Release Date: February 19, 2018
Total running time: 00:03:34
Recommended For: NCT fans; people who like hip-hop and R&B; those trying to get into experimental groups
NOT Recommended For: People who don’t like Hip-Hop or Rap
SM’s newest boy group, NCT, has been a bit of a head-scratcher for many K-pop fans. The slew of members thrown into an ever changing line-up has caused great confusion. Despite this, they have managed to come out with some of the most interesting and experimental tracks K-pop has to offer. As SM promises even greater activity from the group in 2018, all eyes are on them to see if they can do as well as their seniors or carve their own future.
“Boss” is the first NCT U song since 2016’s “7th Sense” and the first track from the self titled Yearbook Project.
Of their hip-hop songs, “Boss” is the least daring. However, it is more enjoyable on first listen compared to “Cherry Bomb” and “Fire Truck”. It focuses on creating a poppy Hip-Hop track, and forgets about trying to be too experimental. This allows the production to take center stage. The mixing and engineering is top notch and even when the song switches tempos, from the pre-chorus to the chorus and then from the bridge to the last rap, “Boss” does not lose itself. All the different parts flow well enough to create a cohesive track. The music video is similar to that of “Limitless” and is a continuation of the grunge aesthetic. It is an enjoyable watch, mostly due to the fact that NCT is full of attractive members.
The rap is quite impressive and Lucas’ debut is both memorable and wonderful. While it is clear that he is still behind Mark and Taeyong, he does well to hold his ground. Mark and Taeyong’s duet near the end is also very well executed and adds an interesting dynamic to the song’s switched tempo.
The vocal line takes a back seat here but Jungwoo, who is also a new addition, proves to be a great addition as well, as he shines with what he is given. It is a bit disappointing that the vocals do not shine as much since NCT is capable group. However, the little harmonies that we do get are very well done.
Conceptually, “Boss” is no different from the previous singles released by NCT-127. Still, it manages to be both (semi) experimental and enjoyable. If one expects this single to reveal new things about the group’s musicality then (s)he will be solely disappointed. The song does nothing to show us beyond what is already known about NCT. That’s okay though, as it still serves as a good follow up to their past singles.
All in all, “Boss” is a great track that heighten’s my anticipation for the next releases. SM has promised us a grand undertaking consisting of at least five singles (and music videos), so we can expect more hip-hop and more experimentation. As an introduction to this project, “Boss” serves its purpose well.