EXO Reveals Explanation Behind “Ko Ko Bop” MV

With the release of EXO‘s new MV “Ko Ko Bop,” many fans were left speculating as to the meaning behind the music video.

Within a few hours of its released on July 18th KST, the music video for “Ko Ko Bop” had already racked up millions of views, the song itself was sweeping the charts in Korea, and the album, entitled The War, was ranked number one in almost 40 countries.

Although many fans were divided on the song itself, everyone agreed that the music video was gorgeous and the members’ visuals were perhaps better than ever! The one thing that left fans slightly confused, however, was the actual plot of the music video. The trippy, colorful world in the music video had everything from floating, giant hamburgers to magical mirrors that could be jumped into like a pool. Although fans noticed familiar things— like the presence of the members’ gifts that were first introduced in their debut MV— some people were still confused about the basic plot.

Thankfully, EXO explained things in the V Live broadcast they held a few hours after the release of the music video.  The members explained that there wasn’t just one meaning to the MV, as they wanted it to be up to the interpretation of each individual viewer. However, there were some things that were a definite part of the plot, as Baekhyun quickly explained.

The MV is supposed to focus on the fact that EXO is becoming humanized as they spend more time on earth. As beings from EXO planet, the video gives a glimpse into their lives from the moment they first fell to earth until now. Baekhyun revealed that the scene where all the members were lying together in a field is supposed to represent the moment when they first arrived on earth. However, while their other videos are more focused on their pasts, this MV is supposed to be an accurate representation of their present.

Kai also further explained things by stating that their gifts and powers have become weakened as they have spent more time on earth, so that’s why their gifts seem strange and unique as opposed to past MVs where they were fierce and strong. We see Kai lazily reading a book on space travel while floating on a cloud, Chanyeol is seen using his fire power to make pretty fireworks in the sky, Suho uses his water skills to relax and have fun, etc. The reason why they look so spaced out is because they are in such a weakened state as they become more human, losing their powerful gifts that made them so strong and god-like in the past.

Since they don’t want to spoil things too much in an effort to allow people to discover the plot for themselves, they didn’t say much more about the MV’s story. However, another theory is that the MV is also lining up with the words of the lyrics. The song itself talks about fully enjoying the night before a war by giving yourself over to the feelings and love of the moment and not worrying about the problems of tomorrow. Therfore, the almost drugged state that the members are in throughout the video can also represent the fact that they’re playing a mental game with themselves to force themselves to forget tomorrow and only focus on the bright, colorful, fun present. However, the snatches of gritty, dream-like scenes where they look unhappy and worried can be viewed as the reality of their situation and lives creeping in, despite their efforts to forget.

Another theory is that this is supposed to be a representation of EXO’s lives as idols. It has been over five years since their debut (the fall to earth) and they are starting to feel tired and discouraged (the unhappy-looking, gritty scenes). In an attempt to keep on going strong, they choose to forget the hard times and just focus on the positive aspects of the present career (the bright colors of the MV), despite getting tired and facing loneliness (their weakened state).

What do you think of the new MV? Do you see what Kai and Baekhyun were trying to explain? What else do you think the video is trying to tell fans?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Meanwhile, watch the video below if you haven’t done so already.

Media: SMTOWN

Readers Comments (11)

  1. Yeah, thanks. Very helpful.

    Reply
  2. Why ko ko bop ?
    What does it mean ?
    What is this that they are making effort to become ???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What is the point in leaving the past ?
    Did they really do that ?
    Or Baekhyun only wanted to say something as the answer !!!!!!!!!! ?
    Or they are trying to combine the past and the future by pretending that they are living in the moment ?!

    However,I guess it was supercool

    Reply
    • Actually, we had already addressed the meaning of “Ko Ko Bop” in a previous article, so that’s why we didn’t talk about it again here. But we’ll drop the information below:

      “The title track seems to have borrowed the name from the 1960 American doo-wop hit “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop” by Little Anthony and the Imperials. The song was about a dance called the Ko Ko Bop and tells the story of a girl who lives in a tropic region who teaches the singers a sexy dance that takes them to “paradise.” It even includes instructions on how to dance it in the lyrics, “Left foot forward, right one back. Bring them side by side, Syncopate your last two steps, Now you’re gonna glide. Keep along the rhythm track, Girls please show ’em how. Now you start to arch your back, Man, you got ’em now.”’

      The original lyrics of the song definitely seem to coincide with EXO’s “Ko Ko Bop” since it’s talking about enjoying the moment and being “taken to paradise.” EXO’s own lyrics talk about enjoying a sensual night of love before embarking on a hard war tomorrow. So being taken to “paradise” definitely has a double meaning here. In addition, their drugged state can also be seen in these similar lyrics because love can make you so high and distracted that it acts like a drug that makes you forget everything else.

      Hope this (combined with the original article above) will help clear things up a little. Sorry for the late reply!

      Reply
  3. i kind of agree i get what the mv means now but what does ko ko bop mean i guess its english from what ive seen but huh also why hamburgers and the burger sign (i think) in the background that says ko ko bop?

    Reply
  4. This song is clearly about getting high.

    Reply
    • The MV definitely uses drugs as the means to communicate the plot, but the song itself has a different meaning. ^^

      Reply
  5. Don’t you think it’s a kind of delusion ?

    Preparing for war!!😑

    Reply
    • Definitely part of it! “The song itself talks about fully enjoying the night before a war by giving yourself over to the feelings and love of the moment and not worrying about the problems of tomorrow. Therfore, the almost drugged state” (like a forced delusion) “that the members are in throughout the video can also represent the fact that they’re playing a mental game with themselves to force themselves to forget tomorrow and only focus on the bright, colorful, fun present.”

      Reply
  6. Wait what i thought it was about sex because reading the lyrics just trust me and come lollol

    Reply
  7. Definitely has a part in it. As with most Kpop songs, the lyrics to the song an the actual MV are two different things and are only connected by a small thread at times. That definitely seems to be the case with “Ko Ko Bop” because the lyrics are definitely very sensual, but the MV itself uses other things to tell a deeper story. 🙂 We responded to someone else, but we’ll copy it here for you.:

    “The title track seems to have borrowed the name from the 1960 American doo-wop hit “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop” by Little Anthony and the Imperials. The song was about a dance called the Ko Ko Bop and tells the story of a girl who lives in a tropic region who teaches the singers a sexy dance that takes them to “paradise.” It even includes instructions on how to dance it in the lyrics, “Left foot forward, right one back. Bring them side by side, Syncopate your last two steps, Now you’re gonna glide. Keep along the rhythm track, Girls please show ’em how. Now you start to arch your back, Man, you got ’em now.”’

    The original lyrics of the song definitely seem to coincide with EXO’s “Ko Ko Bop” since it’s talking about enjoying the moment and being “taken to paradise.” EXO’s own lyrics talk about enjoying a sensual night of love before embarking on a hard war tomorrow (there’s the thread that connects it to the album and therefore the MV). So being taken to “paradise” definitely has a double meaning here, as did the original lyrics of the old song which were very suggestive and used dance to signify other things.

    Reply

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