The K-pop Guidebook to NCT's Concept

By Catherine Tai

Why should we all stan NCT? Many people get intimidated over the fact they now have twenty-one members overall, divided into different subgroups. However, if you enjoy their music, you shouldn’t let that stop you from stanning an amazing group! There's been a lot of confusion over the NCT's concept, so here's a simple breakdown to get you one step closer to knowing all that you can!

The members of NCT have explained their concept many times on different variety shows, and even the hosts get confused! For instance, it took former Weekly Idol hosts Doni and Coni approximately 15–20 minutes to barely understand the concept on the show, and at the time, NCT only had eighteen members!

NCT stands for "Neo Culture Technology," which simply is a term to show that this group could have an unlimited amount of members. Right now there are five subgroups, each with a different concept and purpose within the overarching "limitless" theme: NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream, NCT 2018, and WayV (NCT China).

  • NCT U

NCT’s first unit, NCT U, debuted on April 9, 2016. The U stands for United, and songs are assigned to members of NCT that fit the concept the most. The number of members changes depending on the vibe of the song.

  • NCT 127

127 is the longitude coordinate of Seoul, which is where NCT 127 gets its name. The subunit made its debut on July 7, 2016. NCT 127 has a set number of members, and currently there are ten: Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Doyoung, Yuta, Jaehyun, Win Win, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan.

  • NCT Dream

NCT Dream debuted August 24, 2016 as “a team where teenagers unite.” It currently has six members: Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Chen Le, Jisung, and Jaemin. Mark, who was with NCT Dream since the subunit’s debut and is now part of NCT 127, graduated from the team at the end of 2018 due to the group's age limit of twenty for its concept.

  • NCT 2018

NCT 2018 was a project that included all eighteen members of NCT as each subunit—NCT U, NCT 127, and NCT Dream—was represented through musical contributions. The project resulted in the release of NCT's debut album, Empathy.

  • WayV (NCT China)

WayV is NCT's subunit that's based in China. The group has a set seven members: Kun, Ten, Winwin, Lucas, Xiaojun, Hendery, and Yangyang. They debuted January 17, 2019 with the Chinese version of NCT 127’s “Regular.”

Overall, NCT is the umbrella for all of its subunits, and all of the subunits are considered NCT. We hope this breakdown of NCT was helpful and simple to understand as you move toward learning more about each and every member of this talented group. If you have the time, be sure to check them out!

Let us know your favorite NCT song in the comments!

Cover Image: NCT (SM Entertainment)

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