Ultimate K-pop Summer Song Match-Up: EXO vs. f(x)

Song Of Summer Match-UpCongratulations to SHINee’s View! Although the margin wasn’t quite as big as Monday’s match-up, the track beat WJSN’s Boogie Up by a convincing 69.3%. That means, next round the song will go up against Red Flavor. That’s going to be a pretty momentous match-up!

Speaking of match-ups, we’re on to the third duel. This time, it’s the battle of SM acts, as EXO’s 2017 single Ko Ko Bop goes against f(x)’s 2011 hit Hot Summer.

We’ve got two different styles of summer song, here. One is a reggae-inspired slow-burn with a laidback groove, while the other offers angular electropop. But, only one track can move onto the next round. The choice is up to all of you. Feel free to advocate, cheerlead, cut deals, etc in the comments section!

The vote is open for twenty-four hours, and the winner will be celebrated in tomorrow’s bracket post.

Candidate One: EXO – Ko Ko Bop

Candidate Two: f(x) – Hot Summer

Bracket Round 2

18 thoughts on “Ultimate K-pop Summer Song Match-Up: EXO vs. f(x)

  1. Gotta say, I like Ko Ko Bop, and I am the outlier because as I understand from comments that filter my way it is not liked among the Exo-L. pfft whatev, I like it.

    I just like the groove. Its got a hook. It has a nice performance Its got enough of what makes a nice song that it is one that I return too. Yes, also a true summer song, I can only think of this in the context of laying by the pool with a fruity drink in hand.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, I never understood the Ko Ko Bop backlash either. The breakdown was a little shocking at first but it grew on me quickly. It’s super fitting for the vibe it goes for – a dazed, slurred summer night with some melancholy mixed in – or maybe that’s just my interpretation.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. As someone who grew up in the country where the original version of Hot Summer is from, the f(x) version never hit as much for me as other people. (The original is front and center in my brain). Ko Ko Bop is much more present for me as a summer song so the choice is obvious lol.


  3. This is the hardest choice for me so far! f(x) is one of my ultimate groups but Hot Summer isn’t my favorite from them… meanwhile, I feel like Ko Ko Bop gets made fun of a lot but I have always deep down liked it, haha. I’m gonna go with my heart and give my vote to EXO today. I thought I would be in the minority here but it seems the above commenters and I are in agreement which is validating lol.


  4. I’m for hot summer. The cultural appropriation and drop in kokopop ruin the song. The first in general while the second just makes it feel less summery


  5. It’s SM girl group vs boy group, and as a boy group stan it’ll have to be Exo for me. Neither song is the best of either group imo, however even though the chorus beat drop is really jarring in kokobop, it’s still the choice for me.


  6. Ko Ko Bop holds more emotional weight for me for some reason – which sounds weird since it is not a particularly emotional song. I like both songs, but I don’t listen to either of them very much anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For me, it helps that I was… actually around when Ko Ko Bop dropped. Hot Summer has never exactly been my cup of tea anyway, but I got to experience its competition in real time (plus, I really wanted it to grow on me, and it did!), so there were definitely some nostalgia points to be gained there. Baby’s first EXO comeback, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do know, actually! I got into EXO pretty late too, and I think Ko Ko Bop actually might have been my first comeback ‘with’ them as well! I remember I bought the repackage – it was definitely around the peak of my EXO-L phase.


  7. Congrats to View! I am pretty sure Ko Ko Bop will win this round, as it is more original, more recent, and more popular from a more popular group. That said, my non-existent vote goes for Hot Summer. F(x) really do excellent with the song, and Thomas Troelsen does what he does best here: shamelessly rip-off his old songs to great success.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve never heard the EXO song before and I like it a lot. It doesn’t strike me as particularly summery, but it makes more of an impression on me than Hot Summer.


  9. Yes, I was one of those people that absolutely roasted the hell out of Cocopops. And my opinion still remains the same. After listening to it in 4 years’ time it’s still not great for me.

    Hot Summer isn’t a very summery song. But it’s a great song.


  10. Fun fact: Ko Ko Bop was originally written to be sung by Red Velvet!
    Here’s what that might have sounded like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mxzr6QAj6k

    And the original demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQr5zIZ651A

    I hadn’t heard Ko Ko Bop all at once. I think it’s too long? I honestly expected it to end when it was around halfway done. I also don’t think the slidey-synth thing and background noises work that well with the lounge-y reggae vibe.

    “Hot Summer” sounds to me like the original with every single instrument as COMPRESSED and BOOSTED as possible plus. I love it. It’s so flashy.

    (I am voting based on which I think is the better overall song, by the way. “Fits the season” is just too ambiguous a term for me to dock one of the songs for not being summery enough. If “Hot Summer” doesn’t fit that bill, I don’t know what would.)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There is something so stupid yet charming about Koko Bop as a song to me. It just…grooves. But I could never in good conscience vote for it when f(x) is the competition.


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