Stray Kids Releases MAXIDENT


Adelaide Browning, Assistant Newspaper Editor

K-pop boy band Stray Kids, sometimes referred to as just SKZ, have come back with their 9th mini-album, breaking their own records and showcasing their growth. MAXIDENT features the typical outside-of-the-box songs that usually take place on SKZ albums. The outstanding vocals, rap, and music style provide a transition from their last era to a new one, further developing the group’s sound and solidifying their name in the top groups of K-pop’s fourth generation. 

Stray Kids were first introduced to the world in 2017 with the reality show Stray Kids, in which the group worked to improve their musical talents and debut with all 9 original members. While typical K-pop groups have the members selected by their company, leader Bang Chan picked each one himself. They officially debuted on March 25, 2018, with their first mini-album I Am Not, featuring the title track “District 9.”

Specializing in dabbling in as many different kinds of music as they can, Stray Kids have faced some difficulties when it comes to gaining popularity. Their first award came a year after their debut with the release of “MIROH.” However, true fame didn’t come until the release of “God’s Menu” on their first full album, GO LIVE. The track holds its place as their most popular song, with its music video garnering 361 million views since its release in 2020.

Unlike other K-pop groups, Stray Kids are almost entirely self-produced. The group is made up of three units, each with its own specialty. 3RACHA made up of Bang Chan and main rappers Changbin and Han, writes and produces almost every song they release. DANCERACHA, consisting of lead dancer Felix and main dancers Lee Know and Hyunjin, specializes in the choreographies that go with their music. Lastly, VOCALRACHA involves main vocalist Seungmin and lead vocalist I.N. 

MAXIDENT allows each member to show off their talents and even write and produce their own songs. The album maintains the theme of love throughout most of its tracks. The title song “CASE 143” features a catchy tune along with lyrics about being caught up in attraction. Songs like “TASTE”, “Give Me Your TMI”, and “Can’t Stop” continue to discuss the different feelings experienced while being in love. The more solemn-sounding “CHILL” utilizes sorrowful lyrics to describe the feeling of being in a relationship that both parties know is doomed. On the other hand, the rap song “3RACHA” does a complete 180 by bragging about the group’s accomplishments and dissing the haters.

Spending two consecutive weeks at the number one spot of the Billboard Top 200 chart, MAXIDENT was generally well received by long-time fans and new listeners alike. The new album earned SKZ six wins on Korean music shows, bringing their total number of awards to nineteen. Featuring a variety of songs to fit any mood, MAXIDENT is absolutely worth a listen.