“I’m the biggest hit on the stage,” NCT 127 proclaims in their thumping electronic hip-hop track “Cherry Bomb.”
On Wednesday (June 14), the K-pop boy band dropped their latest single and an EP by the same name. Not to be confused with Tyler, The Creator’s 2015 album, Cherry Bomb is NCT 127’s third EP since they dropped their debut short-player, Firetruck, last year.
Propulsive and built to be performed on the very stage they’re swaggering about — there’s even a second, performance-focused version of the single on the album with an added dance break — “Cherry Bomb” is a complex synth and bass-infused track co-written by NCT 127 rappers Taeyong and Mark.
Accordingly, the single turns the conventional K-pop song-structure on its head, placing an emphasis on rapping over singing, with only a handful of melodic interludes outside of the chanty chorus. Adding in lyrics sampled from a children’s song ( “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”), “Cherry Bomb” is an adventure in K-pop ingenuity.
The single’s animation-laced music video emphasizes NCT 127’s performance element through numerous shots of the nine members dancing the choreography, including several in front of a theatrical red curtain as if to emulate a stage.
As one of three active units of the larger NCT project produced by SM Entertainment, one of K-pop’s most prominent labels, NCT 127 is still a rising act in the competitive K-pop scene, but already a strong competitor. Their last album, January’s Limitless, appeared on multiple Billboard charts, including Heatseekers and the Independent Albums charts, and also landed at the top spot on the World Albums chart.
The boy band released “Cherry Bomb” just days before they head to the New York metropolitan area for KCON 2017 NY next week, where the act will have their first stateside performance at Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center, a venue that’s hosted numerous K-pop concerts.
Watch the music video for “Cherry Bomb”: