NCT U


  • I. Introduction

    NCT (엔시티) or Neo Culture Technology is a boy group under SM Entertainment. The group structure of NCT is unique among K-Pop groups due to the fact that the concept of NCT is an ever expanding group with "unlimited" members and it is comprised of several individual subunits. Currently there are 23 members in NCT making up four individual subunits. A fifth unit is expected to debut in 2021.


    The NCT U sub-unit is a special promotional unit with rotational members. Members are chosen to perform based on the song and concept, and the groups are often heavily performance-driven. As of December 2020, all current members of NCT have promoted under the NCT U subunit.


    II. Debut

    NCT U was the first NCT sub-unit announced on April 4, 2016. It debuted on April 9 with the singles "The 7th Sense" and "Without You." "The 7th Sense" was a highly dance-focused and rap-intensive song, featuring Taeyong, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun and Mark, while the vocally-driven mid-tempo song "Without You" featured future NCT main vocalists Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun and, on the Chinese version, Kun. In addition to recording and performing in music videos, NCT U groups will also perform on music shows and other performances within the same grouping.



    III. SM Station

    Two of the three permanent NCT sub-units launched in 2016, NCT 127 and NCT Dream. NCT U returned as part of the digital SM Station project, NCT U released its third single, "Timeless," another vocally-driven song featuring the three main vocalists of NCT 127, Taeil, Doyoung and Jaehyun.


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    IV. Empathy

    The majority of NCT U songs are released in conjunction with the biennial NCT projects, where all of the sub-units come together to create an album and promote content with cross-unit activities. The NCT U combinations continue to be selected by song, so that a heavily rap-focused track will utilize NCT's strongest rappers across the units and heavily vocal-focused track will only utilize the group's key vocalists.



    NCT launched the NCT 2018 project on March 14, 2018, featuring all NCT members, and debuting three new ones. This project also included the first NCT full album, NCT 2018 Empathy. For Empathy, the NCT U groups featured re-releases of previous songs "The 7th Sense" and "Without You," as well as new combinations incorporating new NCT members. The performance-driven song "Black on Black" had been previously utilized during NCT's year-end performances at the end of 2016, although not released.


    Song Emphasis Promo track Members
    "Boss" combination: dance, vocal, rap yes Taeyong, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Winwin, Mark, (new members) Jungwoo and Lucas
    "Baby, Don't Stop" vocal, rap, strong dance yes Taeyong, Ten (both main dancers)
    "Yestoday" heavy rap yes Taeyong, Doyoung, Lucas, Mark
    "Black on Black" heavy rap, heavy dance yes Taeyong, Lucas, Yuta, Jeno, Mark, all 18 members dancing
    "Timeless" heavy vocal no Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun (all main vocalists)
    "The 7th Sense" heavy rap, dance emphasis yes Taeyong, Ten, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Mark (mostly main or lead dancers)
    "Without You" heavy vocal yes Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun (Korean version)/ Taeil, Kun, Doyoung, Jaehyun (Chinese version)
    (all main vocalists)


    The NCT U groups feature significantly in show-stopping year-end performances in Korea, especially during NCT project years in conjunction with the other sub-units.


    V. SM Station Winter

    NCT U released another single as part of the digital SM Station project, "Coming Home," a winter ballad featuring only NCT 127's main vocalists, Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun and Haechan.


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    VI. Resonance

    NCT launched another all-unit project in October 2020, featuring all NCT members, and debuting two new ones. This NCT 2020 project also included a 2-part NCT full album, NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 and NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 2 and an accompanying TV show, NCT World 2.0. For Resonance, all the NCT U groups and songs were brand new.


    The album was released in two parts, so different NCT U groups promoted during each album's launch.


    Song Emphasis Promo Track Members
    Resonance Pt. 1:
    "Make A Wish (Birthday Song)" heavy dance, vocal and rap yes Taeyong, Doyoung, Yuta, Jaehyun, Lucas, Xiaojun, Jaemin, Shotaro
    "Misfit" all rap no Johnny, Taeyong, Mark, Hendery, Jeno, Yangyang, Sungchan (all rappers)
    "Volcano" rap and vocal no Taeyong, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Winwin, Jungwoo, Lucas, Mark
    "Light Bulb" heavy rap and vocal no Taeyong, Kun, Doyoung, Sungchan (main rappers and vocalists)
    "Dancing in the Rain" rap and vocal no Taeil, Johnny, Yuta, Kun, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Xiaojun, Chenle
    "Faded in My Last Song" rap and vocal no Taeil, Johnny, Yuta, Ten, Lucas, Renjun, Haechan, Jisung
    "From Home" heavy vocal yes Taeil, Yuta, Kun, Doyoung, Renjun, Haechan, Chenle (mostly main vocalists)
    Resonance Pt. 2
    "90s Love" heavy dance and rap yes Ten, Winwin, Mark, Jeno, Haechan, Yangyang, Sungchan (main/lead dancers, main/lead rappers)
    "Raise the Roof" rap and vocal no Taeil, Johnny, Yuta, Kun, Jungwoo, Hendery, Renjun, Chenle, Jisung
    "My Everything" heavy vocal no Taeil, Xiaojun, Renjun (all main vocalists)
    "Work It" dance and vocal yes Johnny, Yuta, Ten, Jungwoo, Hendery, Jaemin, Jisung
    "All About You" vocal no Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Mark, Hendery, Shotaro, Sungchan, Chenle
    "I.O.U." vocal and rap no Taeyong, Kun, Doyoung, Yangyang, Shotaro, Chenle, Jisung


    For NCT 2020, NCT U groups performed individually for year-end performances, as well as in a special mash-up song and performance, "Resonance," that incorporated multiple NCT U songs and groups, with each group breaking out to perform their specific portion. The combination song included portions of "Make A Wish," "90s Love", "Work It" and "Raise the Roof."


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    VII. Discography

    Promotional Singles

    Title Release Albums Korea
    Gaon
    US
    World
    Other
    Charts
    "The 7th Sense" 2016 single, re-released on NCT 2018 Empathy 111 2
    "Without You" 2016 single, re-released on NCT 2018 Empathy 126 3 China Billboard
    5
    "Timeless" 2018 SM Station Season 2 single, re-released on NCT 2018 Empathy - - -
    "Boss" 2018 NCT 2018 Empathy 97 3
    "Baby Don't Stop" 2018 NCT 2018 Empathy - 2 -
    "Yesterday" 2018 NCT 2018 Empathy - - -
    "Coming Home" 2019 SM Station X 4 LOVEs for Winter single - - -
    "Make A Wish" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 14 11 JPN Hot 100: 59
    "From Home" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 92 - -
    "90s Love" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 2 84 15 -
    "Work It" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 2 123 23 -


    Other Charted Singles

    Title Release Album Korea
    Gaon
    US
    World
    Other
    Charts
    "Misfit" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 130
    "Volcano" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 168
    "Faded in My Last Song" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 186
    "Dancing in the Rain" 2020 NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 188

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