NCT 127 have made their grand return with their new single and will be dropping their fourth studio album tomorrow, with both title track and album sharing the same name 2 Baddies. This is the NCT unit’s first comeback in the release of Favorite (Vampire) back in October of last year. Since then, we have seen comebacks from NCT DREAM and some of the members undertake solo ventures through the NCT Lab.
2 Baddies feels very comfortable for NCT 127. Described as a hip-hop dance track, this is the main style of music that the group has been putting out for their title tracks and it is pretty much in the wheelhouse of the group. Aside from the questionable main hook of the song (i.e., the ‘2 Baddies 2 Baddies 1 Porsche‘) and the title of the song, I do find 2 Baddies is on the safer side of this style. Just nothing really surprised me with this release. Given that this is NCT 127, 2 Baddies would naturally be heavily rap focused and I believe the song features some pretty decent rap verses. I did think the verses was holding back in terms of energy and dynamism, but each rapper brought their own degree of coolness to 2 Baddies. Per usual, I am more drawn to the vocals and the pre-choruses really showed off the vocal lines of the group really well. The vocals contrasted well with the rappers, allowing 2 Baddies to feel quite balanced. We also get that balance with smooth vocals at the beginning and hype energy from the rappers in the second half of the bridge. However, I kind of wished Taeil’s high note soared higher and longer, as I just wanted a few seconds more of his high note to really give 2 Baddies a wow factor. 2 Baddies peaks with its chorus which is its chanty anthem-like approach and the instrumental does feel relatively more explosive when we reach the choruses. As mentioned, I think the lyrical component of the hook is terrible, but I do find the actual rhythm to have a ring and feel somewhat catchy. And knowing me, this might help 2 Baddies grow on me with more listens. The final sequence of 2 Baddies might also be able to help, as I thought closes out the song on a very fulfiling and memorable note. Overall, 2 Baddies was appreciable for a NCT 127 track and an energetic listen. But it also doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
The whole 15 second intro to the music video was probably one of the best editing works in KPOP to date. The way those individual scenes came together to a flawless sequence was amazing. This amazing editing work continues throughout the video and helps glue the video together. Though, I wished we saw more of that intro style within the video as well. The rest of the music video features neon lights, a lot of car and racing references, fluorescence paint. It all looked pretty cool. All members looked great, with Jaehyun really distracting me throughout this video with his visuals. Some of the members even took off their shirts, which I am sure fans are enjoying!
I didn’t see anything mind blowing or insane in this routine through the music video, but I think the choreography did a great job of picking up the energy and making the song feel more dynamic. Especially that ending, where I felt the routine helped hype up the song in its final moments.
Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10