“Hot Sauce” by NCT Dream
Of course the title of this song (“Hot Sauce”) – unless maybe if it were being dropped by Weird Al Yankovic – is a metaphor. Or rather, let’s say that it establishes the motif upon which the lyrics are based.
And what is going down is that the vocalist(s) is basically touting his influence over the addressee. So, in an attempt to simplify the narrative, let’s say that he is the titular “hot sauce”, as in being “unusual(ly) spicy”.
And his flavor is one which the addressee finds irresistible. In fact said individual(s) is “addicted” to the taste – so much so that in the first pre-chorus it appears that the boys even issue a warning in that regard. But overall, they are in fact inviting this person to “deeply dip” in.
Who is the Addressee?
And concerning the addressee, with our Western sensibilities it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that such would be a romantic interest. But also being familiar with K-pop culture and tropes, all things considered it is more likely that NCT Dream are actually singing to their fandom, who for the record are referred to as Dreamzens. And with that premise in mind what they are actually saying, in a roundabout way, is that their music and style is poppin’.
In fact we will conclude this post by making the observation that K-pop music appears to be coming increasingly braggadocious. And perhaps such is to be expected considering that the acts are going global on top of being heavily influenced by hip-hop.
The music video to the song was actually inspired by Mexican culture, with the crew thematically being situated in a taqueria, i.e. a shop that specializes in serving tacos. And of course hot sauce is commonly served as a condiment with tacos.
As at the writing of this post, a day after Hot Sauce was officially released on 10 May 2021, NCT itself is 23 dudes’ deep. Meanwhile NCT Dream, a subunit of the overall crew, consists of seven members, because in South Korea they get down like that.
In fact they are quite a few sizable K-pop acts, so sometimes breaking them down is a necessity. And there are actually four NCT subunits in all, which would be NCT U, NCT 127, WayV and NCT Dream.
And currently NCT Dream consists of the same members in 2016, who are as follows:
NCT Dream was conceptualized as the youth wing of the overall NCT crew. What that means is as originally planned, once members of the subunit reached 19 years of age – which is considered to be full adulthood in South Korea – they would ‘graduate’ from NCT Dream.
The first to have done so was Mark, being the eldest, who ‘graduated’ in 2019. However, due to the overall success of the project, he returned in late 2020. And this is the first track he’s participated on since rejoining NCT Dream.
“Hot Sauce” is the title track of the first studio full-length NCT Dream itself has ever put out. However, they have dropped five EPs – or mini albums as they’re sometimes referred to in that part of the world – up until this point.
And those would be “We Young” (2017), “We Go Up” (2018), “We Boom” (2019), “Reload” (2020) as well as one created for Japanese-speaking audiences entitled “The Dream” (2020).
And this project is a product of the band’s label, SM Entertainment, one of the premiere companies that helped make K-pop international.
We know that just like the rest of the musical world, K-poppers have been influenced by American hip-hop. And in the case of this track, NCT Dream actually interpolated a Busta Rhymes’ classic, 2006’s “Touch It”.
More Facts about “Hot Sauce”
This song was written by lyricist Jo Yoon Kyung, a regular writer of SM Entertainment acts. And the other co-writer in Moon Yeo Leum.
Meanwhile the production of the track was more of an international effort. We have SM Entertainment regular Yoo Young-jin accomplishing the task. He accomplished it alongside Martin Wave from Sweden and a couple of homeys from Zimbabwe known as Bantu & Dr. Chaii.
We’re writing this article less than 24 hours after “Hot Sauce” officially came out. And as we write this, the song has blown up very fast. In fact the music video to this track managed to reach 10,000,000 YouTube views in just 10 hours. What this means is that it averaged one million views per hour.
And SM Entertainment is able to boast of that being the fastest which any of their male acts have ever achieved such a view count.
This song also led to what is termed an “All Kill” in South Korea. What that apparently means in this particular case is that the top-three slots on the country’s MelOn Real-Time music chart are all held by NCT Dream.
So “Hot Sauce” is at number one and two other songs from the album, “Dive Into You” and “Diggity”, are respectively holding down the numbers two and three on the list.