Name: Lǐ Jiāhéng (李嘉恒), Kevin Li, Wú Yìfán (吴亦凡), Wú Fán (吴凡),
Kris (크리스), Duizhang (队长), Krisus, Niú Zǎi Gē/Cowboy/Denim Ge/Denim Oppa (牛仔哥)
Date of Birth: 6 November 1990
Position: Duizhang, Rapper, Sub-vocal, Sex God, Recipient of Love-Rage Feels, Hipployta’s dongsaeng
Hobbies: reading self-help books, sleeping, surfing the internet, skincare, basketball, writing lyrics
Talents: Languages (English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean), world’s most talented African drum player, rap, excellence in drawing, beautiful handwriting, getting out of cars, ruining your life
EXO Power: Flight, Summon a Dragon (AND is a Dragon), Ovary Destruction
I. Pre-Debut (aka “Hooray for Puberty”)
As Mario Puzo once said in The Godfather: “Great men are not born great, they grow great.” Such is the case with the mysterious leader of EXO-M, a man of many names and just as many mysteries surrounding his existence.
He of Many Names and Different Places
(why yes, Kris’ awesome is just too much to handle that this has to be further subdivided for optimum pleasure)
Some know him as Lǐ Jiāhéng, others as Kevin Li. What is certain is that, at one point, he became Wú Yìfán or Wú Fán . A select number of media people from Kcon even know him as Ken. His fellow EXO members refer to him as Duizhang. However, despite the overwhelming number of names that can make even royal families blush, most simply refer to him as Kris (alternatively, Krease).
Kris was born on 6 November 1990. It has been a generally accepted rumor that he was born in Guangzhou, and at some point during his childhood moved to Canada, settling in Vancouver. Some say that he returned to China at one point, only to come back to Canada shortly after. Suffice it to say, Kris’ past, for the most part, has been shrouded in mystery. Despite that, little tidbits about Kris surfaced. He is known for his love of basketball and was even rumored to have been team captain. Kindly direct your attention to this pre-debut video and observe the grace with which he fails to score. While being one inch away from the hoop. Such embarrassing moments would go on to become the norm in his life.
Little Krisus Growing Up
Kris’ infamous bitchface has been around forever. However, once infancy passed and puberty rolled in (no pun intended), all hope was lost. The impeccable bitchface made room for awkward yearbook photos and general greasiness. All hope seemed to be lost until 2007, when Kris entered SM’s Global Audition in Vancouver, BC, Canada. From that blessed moment, he went on to train for five years before debuting with EXO. (Let us observe Duizhang practicing his great rapping prowess.) As puberty passed and SM worked its magic, we were all blessed with the return of his infamous bitchface.
The Trainee Years
Kris’ training period was not filled with rainbows and butterflies. He has confessed to missing his family during interviews, and he entertained some doubts at that point in his life. However, his dedication and hard work prevailed. Good thing he persevered, because Duizhang is just too exceptional to be ignored, even way before he debuted.
Kris became quasi-famous among SM stans even before he debuted. He had his own fancams (with other future EXO members) pre-debut, with one earning him the nickname of 牛仔哥 (Niú Zǎi Gē) because of his denim fetish. SNSD fans may also recognize him as that good-looking guy from a VTR that played during SNSD’s 1st Asia Tour Concert. Nevertheless, despite all these, Kris still remained an intriguing and mysterious figure throughout the years leading up to the now infamous teaser era.
II. EXO Teaser Era (aka, “Please, for the love of God, no more shakin’ like that”)
Prior to official debut, Kris first appeared in the group shot of Sehun’s teaser (8). All the EXO members, including Kris, were revealed via the What is Love MV on 29 January 2012, but his official video teaser (17) was released on 25 February 2012. He was the 11th member to be introduced. Along with his teaser video, SM also released two photos. He also appears in the final teaser video (23). Later SM released more photos (including ones with other members), but virtually no information about him.
Solo teaser: EXO Teaser video 17 Kris
The reaction to Kris in the What is Love and History MVs can best be described by the words Ovary Explosion. EXO-M’s practice video for History attracted special attention because of the numerous comments about Kris, ranging from appreciation, admiration, to outright unabashed awe. He was also a magnet for an unprecedented number of truly perverted (ahem) comments, previously never heard of for such a new group. Still, in spite of all these, virtually nothing was still known about the mysterious Kris, sometimes referred to as Krisus, rumored leader of EXO-M.
III. Debut Era (aka, “MAMA Mia, Kreease has arrived”)
MAMA, where’d my panties go?
The MAMA music video solidified Kris’ status as EXO’s resident ovary-terminator. It also introduced growling Kris to the world--a favorite of his (and ours! bless you, duizhang)--which has cropped up again and again during the MAMA promotion period. If one thing is to be learned from the MV, though, it’s that not even unflattering face paint will be allowed to distract from his glorious face. (See those ovaries--all gone kaput).
Duizhang’s Here, Peasants
The seemingly cold Ice Prince Krisus and Co. held their Korean showcase on 31 March 2012, followed by another showcase in Beijing the next day. EXO’s Korean showcase was particularly memorable, as Kris demonstrated that he speaks Korean like a boss and can actually smile. His special stage with Chanyeol blessed us with the most awesome first fandom meme ever, “Ayo Whaddup Kreease”, as well as some gloriously classy crotch-grabbing. It also introduced us to his monstrous yaoi hands (see picture above), which have been a recurring point of fixation for fans ever since. Look, how can you ignore these? (wickedwondrous can’t) Other notable debuts: his smirk, those thighs, and that stare. In terms of introducing Duizhang to the masses, these events were a success.
EXO-M officially made their debut at the Shenzhen Mengniu Sour Yogurt Music Billboard Awards on the 8 April 2012. All six members made quite the impression, and Kris aced his red carpet debut looking effortlessly handsome and dapper, setting a precedent for other red carpets to come.
However, their debut did not go without trouble. In what is now known as the infamous “We have four Chinese members” incident, Kris stepped up to the plate and solidified his position as a responsible and well-spoken leader, deftly correcting the host that they could indeed understand what the fans were saying (or screaming). At that moment, bunica1990 and hipployta forever made Kris their #1.