It’s been six years since JYP boy group Got7 debuted on January 16, 2014, with “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Since then, the septet have released four studio albums and a whopping 14 EPs. The group have found international success and branched out into subunits, solo work and acting.
Got7’s early image was that of youthful charm and rebellious bravado paired with a retro hip-hop sound. Since then, the group have experimented with different styles and become more directly involved in their music, including writing and composing title tracks and B-sides.
While their title tracks have ranged from sugary sweet to hard-hitting EDM to moody, synth-heavy songs, Got7 have consistently put out strong B-sides. Their catchy hooks and vintage R&B beats have allowed the group’s showmanship and playful personalities to shine.
The group’s earliest standout B-side is “Magnetic” from their 2014 debut album Identify. Fans were gifted with a dance practice video for this uptempo song, which perfectly encapsulates Got7’s early appeal. The group is exploding with charm and energy, which comes through in the song itself even without seeing their wink-filled performance. The raps and sweet vocals bob merrily along atop bouncy retro synths. This cohesive, energetic, and effortless track likely converted many early ahgases.
Got7 fully embraced a cute concept for their fourth comeback, “Just Right.” But on the accompanying 2016 EP of the same name, Got7 still flirt with their more braggadocious, hip-hop side. This resulted in the funky and experimental yet satisfying song “Mine.” The aggressive rap verses flow over a trap-inspired triplet high hat. Echoing siren and laser sound effects build into a propulsive dance chorus that makes you want to fist pump.
2015 saw the group’s first win with the more mature “If You Do,” and with the group’s more established success, the members became more involved in song production and lyrics. Their participation in music making resulted in many writing credits on Got7’s next EP, 2016’s Flight Log: Departure. However, this album’s standout B-side was penned by Young K of labelmate band Day6.
The song’s cleverness is encapsulated by these lyrics from Bambam‘s rap:
Every, every day I tell myself today
is the last day, period. Say goodbye for good
I thought so but when I look again
Instead it was a comma with a tail
“Beggin on My Knees” is the energetic high point of the album. The retro horns and vocal echoes lend the song a jazzy, big band quality. The song’s built-in add-libs and different rap flows let the members’ unique qualities shine. Additionally, the song’s upbeat tone balances the relatable frustration in the lyrics over someone playing games in a relationship.
With their next entry in the Flight Log album trilogy, Got7 traded in the dreamy optimism of Departure for the darker tone of Flight Log: Turbulence. While the title track “Hard Carry” and some of the album’s other songs revolved around heavy-handed, hard-hitting beats, “Who’s That?” comes in as a refreshing palate cleanser part-way through the album.
The song opens with Bambam coolly remarking “damn” over a snappy, spunky groove. Much like “Beggin on My Knees,” “Who’s That” is about being frustrated by a girl. This time, the members are complaining that a girl will not stop comparing them to other men. Rather than having to be powerful or deeply emotional, Got7 are allowed to show their sulky, childish, and goofy sides on this easy, breezy song carried by a pure pop melody.
Got7’s trend of penning the majority of their album songs continued on the finale of the Flight Log trilogy, Flight Log: Arrival. Vocalist Jinyoung composed and co-wrote the stand-out B-side “Paradise,” a song some fans wished was the title track instead of “Never Ever.” Jinyoung, Mark, and Yugyeom performed the song as a trio for the group’s “GOT the Stage” video series.
The steel drum-like synths and maraca-like percussion create a tropical effervescence fitting for an island paradise. The husky, lower-tone raps from Jackson, Mark, and Bambam compliment the soothing, honey-sweet vocals from Yugyeom in the pre-chorus. This leads into the more punchy, powerful chorus vocals from Jinyoung, JB, and Youngjae. This song in particular highlights Got7’s vocal balance and strengths.
Speaking of strengths, an absolutely quintessential Got7 B-side is “Teenager” off their 2017 album 7 for 7. The lower, richer synths and breathing in the song’s opening moments create a more mellow, mature backdrop for the song. Orchestral, cinematic instrumentation sweeps in during the pre-chorus. The song builds to the schoolyard sing-song chorus that reveals that these men feel like giddy teenagers around their love interest.
This theme perfectly suits Got7. They are no longer naive boys posturing at being grown and confident like they were with “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Rather, they are grown, confident men who are able to show their silly, youthful sides when smitten with love.
Got7’s 2018 album Spinning Top: Between Security and Insecurity deals with its namesake themes of security and insecurity. The album’s raw emotion builds up to the final track, “Page,” which was partially written and composed by JB. After diving into uncertainty and fear on the rest of the album, Got7 are confidently able to write their own story and take control of their own future in “Page.”
I’ll slowly write down our own story, more and more and more
There’s plenty of time, fill my eyes with your own light
On top of this page
You and me
Without any space
Write, right now
The funky, retro bassline, uptempo percussion, and tropical-hued synth beats drive the song. Jackson’s husky, endearing “I think I love you” injects the melodic chorus with color and a playfulness that reveals the group’s hope.
The final of Got7’s B-sides worth highlighting is “Run Away,” off their most recent EP, 2019’s Call My Name. Another track utilizing a ’70 funk bassline, “Run Away” employs disco-inspired falsetto vocals and chime flourishes, as well as a more sparse guitar-backed chorus reminiscent of Western singers like Charlie Puth. The result is easy, smooth, and unfussed, with Got7 spotlighting their chic, cool charms.
Over their six-year career so far, Got7 have proved that they are much more than a cocky, acrobatic hip-hop group. While they have left some of their more immature bravado in the past, they have retained their boyish charm with fun and funky B-sides that show their creativity, charisma and confidence.