Around the same time last year, NCT 127 graced us with one of the most baffling lead singles in recent memory. Sticker was a complete shock to both fans and casual listeners alike, delivering an absurdly produced single with one of the most wacky samples these ears have ever heard. In many ways its overall novelty and sheer absurdity helped elevate it into a guilty pleasure of sorts. New single 2 Baddies attempts to recapture a similar novel sound but delivers something much more inline with what is expected. A characteristic that works as both a boon and a bane.
Ok let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. What the actual hell is with this chorus. I mean c’mon man. “Two Baddies, Two Baddies, One Porsche” might be an incredibly funny hook but having it support the entire song as its primary chorus? Really? I get the blustery swagger the group have built their concept around but recently it feels as though the actual song craft has been thrown out the window for pure musical shock value. The production around the chorus is also overwhelming in a negative sense, layering the vocals in a claustrophobic way that comes across as condensed and robotic. There’s a lot of energy and the delivery is definitely very SM like but the hook feels more like a chore to get through and a far cry from the glorious one two punch chorus masterclasses of 2019’s Highway to Heaven and Superhuman.
And that’s quite a shame because under the uninspired song craft there’s some really cool production and beats to look out for. The rubbery beat that underlines the verses is classic SM hip hop, accentuated by a charismatic performance from the groups excellent rappers and an even more exciting melodic pre-chorus which clears the air to shine some light on the groups incredibly underrated vocal line. For those who love this particular style, there’s much to enjoy about this track. Personally however, 2 Baddies continues to peddle my general disinterest in NCT as a whole. The song honestly had the potential to be great but is unfortunately let down by the same issues that have plagued so many of the NCT brands recent efforts. A sense of inconsistency that unfortunately leads to a final product that’s a much worse than the sum of its parts.
Final Rating: 6.5/10