Watch Stray Kids’ Thrilling, Sinister Video for ‘Venom’
The South Korean group fight each other to survive in this dark, cinematic trap anthem
Just days after dropping their mega-hit EP ODDINARY, South Korean powerhouse Stray Kids return with a music video for the track “Venom,” the second single from the record. The EP was ushered in with the lead single “Maniac” which released on March 18th. “Venom” was previously teased on the group’s “Unveil: Track” clip on March 13th.
Written and composed by Stray Kids’ in-group producer unit 3RACHA (comprising HAN, Changbin and Bang Chang) “Venom” is a gritty, trap and hip-hop song with rich, looping synth. The group’s rappers are definitely in their element as they use the simpler beat to show off their flows. The vocalists deploy smooth falsettos and harmonies to build up to the future bass style anti-drop at the chorus. The lyrics outline a frantic need to escape from something dark and addictive, using a spider and its paralyzing venom as a metaphor for the situation; “I got caught again pretending not to know on my way/ I knew I couldn’t get out of it, but I got caught again/ I’m trapped in this sticky web/ Criminal, the deadly venom has already spread.” The sense of panic is heightened by the rap line’s powerful delivery on their verses and the vocalists’ haunting takes on the pre-chorus.
The music video is a departure from the usual choreography-heavy Stray Kids style and focuses on a dark storyline which sees the members fight one another for survival. A robotic spider lurks ominously as the showdowns begin–the members use poison, guns, a boxing ring and more as they attempt to escape the hellish situation. (Spoiler alert: only rapper Felix and vocalist Seungmin make it at the end.) It’s sinister and slower, delivering a brand new side of the group yet again.
ODDINARY is Stray Kids’ sixth EP and comprises a total of seven tracks including “Venom.” A day before the record’s release, the group’s label JYP Entertainment announced that ODDINARY had hit a total of 1.3 million pre-orders, making Stray Kids the first artist under the label to cross the one million pre-order sales. The group’s 2021 LP, NOEASY, had peaked at 930,000 pre-orders, giving their latest comeback a 400,000 album sale boost and making it the band’s personal best release in terms of sales to date–a big step towards their plans for world domination.