Stra Kids band posing for a pic.

‘WHY?’ by Stray Kids Is More Than Just a Hater Clapback

“Why” wouldn’t be the first song from Stray Kids (Skz) that discussed mental health and individuality, but “Why” had been speculated by fans to be a song about Stray Kids and how they feel about their critics.

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During the song, you hear “leave us alone” repeatedly. Felix’s part mentions how these critics are everywhere, like “starving hyenas.” This may have to do with the attacks that Stray Kids had to endure. Members Felix and Hyunjin would often get death threats for no reason other than people disliking them.

At one point, a fan posted on Weibo that they would bring a laser during a fan signing event to cause Felix permanent blindness. You’d think nobody would encourage this behavior, but many solo fans of other members who disliked Felix agreed.

This song is about how mobs have come after Stray Kids, who also criticize them for being unoriginal. A line, sung by Lee Know, says that “you’re just assuming that I’m being influenced by other people around me.” Comparisons between BTS and Stray Kids aren’t new, but anti-fans take these criticisms to extremes by saying that Stray Kids is trying hard to become a BTS replica.

Perhaps the most controversial line in this song would be Changbin’s line, “trash in the streets. I like to call them ‘people,’ but I don’t want to listen because they’re all hypocritical.” It’s necessary for artists to accept criticism for improvement, but how many of these comments are helpful? Stray Kids has chosen to be “selfish,” as professed in the latter half of their song, and block out disparaging remarks.

Sounding off may be the best thing to do in a world where idols are often crucified for their looks and artistry.

(featured image: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)


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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.