NCT 127 Commands Rebellion with “Simon Says”
NCT 127 quickly returned with an unconventional game of “Simon Says” on November 23 with the release of their first repackaged album, Regulate. As an extension of their first album Regular-Irregular, that centers around transforming our desired dreams into realities, this urban hip-hop track channels both realms that guide in finding our true identities.
Alluding to the popular children’s game centered on obedience, the lyrics explore how we are helpless players of this real-life, continuous Simon Says game by following all the commands of “Simon” who symbolizes society’s expectations. The members, however, act as rebels that break through society’s monotonous rhythm through the beat of their own drum: filled with sharp synths, heavy bass riffs that wreck of havoc, and rowdy chanting that makes listeners feel like they are part of their revolution. Paying no attention to Simon’s instructions, these “real vibe killers” take back control by becoming the masters of their own game.
His second NCT directed music video since “The 7th Sense,” Beomjin J of VM Project brings the song to life with stunning visuals that create a cinematic story of defiance. The group mechanically marches in an endless circle, portraying the repetitive cycle of obedience by following Simon’s every order. And although each member adorns a uniquely designed mask, they may symbolize conformity disguised as individuality and rip them off as rebellion against blind compliance. The song starts with what seems like a battle cry that initiates the beginning of a revolt, dominating formal conference tables and using every microphone available to disrupt silence and wake listeners up into a new life free from limits and doubts.
Combining thought provoking lyrics with symbolic visuals forms an overall emphatic message of searching our true selves when abandoning societal expectations. While their previous track “Regular” explored defining success based on the reality of a hard-working ethic and our larger-than-life dreams that entice us to live with a purpose, “Simon Says” continues NCT 127’s reality versus dreams saga where the resolution for individuality amongst conformity falls at the intersection of the two realms that reveals a more authentic version of ourselves.