Skip to main content

EXO Earn First Top 40 Entry on Billboard 200 With ‘Don’t Mess Up My Tempo’

EXO's 'Don't Mess Up My Tempo' scores the K-pop boy band their first-ever Top 40 entry on the Billboard 200 as well as a slew of new, high-flying records.

EXO prove they are far from slowing down as their new album Don’t Mess Up My Tempo scores the boy band their first-ever Top 40 entry on the Billboard 200 as well as a slew of new, high-flying records.

Don’t Mess Up My Tempo debuts on the Billboard 200 at No. 23, the K-pop outfit’s highest-charting entry ever. Tempo begins with 23,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 8, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 19,000 are album sales. 


The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The Nov. 17-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Metro Boomin is expected to debut at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s websites on Tuesday, Oct. 30, along with the rest of Billboard‘s weekly charts dated Nov. 3.

This is easily EXO’s best sales week in America to date, beating out their previous best from 2015 when the EXOdus: The 2nd Album sold 6,000 in traditional album sales. The guys first entered the Billboard 200 with EXOdus in 2015 (landing at No. 95 on the Billboard 200) and last year bowed with The War: The 4th Album (which hit No. 87 and sold 7,000 equivalent album units with 5,000 in traditional album sales). EXO splinter group EXO-K also sent their Overdose EP to No. 129 in May 2014. EXO now become just one of three K-pop acts with three or more entries on the Billboard 200. 

EXO is also just the third K-pop group to score a top 40 album on the Billboard 200 alongside BTS (who have peaked at No. 1 twice) and BLACKPINK (who hit No. 40 earlier this year with Square Up).

Don’t Mess Up My Tempo is the long-awaited comeback album from EXO, who last hit the K-pop scene together last December for their winter-themed EP Universe in December 2017, but haven’t released a full-length Korean album since The War in July 2017. As expected from the shape-shifting supergroup, the guys experiment with genres and styles, incorporating some refreshing and surprising sonic elements throughout the LP. Lead single “Tempo” sees the band blend moments of a cappella throughout a sexy, shiny, somewhat dark electro-pop/synth-funk sound while “Ooh La La La” is based around Latin-pop sounds with underlying, trappy snares. But longtime fans will find special moments in hearing member Lay‘s voice return for the first time in over a year on the album (as he particularly shines on the Chinese version of “Tempo”), as well as the haunting standout “Oasis,” which Billboard previously noted had a similar beat to EXOdus track “El Dorado” and could be considered a Part II to the fan-favorite cut.


Elsewhere on the charts, Tempo becomes EXO’s fourth No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Albums chart. The band first hit No. 1 with their first full-length album XOXO (which hit No. 1 in 2013), as well earned chart-toppers with EXOdus, The War and, now, Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. The video for “Tempo” also enters the YouTube Songs chart at No. 13 this week, EXO’s highest entry on the tally so far. 

Check back to on Tuesday morning when all the charts are refreshed to see the full scope of EXOs latest chart dominance. In the meantime, watch the guys bring “Tempo” to life below on Korean program KBS Music Bank: