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An online magazine about Korean culture, food and hallyu based in Toronto, Canada

MONSTA X Is Back

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Formed in 2015, MONSTA X (몬스타엑스), managed by Starship, consists of seven members. Vocalist Minhyuk explained their name, saying, “The hidden meaning of our MONSTA X team name is ‘My Star.’ Mon means mine in French, so it’s Mon-Sta(r).” A lot of their music is more house-influenced than many popular K-pop artists, but they have a well-rounded discography that includes ballads and everything in-between as well. MONSTA X is back now with their 4th mini album, “THE CLAN pt. 2 <GUILTY>.”

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

MONSTA X Members

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Shownu

  • Full Name: Son Hyunwoo (손현우)
  • Age: 24
  • Position: Leader
  • Nationality: Korean

The leader of the group is Shownu, who was previously in NUBOYZ, which was also under Starship Entertainment. His roles in the group, other than being the leader, are main dancer and vocalist.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Wonho

  • Full Name: Shin Hoseok (신호석)
  • Age: 23
  • Position: Vocalist
  • Nationality: Korean

Wonho is the second oldest in the group. His positions are both vocal and visual. He used to be an ulzzang, someone who competes or is famous for having a beautiful face.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Minhyuk

  • Full Name: Lee Minhyuk (이민혁)
  • Age: 23
  • Position: Vocalist
  • Nationality: Korean

Minhyuk is a vocalist and also visual member of the group. He’s well known for his presence on social media and for always interacting with MONSTA X’s fans, Monbebes.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Kihyun

  • Full Name: Yoo Kihyun (유기현)
  • Age: 22
  • Position: Vocalist
  • Nationality: Korean

Kihyun is also part of the vocal line. He has a very powerful voice and has appeared on “Masked Singer” and in other Starship artists’ songs.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Hyungwon

  • Full Name: Chae Hyungwon (채형원)
  • Age: 22
  • Position: Dancer
  • Nationality: Korean

Hyungwon’s roles in MONSTA X are dance, visual, and vocal. He was a popular model before joining MONSTA X.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Jooheon

  • Full Name: Lee Jooheon (이주헌)
  • Age: 22
  • Position: Rapper
  • Nationality: Korean

Jooheon, one of MONSTA X’s two rappers, was the first of the group to release a solo track, titled “RAPPIN.”

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

I.M

  • Full Name: Lim Changkyun (임창균)
  • Age: 20
  • Position: Maknae (youngest)
  • Nationality: Korean

I.M is the maknae and rapper of the group. He’s released two of his own tracks as well, “WHO AM I” and “Madeleine.”

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

THE CLAN pt. 2 <GUILTY>

THE CLAN pt. 2 <GUILTY> is MONSTA X’s fourth mini album. It’s a continuation of their series “THE CLAN,” which is a concept that follows the members in a seemingly dystopian world. It was in the top 5 songs in Korea for two weeks and ranked third on the US World chart.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

Image courtesy of Starship Entertainment.

  1. Fighter

“Fighter” opens up with a very intense intro that mimics the sound of a fighting ring. It’s a very dramatic song that builds up tension to prepare the listener for the rest of the album. True to MONSTA X style, it’s laced with electronic melodies, strong vocals, and powerful raps.

Watch the music video here:

Watch MONSTA X perform “Fighter” live on SBS Inkigayo:

  1. Be Quiet

Maintaining the fast pace of “Fighter”, “Be Quiet” starts with a heavy beat that quickly drops into dubstep/house. They’re notorious for this style of heavy electronic influence. “Be Quiet” is the climax of this album in a sense of speed and overall energy. It mixes beautiful vocal melodies with house beats, creating a unique listening experience that only MONSTA X knows how to give.

Watch MONSTA X perform “Be Quiet” live on SBS Ingkigayo:

  1. Blind

“Blind” starts slowly with a consistent, clock-like beat, a contrast to the previous tracks. The track is fairly stripped down to let the vocals really shine here. “Blind” is on my playlist of “Chill K-pop” because I love its mix of electronic and ballad.

  1. Queen

With “Queen,” the album builds into a deep, electronic track. It fits their overall concept with its dark, mysterious sound. “Queen” contrasts deep melodies and beats with high notes (thanks to Wonho for those oohs.) This is the song to listen to when you need to feel in charge walking in a room.

  1. 하얀소녀 White Love

This song contrasts the rest of the album with a guitar melody and gentle vocal harmonies. Overall, it’s a very stripped down, fun, and cute song where all the members show off their singing abilities and let the lyrics stand out. They themselves wrote all of the lyrics, which you can see here:

“I was very lonely actually

You know when you strangely feel empty

I was in a lot of pain

When you can’t sleep for some reason

Something like that

I’ve yearned only for you with my pure heart

Save me from your trap

So I can love and learn

So I can touch your white heart”

  1. Roller Coaster

“Roller Coaster” seals the album off wonderfully with a dreamy, trance like melody. It has a very playful vibe, with theme park sound effects and vintage radio sounds. This is probably what it would sound like if MONSTA X made a video game soundtrack.

Just the facts

They were formed through a reality show called NO.MERCY, where they had to perform weekly and were selected by process of elimination. You can also watch Deokspatch, which was a short variety show that followed the members offstage during the filming of NO.MERCY here.

Just the facts: Social Media Edition

Final Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of MONSTA X, especially after seeing them at KCON LA. I can never choose a favorite member because they’re all amazing! Their voices blend together effortlessly and their choreographies never disappoint. Which is your favorite song on this album? Do you have a favorite member?

One Comment

  1. I love Monsta X sm! Kyun is my bias and I love him sm. He made a song with my name omg *swoon*

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