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NCT Dream Celebrates First Trilingual Hit on Global 200 With 'Hot Sauce'

NCT DREAM
Courtesy of SM Entertainment

NCT DREAM

Since the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart launched last September, Billboard has reported on the breadth of international collaborations and multilingual acts.

After BTS simultaneously logged three songs -- each in different languages (English, Japanese and Korean) -- on the Global Excl. U.S. chart in April, fellow South Korean act NCT Dream debuts at Nos. 51 and 96 on the latest, May 22-dated Global Excl. U.S. tally and Global 200, respectively, with "Hot Sauce," featuring vocals in English, Korean and Spanish. It is the first song in three languages to hit the Global 200.

The trilingual title track from NCT Dream's debut studio LP kicks off the album in uniquely global fashion. In addition to its around-the-world lyrics, Genius describes "Hot Sauce" as a "hip-hop song influenced by an Afrobeat sound," while its official video centers the boys at a Mexican-style taqueria.

The broad approach worked, as the song debuts with 23.5 million streams and 3,200 downloads sold worldwide in the week ending May 13, according to MRC Data. The overwhelming majority of that activity comes from outside the U.S. (95% of its streams and 90% of its sales), as is common with non-English-language songs, explaining the song's 45-point spread between its ranks on the Global Excl. U.S. and Global 200 charts.

"Hot Sauce" is the first entry on both global surveys for NCT Dream, and the third under the larger NCT brand. It follows NCT's "Make a Wish (Birthday Song)" (No. 74 Global Excl. U.S. peak; No. 128, Global 200) and NCT U's "90's Love" (No. 173, Global Excl. U.S.), making "Hot Sauce" the brand's highest charting song yet.

Bilingual songs are not a rarity on the global charts, or for South Korean acts. BTS and BLACKPINK, for example, have each charted with bilingual tracks on their own ("On" and "How You Like That," among others), and with American guests ("Boy With Luv," featuring Halsey, and "Bet You Wanna," featuring Cardi B).

But a trilingual song is something else. "Hot Sauce" is the first such title to crack the Global 200, and the second on the Global Excl. U.S. chart. K/DA's "More" peaked at No. 93 on the latter list in November 2020, encompassing English, Korean and Chinese lyrics.