TOP Entertainment has their fair share of male groups (Teen Top and UP10TION). But interestingly, none of their current lineup have delved into the hip hop genre that many male groups have been tackling. However, it seems that MCND is going to TOP Entertainment’s answer to this. The soon-to-be six member group made their pre-debut on the 2nd of January with a five member lineup (Castle J, BIC, Minjae, Huijun, and Win), with the sixth apparent member being Yechan (who currently is promoting as part of the project group 1THE9). No actual debut date has been set yet.
The group pre-debuts with TOP GANG, which is a track that has a heavy hand in the hip-hop genre. As mentioned on Monday through Zico’s review, this is not my cup of tea. It is loaded with raps and feels extremely weighted, which isn’t my personal style. But the rapping does have some momentum to with it, which drives the song forward in a neat manner. The song is no doubt a good introduction to the group’s rap line. After all, a lot of the hip-hop centric tracks tend show rappers in a strong, vigorous and tough limelight. However, their group’s current vocal line is short handed in this song, with their parts being forgotten and doesn’t even spark any curiosity about their potential. Other groups manage to find a balance in some capacity, but this track didn’t feel like it even tried. Hopefully their debut will find a little more balance between the two elements. I also wish their instrumental isn’t too typical in their debut track, which was the impression that I got in this track.
The music video starts off with some closeup that shows the members names, making it easy for new viewers and fans to identify the members (like an opening montage to some TV shows). And I think that is a great tactic when it comes to the first release of a group (rather than have rely on more physical features, such as face shape or hair colour, to determine who is who from their teaser images). For the rest of the video, there really isn’t much to it other than the members rapping and dancing along to the song. Plus some more solo closeups and group shots. There isn’t anything else that adds substance to the video to make it worth watching in my opinion.
One good thing about the performance that I noticed was that it gave some of the members an opportunity to perform without the other members in the background. I think this is a good way to be fair to all the members, especially after the unbalance nature of the song. The song also seems challenging to perform on stage, since it requires a lot of energy to rap and dance together in such a powerful manner like what they did. So props to them.
Song – 6/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.4/10
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