Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (2024)

The members share behind-the-scenes stories in crafting and recording the 12 tracks from their latest chart-topping LP.

Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (1)

Following the news of Stray Kids earning their third consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with their biggest sales week yet, 5-Star confirms the importance behind the intense attention the K-pop boy band put into each song — even when the songs take years to make it on an album.

“2022 was filled with so many unbelievable events; it all feels like a dream,” HAN tells Billboard when reflecting on the group’s chart success ahead of their new project. “All I can think about is how deeply thankful we are for everything and how much this experience has motivated us to work even harder and grow even more. The goal of this album is to emphasize Stray Kids’ unique color, which can be defined as ‘strange yet special.’ I hope that 5-STAR will be yet another breakthrough for our group and become an album that many people acknowledge as a legendary one.”

The new, 12-track project is the band’s first full-length LP since 2021’s Noeasy and sees SKZ challenge themselves in new ways, like their ambitious, genre-hopping lead single “S-Class”; standout B-side “TOPLINE” (which includes their first-ever album feature in Korea’s legendary rapper Tiger JK); and “THE SOUND (Korean Ver.),” which transforms their beloved Japanese single for K-pop audiences.

“The idea for the title 5-STAR came from the lyrics of ‘S-Class,’ playing around the words ‘special’ and ‘star,'” says Stray Kids leader Bang Chan. “5-STAR represents the uniqueness and confidence that we put into our work.”

Stray Kids members Bang Chan, HAN, Changbin and Felix have songwriting, composition and production credits across every track on 5-STAR. Still, the group emphasizes the teamwork required to bring together all their new music.

“Feedback where everyone needs to be involved is really important when it comes to a project,” Bang Chan adds. “If some people made songs, then the others play an important role to give feedback about the songs—extra thoughts and ideas around performance, recording, concepts are all vital in the whole process and the other members participate perfectly.”

The group’s vocal star Seungmin adds, “I helped bring the wonderful songs our members made to life by singing my heart out,” while youngest member I.N notes, “I didn’t really participate in the production process this time, but I did push very hard for ‘S-Class’ to be the title track [single].”

Looking ahead, the group isn’t putting additional pressures on themselves beyond pushing further with their future music and live shows. Hyunjin promises, “We will continue to perform many stages and will expand to even larger venues so that we can meet and interact with more people.” At the same time, Lee Know says, “Stray Kids’ next [step] will be filled with many new challenges, just like what we’ve shown the world so far.”

Felix concludes, “We just hope to be healthy in order to get through the challenges that await us.”

Celebrate Stray Kids’ latest five-star album by going with the members track by track through 5-STAR.

  • "Hall of Fame"

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), VERSACHOI

    Arranged by: VERSACHOI, Bang Chan (3RACHA)

    Bang Chan: “Hall of Fame” really brings out the confidence that we, Stray Kids, have put into our work; promising that we will try to make history and engrave our names on the “Hall of Fame.”

    Lee Know: We thought that it would be a good idea to set this as the first track because of the weight that the title itself, “Hall of Fame,” holds. As this album is a special one, this track serves to be the perfect beginning.

    Bang Chan: We also thought that going with “Hall of Fame” for the opening song would be a great idea because of the impact that the song has, showing Stray Kids’ confidence right from the get go.

  • "S-Class"

    Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (2)

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), Chae Ganghae, RESTART

    Arranged by: Chae Ganghae, RESTART, Bang Chan (3RACHA)

    Changbin: Simply put, “S-Class” is “Stray Kids-esque freshness and dare” in its essence, just like the title. The track embodies the message “The strangest among the unusual, the brightest of the special.”

    What’s special about this track is how fresh it feels because we used various sound sources and song forms which create the illusion that there are a number of different tracks combined as one. I’d say the unique and addictive rhythm in the hook is what especially stands out.

    Hyunjin: “S-Class” is about the strangest among the unusual. I think what makes this track stand out is how there are various musical genres mixed and combined together to create a seamless track.

    While all of the tracks we considered for the title were great, we ended up choosing “S-Class” as the title because this was the song that really screamed Stray Kids. Experimentation isn’t really something that’s new to us because we’re always trying to push our boundaries. I think this helps us strengthen our distinctive color.

    Changbin: The vast scale of the track’s soundscape is what makes it the perfect title track—when I listened to it, I could distinctively imagine it going with a very Stray Kids-esque performance. I think the somewhat annoying yet addictive point choreography and the distinctive choreo in the hook will be something that fans will remember.

    Hyunjin: To STAY, please look forward to the addictiveness and energy our performance holds!

  • "ITEM"

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), VERSACHOI

    Arranged by: VERSACHOI, Bang Chan (3RACHA)

    Changbin: “ITEM’ is about our confidence, about how we don’t need any “ITEM” or “ITEMs” to elevate our skills. All we need is ourselves. The unique and quirky sounds throughout that remind one of a video game and witty lyrics all help to bring life to Stray Kids’ charms and each member’s unique style. We worked extra hard to emphasize plosive sounds to make the lyrics to stand out more. We also changed up the vocal tone to make the track sound more interesting.

    Hyunjin: “ITEM” is such an energetic track that will surely have you hooked at your first listen.

  • "Super Bowl"

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), Felix

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), Zack Djurich

    Arranged by: Zack Djurich, Bang Chan (3RACHA)

    HAN: “Super Bowl” pays homage to the huge Super Bowl event, and depicts Stray Kids’ music as a dish of food while using many different elements to capture listeners’ ears. While we were making this song, all of us were very excited to be able to show a different side of us—the lyric writing process was also interesting because as we worked on the lyrics, it really struck us how the song feels new and innovative. Bang Chan first drafted out the structure; I can’t forget how exhilarating it felt when I first heard the demo guide.

    While the overall recording process went much more smoothly than how I expected it to be, because all the lyrics being in English and because of the fast tempo, getting some of the pronunciation right was a bit of a challenge. But eventually everything turned out to be of high quality, all thanks to Bang Chan who did an excellent job of directing.

    I.N: We thought that singing this track in English would suit the track better, so we ended up created this original English track.

    Felix: The song “Super Bowl” was originally meant to be our first full album title, however, we decided to hold onto it until the right time comes—and so we did after nearly three years. This song brings a lot of memories and a lot of good vibes, it’s one of the greatest songs we’ll remember.

    I.N: And “Super Bowl” was actually the other candidate for GO LIVE‘s title track, “God’s Menu.” I personally love this track so I remember really pushing to have it included in this album. I’m so happy that it has finally made it, after three whole years.

    HAN: We wrote this track around the same time as when we worked on “God’s Menu.” At the time we were really into the concept of cooking, which explains why we ended up with “Gods’ Menu” and “Super Bowl.” While “God’s Menu” is the more addicting track that aims at Korean listeners, “Super Bowl” is geared more towards global listeners, hence the reason why the lyrics are all English.

  • "TOPLINE" Featuring Tiger JK

    Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (3)

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), Tiger JK

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), VERSACHOI

    Arranged by: VERSACHOI

    HAN: I believe this is a track that can really show Stray Kids’ style of hip-hop, especially because the entire track is centered around boom bap. While listening to the song after writing it, we realized how it reminded us of Tiger JK—actually, 3RACHA used to always talk about how much we wanted to work with him. I was way too hyper when I was recording this track, which is probably why it turned out to be one of the most fun recording experiences. I was so, so happy that we were able to finally create a full-out hip-hop track.

    We actually recorded our files separately. Tiger JK has been one of the artists I’ve looked up to ever since I was little and we were given the opportunity to perform with him for the [Mnet Asian Music Awards] MAMA stage last year. After the performance I remember we went up to him and told him “Hey, we have this amazing track that we would love for the opportunity to work on with you,” to which he willingly agreed. Our companies then began the discussion, and we ended up with this collaboration.
    I remember when I went up to him first during the “UNVEIL : TRACK” filming to thank him for coming, he told us how much of a fun experience it was to be able to work together. I was so, so honored and flattered. We have also promised to work together on other projects if we can.

    Seungmin: Regarding the recording process, we actually recorded our parts first and then sent over our recordings to Tiger JK, who then proceeded to fill in his parts. Tiger JK kept telling us how amazing we are, but honestly it felt so unreal to be able to just stand next to him. I remember we kept staring at him in awe, especially when he was acting and filming his scenes.

    “TOPLINE” is a metaphor that compares our ambitions with a “topline,” illustrating the message that we are the ones who lead the way. It was such a precious experience to be able to film our with Tiger JK because he is such a huge, amazing artist we’ve always looked up to. I think this is what makes this track shine even brighter!

  • "DLC"

    Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (4)

    Lyrics by: Changbin (3RACHA), RESTART

    Composed by: Changbin (3RACHA), RESTART

    Arranged by: RESTART, Changbin (3RACHA)

    Changbin: “DLC” is about how we should just forget about all those petty, distracting thoughts and worries and just dance like crazy. When I made this song, I envisioned people listening to and immersing themselves in the song, dancing and hanging out together. The repetitive hook leaves a lasting impression, and the strong brass, moombahton rhythm bring the track’s energy and rhythm to life.

    While the track will surely make you dance, if you look deeper into the lyrics you’ll notice that the lyrics also are rather sad. We tried our best to illustrate these feelings when we were recording. “DLC” is indeed an acronym, but instead of creating a new word, we thought shortening “dance like crazy” to DLC as the title would suit better.

  • "GET LIT"

    Lyrics by: HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: HAN (3RACHA), Chae Ganghae, RESTART

    Arranged by: Chae Ganghae, RESTART

    HAN: “GET LIT” is about how everyone should pour their everything into something while listening to this song. What’s notable about the track is its addictive hook; it actually didn’t take that long to make. It only took us three hours to record, add harmonies, and finalize the track—this shows how catchy the track is and how much it had been ringing in our ears. The lyrics were also what I’ve always wanted to try, which made the lyric writing process a breeze. I remember how excited the members looked when we were recording for this track.

    Felix: This song has many behind-the-scenes [stories]! Recording “GET LIT” was not only fun, but the “UNVEIL : TRACK” video also turned out to be hype and brought a lot of energy to the room. I believe this will be a very nice and hype song to keep STAY energized.

    HAN: What’s different about “GET LIT” from my [previously written] songs is that when I made “GET LIT” I was constantly thinking about how I didn’t want it to be melodical and lyrical, and that I wanted some sort of performance to go with it. The genre is also different. I honestly think I ended up making “GET LIT” because at the time, I felt like I wanted to pour my all into something.

  • "Collision"

    Lyrics by: HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: HAN (3RACHA), Millionboy

    Arranged by: Millionboy

    HAN: This song compares love to the collision of two planets; two burning planets facing each other are pulling towards each other at a raging speed, only to crash and explode, leaving the remaining excess parts to float around in space. This is the idea that got me started on this track because I thought that this image somewhat mirrored the beginning and end of a relationship. Usually, when I’m in charge of directing recording sessions, rather than sticking to the guide version I focus on bringing out each member’s unique qualities, meaning that even if it turns out different from the guide we usually end up going with it. But this wasn’t the case for this track, because I had specific details I wanted to execute in mind—this might’ve burdened the members but thankfully everyone was very cooperative. The cooperation is what increased the quality of the track.

    I.N: This track actually required a lot of vocal vibrato skills so we tried our best to bring out the vibrato when recording, which was definitely a challenge, but a lot of fun.

    HAN: Something that has changed from my previous releases would be the diversification of genres. Honestly, I’ve written a lot of minimalistic tracks, but because “GET LIT” was the first time I’ve written a track that goes with performances, I did feel a lot of pressure. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun during the production process. I’d say I’ve grown my own production method.

  • "FNF"

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Felix

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Felix, Trippy

    Arranged by: Trippy, Bang Chan (3RACHA)

    Bang Chan: The song’s message is about the severe bushfires that happened in Australia, which is home to unique flora and fauna. We alluded the lyrics to losing a loved one, grieving their presence and showing that we will never forget what has been lost. The writing process is different for every song but with “FNF” I made the song first, then rearranged the structure, then asked Felix to write his feelings for the lyrics.

    Felix: “FNF” has a lot of double meaning because we relate to people and STAY through lyrics, and wanted to talk about the bushfire incidents that took place in our home, Australia. Even to this day there are many bushfires so we wanted to spread the message and express how we feel. It’s been a while since I wrote and composed for song, so while it was a bit nerve wracking it was also fun to experience the process for the first time in such a long time.

  • "Youtiful"

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA)

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Nickko Young

    Arranged by: Nickko Young

    Seungmin: This heartwarming song delivers the message of how everyone is beautiful and amazing just the way they are! I hope STAY listen to this whenever they are feeling down, so that this song can help boost their self-esteem. All of our members sang in English, so I’m positive that our message will be able to reach STAY from all around the world!

    Bang Chan: I guess you can call “Youtiful” a very heartwarming song. Hoping that the message can give strength to the listeners, the lyrics are based on the warm words and phrases that we received. We wanted to show that it’s also meant for STAYs and everyone else in the world. English is my native language, so I guess it did bring out my sincere emotions. English is also the universal language, so I hoped that the message of the song would reach out to everyone out there. But also wordplay is pretty important for Stray Kids, ever since the start we’ve created unique titles because we believe that it brings a little more impact and makes the song a little more memorable.

  • "THE SOUND (Korean Version)"

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), Zack Djurich, Kyle Reynolds, Chris LaRocca

    Arranged by: Zack Djurich, Kyle Reynolds, Bang Chan (3RACHA), Chris LaRocca

    Hyunjin: This was actually our Japanese album’s title track so many STAY love this song, and we decided to add it to our Korean album as well! I believe the powerfulness that this track emits really suits Stray Kids well.

    Lee Know: This song was one that we initially recorded in Japanese so luckily we were already familiar with the melody and flow of the track—which definitely helped speed up the recording process! Because STAY were looking forward to this version, and because it is such a powerful track, we really wanted to add it to this album.

  • "Mixtape : Time Out"

    Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (5)

    Lyrics by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA)

    Composed by: Bang Chan (3RACHA), Changbin (3RACHA), HAN (3RACHA), VERSACHOI, JUN2

    Arranged by: VERSACHOI, Bang Chan (3RACHA), JUN2

    Changbin: We made this track in memory of all the happy moments we spent together during our summer trip to Gangwon-do. Just like the title “Time Out,” we expressed the message “throw away all your worries far, far away and travel with us along with the soft breeze” through the refreshing rock genre.

    I.N: 3RACHA wrote this track after being inspired by our group trip. That’s why if you listen closely, you can hear sounds of us laughing—these sounds were taken from video clips we filmed during our trip. The sounds of us laughing have become part of the music! STAY, please give our new album lots and lots of love. We will be showing you many sides of us so please look forward to everything!

    Seungmin: 5-STAR contains so many amazing songs. We are so ready to be back, so please look forward to what we have in store. We will also try our best to show only our best!

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Based on this article, the members of the K-pop boy band Stray Kids share behind-the-scenes stories about crafting and recording the 12 tracks from their latest chart-topping LP, "5-STAR" [[1]]. The album is their first full-length LP since 2021's "Noeasy" and showcases the group challenging themselves in new ways, with ambitious lead single "S-Class" and standout B-side "TOPLINE" featuring Korean rapper Tiger JK [[1]].

Importance of "5-STAR" Album

The members of Stray Kids emphasize the importance of their "5-STAR" album and the intense attention they put into each song. They express their gratitude for their chart success and how it has motivated them to work even harder and grow as artists [[1]]. The goal of the album is to emphasize Stray Kids' unique color, which they describe as "strange yet special" [[1]].

Involvement of Stray Kids Members

The members of Stray Kids, including Bang Chan, HAN, Changbin, and Felix, have songwriting, composition, and production credits across every track on the "5-STAR" album [[1]]. They highlight the importance of teamwork and feedback from all members during the project, with each member playing a role in giving feedback about the songs, performance, recording, and concepts [[1]].

Track-by-Track Overview

The article provides insights into the creation and meaning behind several tracks on the "5-STAR" album. Here is a summary of the information shared:

  1. "Hall of Fame":

    • The track represents Stray Kids' confidence and their desire to make history and leave their mark on the "Hall of Fame" [[1]].
  2. "S-Class":

    • The track embodies Stray Kids' uniqueness and confidence, with various musical genres mixed together to create a fresh and addictive sound [[1]].
  3. "ITEM":

    • The track showcases Stray Kids' confidence and emphasizes that they don't need any external items to elevate their skills [[1]].
  4. "Super Bowl":

    • The track pays homage to the Super Bowl event and uses different elements to capture listeners' ears. It was originally considered as the album's title track [[1]].
  5. "TOPLINE" (featuring Tiger JK):

    • The track is centered around boom bap and showcases Stray Kids' style of hip-hop. It was a collaboration with Korean rapper Tiger JK, whom the group had always wanted to work with [[1]].
  6. "DLC":

    • The track encourages listeners to forget distractions and worries and just dance. It has a catchy hook and energetic rhythm [[1]].
  7. "GET LIT":

    • The track urges listeners to pour their everything into something while listening to the song. It has an addictive hook and was recorded in just three hours [[1]].
  8. "Collision":

    • The track compares love to the collision of two planets and explores the beginning and end of a relationship. It features vocal vibrato skills and brings out each member's unique qualities [[1]].
  9. "FNF":

    • The track addresses the severe bushfires in Australia and expresses the idea of not forgetting what has been lost. It was written by Bang Chan and Felix and carries a double meaning [[1]].
  10. "Youtiful":

    • The track delivers a heartwarming message that everyone is beautiful and amazing just the way they are. It was sung in English by all members [[1]].
  11. "THE SOUND (Korean Version)":

    • Originally a Japanese album's title track, it was included in the Korean album as well. It is a powerful track that suits Stray Kids well [[1]].
  12. "Mixtape: Time Out":

    • The track was inspired by the members' summer trip and encourages listeners to throw away worries and travel with them. It has a refreshing rock genre and includes sounds of the members laughing, taken from video clips of their trip [[1]].

Overall, the "5-STAR" album showcases Stray Kids' growth, experimentation with different genres, and their commitment to delivering meaningful and energetic music to their fans [[1]].

Stray Kids Break Down Their Billboard 200 No. 1 Album ‘5-STAR’ Track-by-Track: Exclusive (2024)
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