10 songs that have defined EXO's last 10 years

10 songs that have defined EXO's last 10 years


It's EXO's 10th anniversary!

On 8 April 2012, the boy group released their first-ever single 'Mama'. Since then, they've continued to rise above the ranks of K-pop and become one of the genre's most iconic acts. 

So, to celebrate all that they've accomplished, we're walking down memory lane. 

Narrowing down an entire group, especially one as influential as EXO, into a small list of songs is no easy feat. Considering their versatility and growth through the last decade, the boy group's expansive discography has so many standouts. 


From their iconic debut to their newer ('Ko Ko') bops, here are 10 of EXO's most popular songs from their last 10 years. 


This is where it all began. Released in both Korean and Mandarin, 'Mama' was the first single that EXO released on 8 April 2012. Performed separately by their sub-units EXO-K and EXO-M, the dynamic track—complete with Gregorian chants and rock fuelled guitar riff—showed the entire group's immense talent right from their debut. 


If you didn't do the 'wolf' dance move anytime this song came on, you'd be lying. Unbashful and incredibly in your face, 'Wolf' was the song that everyone had ringing in their heads and that stuck with every K-pop fan, even almost 10 years later.


'Growl' was not only the song that propelled EXO into new global heights but also defined a good chunk of the second generation of K-pop. Ask any fan and they'll tell you they've tried to learn the dance at least once (and in this writer's case, failed miserably). Iconic in every way shape and form, 'Growl' was that song. 


By this time, EXO have grown up—in more ways than one. Beyond just age, the group have carved their own place in the K-pop industry, with their success no longer associated with their powerhouse labelmates like Super Junior and SHINee

'Call Me Baby' was the next evolution in EXO's music and concepts, and undoubtedly built the foundation for the group we know and love today.


If you needed a song to describe what this group was all about, it'd probably be 'Monster'. From the seamless transitions from rap to singing to the mesmerising choreography, this bass-heavy track is quintessentially EXO. 


If you had to compile K-pop's most iconic lyrics, "Lipstick chateau 와인빛 colour" from 'Lotto' will definitely make the cut. Even almost six years since its release, the song has continued to make its way into new social media trends.

'Ko Ko Bop'

Up until this point, we've barely seen the members go for a concept that wasn't dark and rugged; but 'Ko Ko Bop' proved that they'd crush it either way. Refreshing, bright, and insanely catchy, 'Ko Ko Bop' was a summer song in the most EXO way possible.

'Love Shot'

'Love Shot' is where you hear EXO's vocal arrangement shine. Smooth and seamless, this is a song that just flows like honey, especially when seeing the track's sensual choreography. In line with its success, this is also the group's first-ever music video to hit over 500 million views. 


These days, it's rare to see the entirety of EXO altogether with the members taking turns to fulfil their military service but even then, every comeback feels like an event. By 2019, the group have grown to be one of K-pop's most popular groups and this era proved why. 

'Don't Fight The Feeling'

'Don't fight the feeling' comes on the heels of SM Entertainment's move into Kwangya and the track marks EXO's entrance into the fictional universe. Beyond just a regular music video and album, this comeback also saw varied media elements including a mobile game and virtual museum, turning their awaited return into an entire experience. 

Reminisce EXO's last decade here.