EXP Edition is probably the most unique K-Pop group ever. They’re best known for being the first and only K-Pop group without a single Korean member. While some people are absolutely loving them, others have a completely different feeling towards the group.
EXP Edition has four members with very different backgrounds. Sime is Croatian-American, Hunter was born in raised in New York, Frankie is from Rhode Island, and Koki is half Japanese and half German while being raised in Texas.
The unique group was formed in 2015 after Bora Kim decided to base her university thesis on the global success of the Hallyu wave and the global and social impacts of it. She wanted to see how people would react to a K-Pop group that didn’t have any Koreans in it and, after raising $30,000, EXP Edition was formed.
Almost immediately the group faced some major criticism. It first came in the form of people taking offense to the group using the tag “EXP Planet” on their Instagram page. Many netizens thought it was way too similar to EXO’s “EXO Planet” tagline.
Then, people started to think that they were poking fun at K-Pop in general until they found out it was all an experiment and wrote them off as such.
But EXP Edition was serious about debuting. They practiced hard and made their official debut 3 years later on April 17, 2017 under the label IMMABB (I’m Making A Boy Band).
As soon as their music went up, K-Pop fans decided to create reaction videos. Their reactions were mostly negative, with many people scratching their heads over a K-Pop group without Koreans.
Interestingly, the vast majority of hate came from international fans and EXP Edition unfortunately even received death threats!
While international fans seemed to think that EXP Edition was culturally appropriating aspects of Korean culture, the group has actually received a lot of love from Koreans!
They’ve continued to grow a steady fanbase as more people realize that they truly love Korean music and culture.
Even to this day, international K-Pop fans and Korean K-Pop fans are still divided.
Check out some of their music below to form your own opinion.
And watch the video below to learn a little bit more about EXP and the conflicting views of K-Pop fans.