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Stray Kids - Hellevator Breakdown

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Lyric Analysis

After reading the official translation into English on the music video, I come to realize the deep meaning of the song. It may not seem like it at first, but it can be quite motivational. The song starts off with the first hook and verse, sung by Seungmin and rapped by Changbin. By reading the lyrics, one can tell the tone and meaning of the song. The two vocalists, at the beginning, describe lonely feelings and lack of support. The emotions that go along with these two unfortunate experiences are described as well. This theme carries throughout the song.

The song continues to describe the effort and struggles that actually go into 'making it'. They explain that even though there is the lack of support from certain people in one's life, the feeling of lonliness, the stress, anxiety, and all of the negative feelings that happen over the course of fighting for what one's life wants to be - one can make it and get where they want to be. They can reach their goals even though it feels like everything is going down.

About 3/4 into the song, Felix and Han's rap explain how they finally fought all of those negative feelings, and successfully made it out of what was dragging and holding them down. This further promotes the point that it's possible to rise up and reach one's goals despite being surrounded by negativity.

I believe that this song describes what the band went through to get to the point where they could debut. I also believe that it has a dual meaning for Stay. The song has a relatable, but encouraging connotation that anyone can get where they want to be if they put their mind and body to work, and work as hard as they can. A little belief in oneself can go a long way.

Video Analysis

The video starts with gates opening that lead to the ‘hellevator’, and Han walking into it. The 9 members are then shown in what looks like an underground, large, circular room with a dirt floor. We are led to believe that this is what the elevator led to from the following shot showing a circular hole covered by metal framing. Shots of the members walking throughout halls and tunnels, as well as rooms that look abandoned, accompany this to show feelings of loneliness and helplessness. The visuals here reinforce the lyrics- describing feelings of loneliness, and like they are stuck in the area that the ‘hellevator led them to. The visuals of the members wandering by themselves amongst the halls portray something as well. The hellevator brought them down to a very low place in life. Wandering through halls in seclusion can also depict feelings of being lost. Whilst experiencing loneliness and hardship, as well as other difficulties that can make it seem hard to make it where one wants to be or what one wants to do- one can begin to feel lost as though they do not know if they really want to go in that direction. They can also feel lost in terms of not knowing what steps to take next to get where they want to end up in life.

When the first verse, rapped by Changbin, is broken into- the video shows members in isolation together. They are also dancing as a group in the circular room. I feel as though this shows that during their hardship, they found each other. This portrays the fact that there are multiple people going through the same thing, and one does not have to be lonely during hard times in their life. Going through hardships together - two or more people leaning on and helping one another - can make situations much easier to experience. Even if it doesn’t make it easier, it can help and provide motivation. While a person is strong on their own, a group can be stronger.

The hook repeats itself, and then something changes in the video during the chorus. There are cut scenes of the members goofing off and having fun together in a lighter colored, more fun-looking room. There are also scenes showing a member (or a few- I believe one is Han), intentionally pressing the elevator’s button to take them to hell. This shows that they chose the path that they are on- regardless of the hardship it took to get there. The scenes of them goofing off show that they found people they mesh with to make the road easier- again, reinforcing the points made in the last paragraph.

During Hyunjin and Han’s rap, scenes of the group walking down a road during nighttime are shown. This could have the symbolism of, again, choosing to walk a long, dark, lonely road by themselves... together, on life’s journey.

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During Felix’s rap, the mood changes. It goes from feeling stuck and experiencing harship and trials, to the elevator actually bringing them to a better place. It leads to a beautiful field of flowers, representative of freedom... finally making it. The field of flowers represents each and every goal set out to achieve, and that they finally made it. It’s where they wanted to be. The elevator, the darkness, all of it- no longer holding them back.

The group runs through the field, running off of the energy received from their newfound happiness.They stop midway through and look up, realizing that the ‘hellevator’ brought them to a different world, and a different persepctive. It shows that they are right where they belong, amongst the people they mesh well with- the right people to help each other reach success. It shows that they did not need the past hardships and negativity that was holding them back. They went the right path all along, and are now experiencing positivity and freedom.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Kat May

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