Calling all Stray Kids fans, mixtape enthusiasts, and the general population of music lovers! Regardless if you’re familiar with Stray Kids or not, this is a PSA letting you know about their incredible pre-debut unit group, 3RACHA!
This sub-unit consists of leader Bang Chan, main rapper Changbin, as well as Han, who is both a rapper and a vocalist. Using the stage names CB97, SPEARB, and J.One respectively, these three came together as trainees under Bang Chan’s leadership with the goal of making their own music.
Their writing and producing skills were truly able to shine via 3RACHA mixtape releases on YouTube and SoundCloud, consequently providing opportunities to work on Stray Kids songs as well. So as a way of appreciating their talents, here are 10 solid tracks to get you started on your 3RACHA journey. Enjoy!
1. “Runner’s High”
All right, we’re gonna start off strong here. At its core, “Runner’s High” is song that’s full of hype from beginning to end, and the rap itself is practically brimming with exhilaration. And since this is one of the few 3RACHA tracks that have been performed live, I thought I’d share this lovely performance video with you all so you can see the excitement for yourself.
2. “Broken Compass”
The lyrics of “Broken Compass” are candid in the sense that they detail 3RACHA’s journey as musicians, particularly about how other people accused them of choosing the wrong career path. However, their decision to pursue music led to a reliance on this “broken” compass for guidance, a metaphor that represents others’ expectations about music as an unstable job.
For people who watched the “Stray Kids” survival show, this one will be quite familiar to you. The concept behind “Matryoshka” involves the famous Russian nesting dolls; even if you think you know someone from the outside, there are plenty of layers lurking beneath the surface. Though the original track featured parts from all three 3RACHA members, this arrangement with only Changbin and Han is just as fire.
4. “For You” feat. Felix
Okay, when I say “featuring Felix,” I actually mean that he yells “hey” a couple times, so don’t get too disappointed! Regardless, this song is the most pure and heartwarming out of the ones listed. Once you hear the lyrics telling you that it’s okay to cry when things are difficult, you can’t help but feel reassured.
Yet another lyrical gem, “Placebo” asserts itself as a musical manifestation of self-doubt and finding comfort in something that may turn out to be an illusion. The chorus features a Chainsmokers-esque EDM drop which will inevitably get stuck in your head, allowing this combination of a catchy beat and melancholy lyrics to feel bittersweet at times.
6. “Hoodie Season”
Just as you’d imagine the cool weather of fall, “Hoodie Season” expresses a sort of comfort in wearing something as simple as a hoodie, even when the weather doesn’t call for it. Whether you find solace in the consistency of routine or feel a sort of affection for the memories that clothing can hold, everyone has their own security blanket, or hoodie, to get them through life.
If you were looking for a song about romance in this bunch, then “WOW” is for you. Well, I guess calling the lyrics romantic is a stretch, but it’s the only instance in which we’ve ever seen a flirty 3RACHA in action. Simply put, the name Stray Kids doesn’t seem as fitting after listening to this track.
8. “Scene Stealers”
Taking influences from old school jazz, 3RACHA uses “Scene Stealers” to express confidence in their own star quality by using a cascade of horns and smooth percussion. According to the lyrics, the members don’t need a lot of time or many words to make an impression, since human interactions favor quality over quantity.
9. “Start Line”
Considering that the average age of Stray Kids is just around high school, it makes perfect sense that 3RACHA would write a song about graduation. Any young person can relate to the message of “Start Line,” given that graduating is all about simultaneous ends and beginnings. Since this song was released to commemorate the anniversary of 3RACHA’s first mixtape, you can tell that this track carries an air of reflection in its lyrics.
10. “Subway Pt. II”
As the only track from this list that uses a borrowed beat, you can’t even tell the difference in terms of quality; 3RACHA are so good at producing that their work is indistinguishable from a pro’s! The almost lo-fi vibes that this song emits truly suit its name, since you could easily imagine listening to it on a calm subway trip. And as a plus, the lyrics reference underlying societal issues faced by the multitude of overworked and frantic people who are often seen on public transport.
Which 3RACHA track is your favorite? Be sure to share yours in the comments below!
jadicus35 is a ordinary college student by day, and a not-so-closet fangirl by night. She spends her time on Tumblr when she’s not (but really should be) studying and/or pretending to be a functional human being.