The Billboard charts are being taken over by the boys of NCT with the release of their full-length album Empathy. Along with sending the LP to the top 10 of both the World and Heatseekers Albums charts, multiple teams under SM Entertainment’s K-pop boy band brand hit Billboard‘s World Digital Song Sales chart after weeks of teasing and sharing music releases.
Let us break down the chart takeover along with the different groupings of the ambitious — and admittedly sometimes confusing to understand — NCT brand and explain the significance of each chart accomplishment.
Leading the NCT takeover is NCT U whose singles “Baby Don’t Stop” and “Boss” arrive at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, on World Digital Songs.
NCT U is best described as the “United” team where songs are assigned to any NCT member or members based on who is the best fit. For this case, NCT U’s bold, intimidating synth anthem “Boss” was performed by members Taeyong, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Winwin, Jungwoo, Lucas and Mark, meanwhile the slinky “Baby Don’t Stop” was performed by members Taeyong and Ten, but all listed under the NCT U name. To date, NCT U has scored four Top 10 singles on World Digital Song Sales with the highest entry coming via 2016’s “The 7th Sense” which peaked at No. 2.
Following close behind is NCT 127 whose dreamy, feel-good pop jam “Touch” debuts at No. 13 this week. NCT 127 is based in Seoul, South Korea with the number “127” representing the longitude coordinate of the country’s capital city Seoul. Despite adding two new members in Johnny and Doyoung in the releases from 2016 singles “Fire Truck” to “Limitlesss,” NCT 127 is a group with a set lineup of its nine members and the current iteration is not expected to change moving forward.
To date, NCT 127 has also landed four entries on World Digital Songs with their highest coming via “Fire Truck.”
Also hitting the World Digital Song chart is NCT Dream with their electro-pop youth anthem “Go” that opens at No. 18. The closest team in concept to NCT U, this sect is the K-pop brand also utilizes the best and most appropriate members for its various releases — as long as they are teenagers. Member Mark’s birthday is Aug. 2 and this year will be considered 20-years-old (according to Korean age which counts people as age one upon birth) and will likely not be in future Dream releases.
“Go” is the fourth entry from NCT Dream. Their best chart entry is from 2016 single “Chewing Gum” that hit No. 2 on the tally.
A fourth team from NCT could make their appearance on the World Digital Song Sales chart as an upcoming music video for “Black on Black” performed by NCT 2018 will be released soon. SM Entertainment shared that this 18-member team of NCT 2018 represents all the NCT participants for at least the first half of the year, potentially indicating more members or teams joining the brand before NCT 2019 releases music.
Also, look out for a video for “Yestoday” by NCT U which could land NCT U yet another chart hit. But what NCT team will make their debut on the Billboard charts next? That’s exciting part about watching the NCT brand: You never know what will come next.