K-pop supergroups aren’t common, but the idea is very fun. GH Entertainment seems to agree, as they’ve taken their two idol groups (B.I.G and 3YE) and merged them into 777 – a co-ed project group. Today, they’ve made their debut with digital single Presente, which takes obvious influence from another notable co-ed act.
What is it with co-ed groups and Latin-inspired music? I know that K-pop loves embracing trends, but from KARD to Checkmate to 777, it seems the only concept the industry can come up with for mixed-gender acts is “vaguely Latin.” Agencies seem desperate to conflate Latin music (a vast and complex umbrella encompassing hundreds of sub-genres) with sexual tension, and it’s starting to feel lazy.
With that said, at least Presente is a solid example of this cliché. B.I.G and 3YE mix well, despite individual discographies that are quite different from one another. Both the guys and the girls cosplay KARD to some degree, but the song allows for welcome spotlight on their talents. Presente’s chorus hits with impact, even if it feels quite familiar. I’m less enthused by the constant breakdowns that follow. It’s hard to get into a track that sputters here and there, and the various pieces aren’t seamlessly connected. There’s too much pussyfooting around when Presente needs to go in for the kill. Ideally, the song would showcase what’s special and unique about both groups. Instead, it shoehorns them into an unfamiliar sound that seems more commercially calculated than truly organic.