have immediately gained more international recognition than local (the k-public). While I’d like to believe that they are taking the slow and sure path upwards, than the usual viral-almost-immediately-famous path, I cant help but feel that this Cherry Bomb era was expected by the company and by our boys to explode virally. All of you can see that they did go all-out this time, with the crazy difficult choreography, 2D animation in the MV, all those practice videos and BOY videos, the promos, etc. We’re literally being spoiled by SM, meaning that SM and our boys have invested a lot on this comeback, hoping it would indeed explode their popularity (same way as Sorry Sorry, Growl/Monster, Gee, etc) .
Obviously, digital charts say otherwise (which I understand, nowadays girl groups and catchy-generic songs fair better digitally and 127′s k-fanbase is still much small), and in the coming music shows with them being up against famous groups, you can see how small they still are and how the bomb hasn’t exploded the way they would have wanted it to.
Fortunately, it seems that SM isn’t irked by this, and have even resorted to sticking to their sound when KBS banned the song from being promoted on air. Dont get me wrong, this era (which btw isnt done yet!!!) has managed to bring them more fame and more fans. I love that the reception for it, at least internationally, is so great, that non-i-fans have turned and converted into fans (we’re getting bigger in the fandom yay). I mean, look at our boys run!! Although they’ve only won once on a music show, they’ve been invited to two KCONs (turning three), several international music festivals, and won year-end rookie awards less than a year into their debut!!!
But really my worry stems more from the fact that our boys have probably been exhausted to the core in trying to be that big “HIT” they needed to be for this era, most esp to the kpublic. But I guess, it’s gonna take time, I just hope that each and every one of them will be strong enough to hold on to that dream until it happens.
In the mean time, please stream Cherry Bomb on Melon, Naver, GEnie and watch their MV as much as you can!