So as you may know, I’ve been busy with school – I just finished my senior year of college, and I have to say, it’s nerve wracking, but exciting all at the same time. I’ve been too busy to do any writing lately, which was fine since the K-Pop industry was essentially gone because of the Sewol Ferry Incident.
Anyways before we talk about EXO, let’s start by recapping some of the other things that have happened since I last posted.
Firstly, B1A4 seemed to slay everyone in California with their appearance at KMF which I could not attend due to Finals and Money, and they apparently filmed a music video on the beach as well. So we should be seeing new B1A4 music in June or July – and I actually hope it happens around my Birthday, so I’m praying for a July 14 or 21 release date. I can’t wait to see pasty Jinyoung look super lame next to the super tanned pretty models.
I’m really disappointed that Block B completely cancelled their comeback. Watching Park Kyung be awkward on stage is always my favorite thing. Well, one of my favorite things. These poor children are likely cursed since every time something goes well for them, something ends up screwing it up. (“Nalina” hit big – Thailand scandal, “Nillili Mambo” slayed in 2012 – sued management and lost, won Inkigayo with “Very Good” – next comeback happens right before the disaster, and ends up getting cancelled rather than postponed). I feel so much sympathy for this group since they seem like down to earth kids who just want to have fun and put out good music.
15& is getting robbed so badly because their comeback happened at the worst possible time. Their song, “Can’t Hide It” is pretty flawless, and both of those girls can actually sing. Why doesn’t JYP actually promote them? JYP is horrible with managing all of their artists, but they could have a big hit with 15& since they’re the easy-listening meets pop duo that South Korea seems to love (i.e. Davichi, AKMU).
Akdong Musician has been the biggest thing in K-Pop since early April, and I don’t even count them as K-Pop, since they’re more easy listening and not very poppy, and Koreans around my age seem to like them unlike traditional K-Pop groups. The brother reminds me of Artie from Glee, so obviously I’m not a huge fan. I…never thought I would say this…but it’ll be nice to hear about someone else besides AKMU, even if that someone else is EXO until other relevant groups start coming back later in the month, or in early June.
Finally, let’s talk about EXO; it’s very clear that I don’t care about them, but they’re a super hot topic right now – for both the right and wrong reasons.
For those who don’t know (basically anybody who knows me in real life who reads this mess of a blog), EXO is a 12 member Korean/Chinese boyband that sometimes works as 12 member EXO, but mostly work as EXO-M and EXO-K, subunits with 6 members each that will sing in Mandarin or Korean, respectively. EXO-M is actually the better subunit in my opinion, plus it has ta0ri5 (RIP), but EXO-K has Chanyeol, so it’s hard to decide which is actually better. K is obviously much more popular in Korea.
EXO is probably my least favorite thing. I remember when they first debuted I was new to K-Pop. Super Junior was my favorite group, and all of a sudden my tumblr dash was full of EXO. Who the hell were these kids? Why where there 12 of them? Why do most of them look alike? I had to unfollow almost all of the Super Junior blogs I followed and find new ones.
Then the songs actually came out. They were still everywhere. “Mama” actually isn’t even that bad of a song. They did nothing for a while, except go to the airport where member Kri5 carried alpaca plushies for a while. Then in 2013, when I was abroad in South Korea, I saw EXO at the 2013 Dream Concert. The fans were so loud, I could barely hear the recording they used since none of them actually sang live – their dancing was so on point though. Then they came back with the mess of a song “Wolf.” It’s a horrible song. The dance is pretty cool. But that comeback showed me how obnoxious the fans truly were – a group member for a class ditched a presentation to go see them on a show. Not cool. Then “Growl” happened and they basically took over everything. I’m not even going to talk about that creepy Christmas album cover.
But! They now have a comeback, which was done in a reasonable time. Good job for once, SM – not rushing comebacks (SHINee last year) or making us wait almost 2 years (Super Junior – SM Please, “Sexy Free and Single” was my theme song from the day it came out, but I need some more “It’s You” and “BONAMANA”-like jams in my life).
So anyways, EXO had a comeback with “Overdose.” The comeback got pushed back because of the Sewol, but EXO are the first prominent group to really have a comeback after this incident, and they’re re-introduction of weekly music shows in South Korea which were cancelled for about a month. A week ago or so, I read that the Overdose album actually had over 600k pre-orders, and even I had to admit, that’s impressive as Hell, since Queen Beyonce sold 800k copies of her last CD in the first week, and EXO was looking to outsell her in pre-orders. But what disappointed me was that I found out K and M versions are being counted together. Not cool! These albums are in different languages. This isn’t like counting the 10 covers of I Got a Boy as the same CD, since the content on the CD is the same, unlike the EXO CD where the songs are the same but sung by different people in different languages. The K version had almost twice the amount of pre-orders. Still very impressive for a group that debuted in 2012.
Not to mention the video for “Overdose” has been out for like a week and has 8million+ views on K version and 3 million + views on M version. These fangirls need to do schoolwork or get a hobby or something.
But I really still don’t understand the extreme hype over this group. Besides Xiumin, Kri5, Ta0, Chanyeol, and sometimes Kai, I really cannot tell the members apart from one another despite that I see them on tumblr multiple times per day, even though I follow a grand total of 0 EXO blogs. So I actually watched the “Overdose” videos, and I really think that this is a good way to kick off the reboot of K-Pop in South Korea after the industry was dormant for so long. I actually like the song…kind of. I know that M has been promoting the song in China for the last couple of weeks, but having such a popular group have the first comeback will garner interest in the shows again, and even though EXO will likely monopolize wins on every show for the next month or so, robbing Sexpot Hyosung of Secret and Jiyeon of T-Ara of any wins they do/will deserve with their solo debuts. SM was smart to just postpone the comeback to basically ‘ASAP’ rather than canceling anything or pushing it to a month or so down the road.
I was going to talk about how awesomely SM manages EXO since they’re super popular despite that only like 2 of them are cute, but on May 15, Kri5 filed a lawsuit against SM a la Hangeng/JYJ circa 2009 (#throwbackthursday). The fandom is going absolutely crazy right now trying to prove that EXO is One and that Kri5 is still loved and basically that it’s not really happening. I feel horrible for the members for putting up with the actual crazy (sasaeng) fans regardless of where they are, but has SM really learned nothing? This is now their 3rd boy group to basically implode during the height of their popularity (first being TVXQ, second being Super Junior). I get it – work the idols, have them make your company money; it’s called the music business for a reason. But now this is the third time a member (second time a foreign member of a group) has filed a lawsuit claiming unfair contracts and being overworked. The product in the South Korean music business is just as much about the individual idol as it is the music, which means that the idols need to start coming first to these companies (read: SM Ent) who are pushing their artists too hard.
I feel awkward posting some of this information, but there are rumors going around that the staff has taken other EXO members phones and have posted shade towards Kri5 on their accounts, and except for Baekhyun, all of the EXO members have unfollowed Kri5 on Instagram. Then Luhan and Tao rebelled and Luhan put a picture of a galaxy on his Weibo and Tao changed his password hint to some ‘EXO is 12’ reference. This is some heavy drama for a boyband! The fans are actually overall having a ‘stick together’ mentality about it, which is probably the most mature outlook on anything I have seen from the EXO Fandom in ever.
I have nothing against the boys but part of me wants to watch this go down in flames. Maybe that’s the sadistic part of me speaking, but celebrity drama has always been interesting to me, and is always a favorite conversation topic between me and my best friend.
Regardless, this really needs to be a wakeup call for SM Entertainment. I love most of their groups, but they cannot continue treating their artists like robots. While I’m on the outskirts of the fandom looking in, I still wonder what SM will do to recover from this. I guess other artists in the company have unfollowed SM’s official Twitter account. If Kri5 does leave, will EXO-M be disbanded? Will there just be an 11 member EXO? Will SM replace him in both the main group and M? I’m actually more curious about how SM would plan to handle the group should he leave rather than whether or not he does leave. EXO is arguably the biggest boyband in South Korea right now (It physically pains me to write that sentence), so having one of the more popular members file a lawsuit against their company will only bring bad things to both EXO and SM Entertainment – neither SuJu nor TVXQ have really recovered from losing members.
In all honesty, I do wish the group the best, because in two years they have gone through a lot of problems due to insane fans. I likely won’t be posting about the situation again until it is resolved one way or another.
Hopefully the next few posts on here will get back to the sarcastic commentary this blog is used to.