Stray Kids‘ I.N literally holds the title of “maknae on top,” as he has actually released a song by the name.
And, certainly, even his members admit to I.N’s status. In a recent episode of “2 Kids Room” that focused on Bang Chan and I.N, Stray Kids admitted that they often overlook traditional formalities based on age.
They joke that Bang Chan, who is both the oldest member and the leader, sometimes acts very immature for his age.
Which even Bang Chan admits is a product of his having been the youngest in his early trainee days.
And in contrast, I.N has no problem advocating for himself. Hyunjin even shares that “I.N says everything he wants.”
And while Han admits that before Stray Kids’ debut, there was a clear divide between older and younger members, that is definitely no longer the case.
Since I.N is friends with the older members, they don’t really feel the need to have strict formalities.
And although there’s no denying that I.N is secure in his status as the maknae on top… He and Bang Chan have a sincere discussion about how they had to work really hard together to ensure that I.N debuted with Stray Kids.
If he hadn’t, it’s possible he could have become the leader of a future JYP Entertainment boy group.
And while Bang Chan believes that I.N would have been a great leader…
They both agree that I.N would have a drastically different leadership style. Although there’s no denying Bang Chan’s incredible leadership ability, they both agree that I.N is more likely to be strict, as opposed to Bang Chan’s tendency to be more relaxed and goofy.
I.N even shares that he unintentionally can be strict even with friends. He shares that because he went to school a year late, making him older than many of his classmates, one of his friends once asked him if he could just call I.N by his name.
And while I.N wanted to say that yes, his friend could just be comfortable around him…
He instinctively told him “no.”
But, ironically, knowing that he would be strict and maybe even scary makes I.N glad that he doesn’t have to be a leader and can stay being maknae on top instead.
You can read more about the “2 Kids Room” episode here.