This Month’s Beat: Monsta X

Barely a few months after releasing their second full album and making headlines in the United States, Monsta X announces their comeback with Take 2: We Are Here, dropping on February 18. In what seems to be a continuation to Take 1: Are You There? based on the ‘previous film’, we at KStreetManila in what’s next for Monsta X, therefore, we have chosen them as February’s This Month’s Beat.

Monster Rookies

Prior to their establishment through Starship Entertainment’s own reality survival show, No Mercy, Shownu, Wonho (who was known as Shino at that time), and Jooheon were already part of a project group called NUBOYZ. (One of the members is rapper #GUN, who also later participated in No Mercy.)

During No Mercy, the male trainees competed to belong to the final line-up of Starship’s new boy group. From a number of male trainee hopefuls, it was Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Jooheon, Hyungwon, and I.M. who debuted as Monsta X.

The 7-member group debuted last May 14, 2015 with Trespass, which many members participated in the album making. Rapper Jooheon particularly played a significant role in the album production. Just months after their debut, they wasted no time in coming back with Rush.

With their distinct heavy hip-hop sound and powerful performances, Monsta X received the “Next Generation Asian Artist” award at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards and the “1theK Performance Award” at the 2015 Melon Music Awards. And this was only the beginning.

Monster Momentum

Having gained a significant following through their Monbebes, Monsta X first received international attention at the release of a large-scale project composed of two and half albums called “The Clan”. The Clan Part 1: Lost debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard World Albums Chart and remained there for two consecutive weeks. This immediately followed with the release of The Clan Part 2.5: Guilty with the lead single, Fighter.

Closing the three-part trilogy album series, The Clan Part 2.5: The Final Chapter cemented Monsta X’s international appeal. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart with more than 1,000 copies sold, which makes it the band’s best sales week in America. Monsta X also ranked in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart and debuted at No. 10. The title track “Beautiful” debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. Later in the year, the group also debuted in Japan with a Japanese of their previous Korean releases and topped the Oricon charts.

Despite numerous successes under their belt, it was only in November 2017 when the group took home its first music show win with Dramarama. A few months later, they also won for their comeback title track, Jealousy.

But probably what is considered their biggest and most successful comeback was their release of their second full-length album with Shoot Out as their lead single. The song garnered wins from all major music shows and another recognition from Billboard.

Having gained massive popularity in the US, Monsta X scored numerous interviews in various US TV shows and was invited to perform at the 2018 KIIS-FM iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in Los Angeles – a feat unattained yet by no other K-Pop group. Among the artists included in the Jingle Ball were Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Sean Meandes, Cardi B, 5 Seconds of Summer and more.

Monster Appeal

Underneath group’s edgy charisma and hard-hitting music, Monsta X is group known to have a variety of charms. In 2017, the group launched its own variety show called Monsta X-Ray through JTBC2. The show gained huge attention that it ran for three seasons.

Individually, the boys shine in their own areas – rappers Jooheon and I.M. have both released their own mixtapes; ‘best physique’ Wonho has penned and co-written most of the group’s songs; vocalist Kihyun has showcased his photography skills in an exhibit together with Minhyuk’s illustrations; visual and meme king Hyungwon has played as DJ H.One in one of Korea’s biggest EDM Festivals; and, leader Shownu has attracted viewers in his appearances in Lipstick Prince, Hit the Stage, and Real Men.

Monsta X is also known to be a group with a significant number of idol friendships. Among their notable friendships are with SEVENTEEN, GOT7, BTOB, and BTS.

What do you think about Monsta X? Share to us through the comments below.

Monsta X will be back on February 18 with the title song yet to be revealed.

Cheska De Ocampo
Always up and about, Cheska was once asked if she always meets different people every single day. Well – not always – but almost because it is part of her job description and because she is actively involved in church. Having the opportunity to join KStreetManila, she combines two of her loves – writing and Korean culture. During her downtime (which somehow rarely happens), she is either scrolling through Twitter, writing for her blog, trying to be fit, reading a good book, or appreciating beauty and fashion.

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