EXO dropped the very first teaser for their much-wanted summer comeback on July 8, and Sherlockian fans put their detective hats on once more as they put their minds to try and decipher everything, leaving no stone unturned.
Given how SM Entertainment has a history of having planned things for years (remember the guessing game they sent us on back in 2015 aka Pathcode era), fans were already on high alert for anything remotely EXO-related, when something unexpected recently came into their radar. They found a hidden verified account on not just Twitter, but also Chinese social media site Weibo, that had been created early last month. These would later open and turned out to be actual official accounts that released the teasers in July.
[!] Theres a verified page for EXO thats currently locked. @weareoneEXO pic.twitter.com/2awmQOkXj8
e)(o global (@EXOGlobal) July 7, 2017
[!] A weareoneEXO weibo account exists too. The weibo account was made on June 8 and the Twitter account was made on June 9.
Cr: 1248_256 pic.twitter.com/dZb96uGhuw
Curiously, the account didnt read tt until July 7, and, as expected, fans found a possible explanation for that as well.
내일까지래여ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ이 뵨태드류ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ pic.twitter.com/NWWyQRMVE7
럽송 ㅅ)5 (@classic112756) July 8, 2017
July 8 didnt mark the beginning of the deductions however; ever since EXO started giving sly hints back during their encore concert in May, fans have already figured out that the phrase The War and heat would have something to do with the comeback.
As it turns out, The War does indeed have something to do with the comeback, as it was shown in the teaser, along with the phrase, Ko Ko Bop. As for what these signify, nothing is certain, although Baekhyun did mention Ko Ko Bop is a title track during a live broadcast he held late night on July 8. This, in addition to there being multiple logos, lead some fans to believe this.
3 TITLE SONGS SINCE 3 LOGOS LIKE MOSTER LUCKY ONE???? pic.twitter.com/qVgkavFAth
94 DEGREES (@94_degrees) July 8, 2017
Meanwhile, the plants and leaves used for the logos came under scrutiny as well, with the focus being on the use of a bird of paradise (name of flower).
Everyone may happen to remember that EXO just recently celebrated their fifth anniversary.
they dont typically bloom until at least 4 / 5 years old ? #EXO #엑소 pic.twitter.com/mJoibhEMkA
FLOWER LANGUAGE OF BIRDS OF PARADISE
The 9th, Royalty, Magnificence, Paradise on Earth, Optimism towards the future pic.twitter.com/gBtuAud3JB
#LIVELIKELEGENDS (@qtpiebyunbaek) July 8, 2017
Let us also remember that EXO consists of nine members, and that they said something vaguely familiar back in May to the meaning behind the bird of paradise.
The flower itself is often classified as an exotic flower, making some fans bet that its possible the album could be titled Exotic.
#EXO 새 앨범 이름 exotic 이다 에 제 500원을 걸죠. pic.twitter.com/xnR9jQOHVT
Not to mention, the plant imagery was in line with Baekhyun and Sehuns past few Instagram posts, confirming fans guesses that they had been hinting at their comeback.
Fans also belatedly realized that even Sehuns non spoiler-like posts were still spoilers. (Bop sounds similar to bap, which is the Korean word for cooked rice.)
OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/HpFDEIOAj4
yixings piggy (@_fanxing) July 8, 2017
As for the other logos, some fans chose to focus on a particular one that looked as if it used bay laurel leaves, which usually signify success and honor. However, there is another meaning behind the plant, betrayal, based on the Greek mythological story of Daphne and Apollo. One explanation pointed out that Baekhyun looked as if he had a tattoo of bay laurel leaves, and referred back to how he was a spy during the Monster music video from their previous comeback.
아니 님들 월계수 꽃말이 승리 이런 것도 있지만 배신이 있다구요 근데 뮤비 궁예에서 백현이가 되게 역할이 스파이 같이 나왔었는데 이번 컴백 로고가 월계수잎일 뿐더러 그와 비슷한 그림으로 보이는 게 백현이 목에 그려져있음 pic.twitter.com/KdzvVGrC0r
Speaking of connections to their past comeback, another detail that stood out was Lays, at the time, strange use of a flower in their Lucky One music video.
EXOs comeback titled The War with that Paradise flower reminds me of how Yixing killed a robot with a flower. Like? How? War? Flower? What? pic.twitter.com/uKOv0DBBm8
◕xherry◕ノ～ ♡ (@xxuelie) July 8, 2017
While Lay cannot participate in promotions this comeback, fans were excited to spot a familiar figure in the teaser, and Lay showed some love for his brothers as well.
WAIT.. HOLD ON. IS THAT YIXING pic.twitter.com/MBqiHgfmuY
ㅤleonard.o dicaprio (@tinyvocaIist) July 8, 2017
씽이 좋아요 ? pic.twitter.com/yS0Lyzja6M
And of course, the guessing games didnt end there, nor were fans expecting them to. As soon as the SMTOWN concert ended on July 8—the same night the teaser was released—, most fans had this thought in their heads as well.
its time to look at exo fancams. I feel like at least one or two of them might have gave us a spoiler of the choreography or something
To no ones surprise, there were several instances that night that made fans second-guess what they were seeing.
종인아 그거 스포야??ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ pic.twitter.com/XfWgRk1fUs
종인이 세후니랑 코코밥 티징댄스..! pic.twitter.com/1JUgfBfNiQ
이것은 장난일까 스포일까 #EXO pic.twitter.com/PPECiyvIUQ
eskimo (@esquimau56) July 8, 2017
Finally, and possibly the strangest thing of all, one fan noticed that when you try to translate the two phrases The War and Ko Ko Bop on Navers translation application using various forms of spacing and capitalization, actual sentences are shown as results. The peculiar thing is that these sentences couldnt possibly come from the phrase Ko Ko Bop, which is neither proper Korean nor English.
They read, A war has begun, That war has become the fuse of The people who were disposed of by being knocked out. Another result was malt scotch whiskey, and the same fan pointed out that whiskey has historically been referred to as the water of life.
시발 님들아 손떨려 pic.twitter.com/FC3nn39ADG
페브리즈 무멘팔 블락해요..팔로우X (@My_savior_61X94) July 8, 2017
This is just the beginning of it all, and SM Entertainment has hinted that the next teaser will be released on July 10 at midnight KST, so stay tuned!
- ko ko bap meaning
- ko ko bop meaning