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RE: BuzzFeed APPLICATION: Why We're Completely Obsessed With Korean Boyband EXO

Because.. why not?

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1. Their original character concepts were completely unique

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youtube.com / Via Youtube, S.M. Entertainment

The 2011 EXO debut started off with a series (available on Youtube), titled "Pathcode". Here, S.M. Entertainment showcased their ingenious PR stunts through giving each of EXO's 12 members a superpower to be showcased with- an original concept never seen before in K-pop groups. The "Pathcode" series was later followed by multiple teasers showcasing EXO's individual talent (ex: Tao’s martial arts teaser). As a result, EXO managed to gain a significant fan base even before the release of their first song.

2. Their integration of Mandarin into the world of K-POP

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Youtube, EXOFanCreations, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO S.M. Entertainment / Via youtube.com

Although previous Korean artists have been known to utilize different languages to target a range of audiences, EXO was the first to make use of their members to specifically target audiences outside of the Korean language. The creation of EXO’s subgroups: EXO-K and EXO-M promised viewers songs sung in both the Mandarin and Korean language. Together, the boys provided their fan base with endless versatility both inside and outside their songs; as SM’s use of the cast combinations in songs and events constantly sparked interest in all corners of the world.

3. That change does not have to be a bad thing

Tumblr's sebyunie / Via tumblr.com

Following their succession of successes, drama struck the group as its 11th member Kris Wu decides to leave EXO, filling a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment. His break from the group was followed by members Luhan in October 2014, and later Huang Zitao (Tao) in 2015. Leaving Zhang Yixing (Lay) as the only remaining Chinese member, and the remaining two of EXO-M. However, despite early apprehension by the EXO fan base, EXO did not disappoint. Although the group did lament for the loss of their members, they continued to work harder for their fans- progressing in their Mandarin as well. Although all members had both Mandarin as well as Korean lines in past performances, larger roles/ opportunities to express themselves in another language were now available- with members like Chanyeol now excelling in Mandarin rap verses as well as Korean.

4. They all are exceptionally talented as individuals

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youtube.com / Via Youtube, S.M. Entertainment

In Korea, the necessity of publicity within their k-pop stars is not a new concept. Attending variety shows, sport competitions and interviews are but daily tasks Korean artists are known to have to do in their respective careers. When looking at EXO however, S.M. was able to gather together a group of very talented individuals, each with a very strong presence in and out of the group- characteristics that the fans can easily recognize (thanks to the above-mentioned publicity events). This individualized presence is the very thing that creates for a very versatile team. In terms of music alone, EXO has done everything from the more typical k-pop-styled songs (“Call me baby”), to ballads (“Sing for you”), and was even able to do a collaboration with Disney (“Lightsaber”, a Star Wars collaboration project). Furthermore, with the disbanding (basically) of EXO-M, their members (as individuals) are able to expand into other roles, such as: musical collaborations with other artists (Xiu Min and AOA’s JiMin’s “Call you bae”), original sound tracks (OST) for multiple hit dramas (Chen and Punch’s “Everytime” in “Descendants of the Sun”), and even their very own drama (“EXO Next Door”).

5. They're all beautiful, need I say more?

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youtube.com / Via Youtube, S.M. Entertainment

I wish I can call you baby...

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