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A long overdue song review on (G)I-DLE’s Nxde

A long overdue song review on (G)I-DLE’s Nxde

(G)I-DLE challenges the K-Pop industry by breaking sexist norms with their latest single Nxde

(G)I-DLE promotion picture for Nxde
@G_I_DLE | Twitter

The Cube Entertainment girl group has once again pushed boundaries with another bold and revolutionary feminist anthem. Following their big hit comeback, Tomboy, the 4th-gen queens Soyeon, Miyeon, Minnie, Yuqi, and Shuhua return on stage with their fifth mini album release, I Love, last October 17.

The OT5’s new album aims to show their true and raw selves. Despite the scandalous main track, leader and main rapper Soyeon explained that the title was decided right away in connection with the album’s concept.

Soyeon stated in their online media showcase,

The word ‘nude’ can be perceived as a provocative word, and people may think, ‘Why is it ‘nude’? Isn’t it too explicit?’ But when I thought of the word ‘nude,’ I thought of my true self, not an undressed version of me.

Yes, I’m nxde

Why you think that ‘bout nude, ‘cause your view is so rude. Think outside the box, then you’ll like it.

This is literally the perfect line to open the song. There is an empowerment pull into it that encourages listeners to remove shame from their own bodies and call out the misogynistic culture of sexualizing women, especially in the showbiz industry. 

The sultry vintage jazz mixed with a bit of pop and Soyeon’s impressive rapping skills wraps up the song and its message nicely. However, they could do better than giving most of the spotlight to Soyeon. Her raps and adlibs make up most of the song leaving the rest of the members with the pre-chorus and chorus. They also fail to utilize more of Miyeon’s strong yet classy main vocals. 

Nevertheless, the lyrics and choreography make up for the unfair line distribution. Nxde impressively hooks listeners with genius touches such as the “Ouch!” part right before the second verse, and the “Shh… Yes, I’m nude,” at the start of every chorus. Above all, ending the song with the line, “My beautiful self. I’m born nude. You’ve got a dirty mind,” is truly the cherry on top of this comeback.

Marilyn Monroe-inspired

Months prior to its release, a Korean variety show featured Soyeon presenting the theme for the new album where she talked about taking inspiration from the blonde sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.

Soyeon said,

As you all know, she was famous for being sexually attractive and had a ‘dumb blonde’ image, but I heard she was actually very smart. She liked reading very much, too. 

The iconic Hollywood celebrity is referenced all throughout the music video from the hairstyle and wardrobe to the set design, lyrics, and animation. Adding the vintage showgirl aesthetic and 50s Hollywood atmosphere fitted well with Marilyn Monroe’s concept of owning one’s sexuality and breaking free from the public’s prejudices.

Soojin’s era?

Meanwhile, several fans speculate that the new song is an ode to the former (G)I-DLE member Soojin. Known as a huge Marilyn Monroe fan, fans linked the inspiration to remember the group’s ex-main dancer. Neverland (the group’s official fan name) connected the animated character’s resemblance to Soojin’s facial features. Given the concept, you can definitely tell their bond and love for each other. And, we are all here for it!

For a bit of context, Soojin left Cube and (G)I-DLE last year due to bullying allegations. This was later proven false after her lawyer announced her innocence in a public statement released in September. 

Nxde definitely appeals as a sexually powerful feminine song.

That is something you don’t often see in other Korean groups and artists. This is why I really admire (G)I-DLE for courageously speaking up despite being a part of such a conservative culture. Releasing controversial songs, Oh my God and Tomboy, was the best thing they did to push change in the industry. There is no denying that (G)I-DLE is making its own mark as the most outspoken girl group in K-Pop history. 

So, what do you think about the new song Nxde? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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