Stray Kids has officially put an end of the GO LIVE era after the reveal of the IN LIFE trailer, so we’re here to recap everything that happened.
It seems like it was yesterday when Stray Kids made their first comeback of the year with their first full-length album, GO LIVE, and their massive title track, ‘God’s Menu.’ However, it’s already been over three months since they first announced it, and so much happened in this era.
We’re here to do a recap on everything about the Go Live era to make sure you didn’t miss anything and that you’re ready for what comes next (even though knowing them, we don’t think anyone is really ready).
Before the release…
Even though Stray Kids never stopped putting out content, GO LIVE was their first comeback of the year. This has been the longest Stray Kids has been without making a comeback and yet, they gave us so much content.
In six months, they released ‘Mixtape: Gone Days‘ in December, the English versions of ‘Double Knot’ and ‘Levanter‘ in January along with their tour in the US. They also released their first Japanese studio album with re-recorded songs and Japanese versions of some of their songs. ‘Mixtape: On Track‘ was also released back in March for the second anniversary since their debut. Throughout the months, they served us with numerous SKZ-RECORDS and SKZ-PLAYERS, where they covered songs, showed their choreography, and released original songs. They also participated in the OST of an anime, Tower Of God, with the opening song, ‘TOP,’ and the ending song, ‘Slump.’ Both of these songs were released in three different languages, Japanese, Korean, and English.
But all of this was only a taste of what GO LIVE would bring.
This arguable was one of their most teased comebacks. Before the official release on June 17th, they unveiled four of the b-sides (‘GO LIVE,’ ‘Easy,’ ‘TA,’ and ‘Blueprint‘). They also showed multiple snippets of the songs in their Vlives, through the Chan’s Room series – including the special episode 60 that included Sana from Twice, Young K from DAY6, and Jun.K from 2PM as well as all the 8 members.
In other words, even before release, this comeback felt very different from previous ones. The members seemed very proud of what they had prepared, and they seemed as excited to show it to us as we were to listen to it.
The impact of ‘God’s Menu’ was immediate. Through this comeback, Stray Kids broke several of their records. It was their music video with the most views in the first 24 hours. To give you a sense of how big Stray Kids had gotten between their previous comeback with ‘Levanter,’ GO LIVE sold as many copies in a day as Clé: LEVANTER did in a week. The album itself was 14 tracks long, including the Korean version of ‘TOP’ and ‘Slump’ as well as the mixtapes previously released. And this album had all we needed from them.
Not only were the numbers themselves huge for them, but ‘God’s Menu’ was huge. It had everyone singing and dancing to it, including idols. Everything about it was simply perfect, from the choreography to the lyrics, to the music video. Stray Kids really did something with this song. It became one of the most iconic songs of the summer for Kpop fans. Between the opening rap, the melody in the pre-chorus, and the explosive and iconic chorus. Stray Kids proved they were ready to take over the world.
Stray Kids tried on different genres in this album. For example, ‘Another Day’ is an acoustic track that focuses on the struggle with mental health. ‘Airplane’ is a more chill type of song. ‘Phobia’ is a song about their fear of losing Stays. Between the emotion in their singing and rapping and the hype of the song – something feels very special about it. Another song that definitely stands out is ‘Blueprint.’ It was the perfect summer song with the perfect care-free vibe.
But of course, this album also had songs that felt more familiar but still sounded fresh and new. Starting with the intro of the album, ‘GO LIVE’ – let’s just say you’ll understand why Stray Kids are so known for their rap line. And of course, it couldn’t be a Stray Kids album if there weren’t songs to get hyped to. They served us with songs like ‘Pacemaker,’ ‘TA,’ ‘Haven,’ and of course, ‘Easy.’
This album showed that Stray Kids weren’t playing around, and it showed a much more confident side to them.
After the release
Stray Kids more than ever caught the eye of the general public. This comeback will remain one of their most iconic ones for sure. It wasn’t just about the music; For a couple of months it felt like Stray Kids was everywhere.
As a Stay, there was so much content to watch coming out. It started with their online showcase where they performed several new songs, followed by the promotion of ‘God’s Menu’ on Music Shows for three weeks, and then ‘Easy’ for a week. They also went on Vlive almost every day during those weeks either as a group or individually. They even did a cooking competition and recorded a mini music-video for Airplane through those Vlives. And music videos for ‘Blueprint’ and ‘Easy’ were released as well.
But that wasn’t all. Stray Kids were literally everywhere. They went to Idol Room, participated in multiple online concerts like KCON and more. They put out a new series on their YouTube channel called Two Kids Song, where they randomly paired up and each team created a song over the same track and released multiple versions of the dance practice for ‘God’s Menu.’ Stray Kids also released the second season of Finding SKZ through Mnet. Not so long ago, Bangchan, Lee Know, Hyunjin, and Felix were on a game show, Idol On Quiz, against The Boyz. They also recorded their song, ‘Slump,’ for a YouTube Channel that shoots singers performing the first take. And of course, they participated in yet another OST for a web show, POP OUT BOY!, and released a brand new song, ‘Hello Stranger.’
Something this era brought us was also some individual content. Changbin went to Masked Singer and gave us a beautiful cover of ‘Tomorrow,’ originally by Tablo featuring Taeyong from BIGBANG. I.N auditioned to be part of a trot group and blew us all away. Bangchan went to a spin-off of Knowing Bros, After-School Activities, to teach the choreography for ‘God’s Menu’ and ‘My House’ by 2PM. And of course, the 00′ line (including Hyunjin, Sanha from Astro, Daehwi from AB6IX and Bomin from Golden Childen) performance of ‘Psycho,’ when Hyunjin went viral.
One could say the end of this era came with the anniversary of the reveal of their fandom name, Stay. On August 1st, they released a special video for their song ‘Haven’ as well as a skit later on.
However, two months after its official release, ‘God’s Menu’ still has an impact. Last week, the song ranked 10th in Mnet TMI News’ Top 10 Best Hidden Masterpieces.
And of course, with this comeback, Stray Kids reached a huge milestone: ‘God’s Menu’ was their first music video to reach 100M views on YouTube. This made them the fastest Kpop boy group from the fourth generation to reach 100M views. It also placed the music video in the top ten of the fastest music videos by Kpop boy groups to get to that amount of views. Indeed, as of August 27, Stray Kids are, along with BTS, the only boy groups to reach 100M views in 2020.
Stray Kids aren’t ready to stop anytime soon.
They’ve already announced their next comeback with a repackage of their first full-length album. They’re going from GO LIVE to IN LIFE. The album will be out on September 14th and for now, there’s not much more we know about it. But, it won’t be too long until Stray Kids start putting out concept images and teasers. However, if we get into their universe, it does look like Stray Kids are coming back to District 9 but totally changed, ready to start a rebellion.
If you thought Stray Kids had gotten big between their two last comebacks, ‘God’s Menu’ made their fanbase grow even more. The trailer of IN LIFE reached over 2M views on YouTube and over 1M on Twitter in the first 48h of its release. Meanwhile, the GO LIVE trailer, after three months of its release, has 3M views on YouTube.
In other words, Stray Kids are back bigger than ever and they’re ready to take on the world.
And that’s not all. It was announced that the boy group will be releasing their first Japanese mini-album on November 4th. We don’t know much about it either, but we’re excited for sure.
Stray Kids seem to have a very packed second half of the year, and it’s never too late to stan if you don’t already. Here are 5 reasons why you definitely should stan them, and 15 songs from them you need in your playlist.
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Featured image source: JYP Entertainment