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Which 4th gen group is better?
TOMORROW X TOGETHER and Stray Kids at the 2023 VMAs

   Often in the K-pop industry, there are conflicts between fans, commonly known as ‘fan wars’. ‘Fan wars’ occur when fans argue over which group is better. It happens within every generation; notably in the 4th generation, the most notorious is between the two popular boy groups, ‘TOMORROW X TOGETHER’ (TXT), and Stray Kids (SKZ). 

Who exactly are TXT and SKZ? 

   TXT is a K-pop boy group that was formed under the company Big Hit Music. The group consists of five members: Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and HueningKai. There were several great expectations for TXT as they were the company’s second boy group after BTS. TXT, in my opinion, did not fail to meet these expectations, and if anything, exceeded them.  

    SKZ is another K-pop boy group who debuted in 2018, 1 year prior to TXT’s debut. The group is composed of eight members: Bang Chan, Changbin, Felix, Han, Hyunjin, I.N., Lee Know, and Seungmin. Originally, the group had nine members; however, member Woojin left the group due to undisclosed personal reasons in October, 2019. Stray Kids received several promotions before they debuted, which suggests that their vast potential was seen ahead of time. 

How the Groups Differentiate from one another 

   While both TXT and SKZ are K-pop boy groups, their agencies are a key factor that separates them from one another. Stray Kids is under JYP Entertainment, which is known as one of the “Big 3” entertainment companies in South Korea, while TOMORROW X TOGETHER is under Big Hit Entertainment, which is now known as HYBE Corporation.  Debut dates also set both groups apart: SKZ debuted on March 25, 2018, with “District 9,” while TXT debuted on March 4, 2019, with “CROWN.” 

Which Group is More Popular? 

   Both TXT and SKZ are popular in South Korea. However, we must take both their global popularity along with their popularity on social media into account. On Instagram, Stray Kids have 28.4M followers, while TOMORROW X TOGETHER has a following of 15.6M. However, on TikTok, SKZ has  22.6M followers while TXT has a following of 23.3M which surpasses Stray Kids. While both TXT and SKZ dominate one social media platform, their popularity is influenced by their fans.  

   TOMORROW X TOGETHER has gained significant attention due to their connection to BTS. Their music videos on YouTube receive up to 100M views, if not more. While SKZ has more international fans and more global popularity, TXT dominates in South Korea as well as in Japan as their Japanese fanbase is widely large.   However, Stray Kids receive an average of 200M views or more on their music videos. 

 Difference in Discography 

   While both groups share a similar genre, – K-pop – they possess distinct differences in their discography. Stray Kids is known for their intense and upbeat sound, along with their lean towards a harder-hitting style. Their songs often include heavy bass lines, powerful rap verses, and strong EDM influences. SKZ’s discography incorporates a variety of elements, ranging from hip-hop and R&B to rock and electronic, showcasing their versatility and experimental approach to music. Examples of their versatility can be heard in their songs “LALALALA,” “Sorry, I Love You,” “Case 143,” and “Silent Cry.” 

   On the other hand, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s discography is characterized by a more melodic and dreamy sound. Their music often incorporates catchy hooks, bright synths, and harmonies, creating a soothing and refreshing atmosphere. Since they often explore themes of youth, friendship, and personal growth, their songs resonate with their teenage fanbase. While their sound is more pop-oriented, they still include a mix of genres such as alternative, dance-pop, and R&B in their music, further diversifying their sound, which is shown in their songs “CROWN,” “Anti-Romantic,” “Sugar Rush Ride,” and “Growing Pain.” 

Awards Received by Both Groups

Stray Kids performing their song “S-Class” at the 2023 VMAs

   Both TXT and SKZ have won numerous awards in their music careers. Stray Kids received the award for “Best New Male Artist” in 2018 at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA). They won the “New Artist Award” at the Seoul Music Awards in 2019 as stated on the website Koreaboo. In 2020, they received the “Best International Group” at the BreakTudo Awards in Brazil which highlighted their global popularity. One of their most recent awards was the “Best K-pop Group” award at the 2023 Video Music Awards (VMA). They were nominated for their song “S-Class,” alongside TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s “Sugar Rush Ride” and managed to win the award along with a performance of said song. All the awards that Stray Kids has received reflect the talent they have which solidifies their position as one of the most prominent groups in the industry.

     TOMORROW X TOGETHER was awarded the “Best New Male Artist” award at the 2019 Melon Music Awards. Their win was posted on the website AllKpop as well as their official fandom wiki. In the same year, they won the “Rookie of the Year” award at MAMA. Winning this award solidified their rising popularity within the K-pop scene. 

TXT alongside Anitta performing their new single “Back For More” at the 2023 VMAs

    However, they haven’t only had success in Korea, but also internationally. According to the website Soompi, on March 15, 2020, TXT won the “Best New Artist” award which displayed their international appeal. Much like Stray Kids, TXT also received an award at the VMAs for “PUSH Performance of the Year” as seen on the official website. They also performed at the VMAs where they debuted their latest single “Back for More” which featured Brazilian singer Anitta.  

Which Group is Overall Better? 

   While there’s often debates on which group is better, it’s a subjective question and depends on personal taste. Both TOMORROW X TOGETHER and Stray Kids are immensely talented and have dedicated fan bases. I recommend listening to both groups’ music and watching their performances to find which resonates best with your musical preference. It’s no doubt that both groups have a variety of versatility so that many fans, old and new, can find something they enjoy. The fan wars about which group is better are not only subjective, but time-wasting, as both groups are equally talented since they wouldn’t have debuted if their companies didn’t think they had the skills to join the industry.  

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  • F

    FaijaMay 29, 2024 at 9:38 am

    Why don”t you talk well about txt here? I think you are a stay and you are taking side of skz. Please don’t do that. They debuted on March 4, 2019, with the extended play (EP) The Dream Chapter: Star. The EP debuted and peaked at number one on the Gaon Album Chart and Billboard World Albums Chart and entered the US Billboard 200 at number 140, the highest-charting debut album by any male K-pop group at the time. Its lead single “Crown” debuted at number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. The group also topped the Billboard Emerging Artists chart. TXT was the first Korean boy band to perform and headline at Lollapalooza, one of the biggest music festivals in the US.

    The group’s early commercial success earned them several new artist awards, including Rookie of the Year at the 34th Golden Disc Awards and the 2019 Melon Music Awards, New Artist of the Year at the 9th Gaon Chart Music Awards, and Best New Male Artist at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
    2019: Debut and The Dream Chapter: Magic
    In 2019, six years after BTS made their debut, TXT was the first boy band since BTS to be introduced by Big Hit Entertainment.[13] The group’s debut broadcast aired on its YouTube page, announced alongside the band’s debut extended play (EP), The Dream Chapter: Star, which was released on March 4, 2019.[14][15] Their debut showcase was held at the Yes24 Live Hall on March 5.[16] Following the release of the EP, the music video of the album’s lead single, “Crown” garnered 14.5 million views on YouTube, breaking the record for the most viewed K-pop debut music video within 24 hours for a boy group and the most liked K-pop debut music video, with 2.3 million likes in 24 hours.[17][18] The album debuted atop the Gaon Album Chart[19] and Billboard World Albums Chart, while “Crown” debuted at number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart.[20] The group debuted at number one on the Billboard Emerging Artists and at number 140 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the fastest to appear in these charts (they were the second fastest K-pop group to appear in the Billboard Emerging Artists) and highest-charting debut album by any male K-pop group. The album also ranked at number three on Oricon’s Weekly Album Chart.[21] Additionally, it went on to top the Gaon Monthly Album Chart for the month of March.[22] TXT’s first music show performance aired on March 7, 2019, on Mnet’s M Countdown.[23][24] They earned their first music show win on SBS MTV’s The Show with “Crown”, just after one week after their debut,[25] followed by wins on M Countdown and Show Champion.[26][27] “Crown” featured on GQ’s Decade-end list of “game-changers from a decade of K-pop” for the year 2019, with GQ writing, “The bright, effervescent pop of TXT who are in their own element as they playfully explore teenage growing pains.”[28]
    On April 9, 2019, TXT announced their first-ever overseas tour, a six-show debut showcase in six American cities—New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando, and Atlanta—over the course of two weeks, from May 9 to 24.[29] Tickets to all shows sold out in less than 24 hours.[30] Following their showcase in May, TXT performed at the 2019 iHeartRadio Wango Tango music concert at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles on June 1.[31]

    On June 11, it was announced that TXT would be the first artist to join the new platform Weverse.[32] On June 20, the group announced that they would be performing in two of Japan’s largest fashion festivals, Kansai Collection’s Autumn/Winter 2019 runway show on August 27, followed by the Tokyo Girls Collection’s Autumn/Winter 2019 show on September 7, making TXT the first Korean artist to perform at both shows in the same season.[33] On July 6, TXT performed at the KCON 2019 NY music festival at Madison Square Garden, New York, in front of 55,000 spectators.[34] Later that month, TXT received their first MTV Video Music Award nomination in the category of “Best K-pop”.[35]

    On August 8, 2019, Big Hit Entertainment announced that plans to release a new album in August would be postponed to September due to Soobin’s infectious conjunctivitis diagnosis and Yeonjun’s back pain.[36] On August 20, Big Hit Entertainment revealed members Taehyun and HueningKai had also been diagnosed with conjunctivitis, thus pushing the release date for the new album back from September to October.[37]
    On October 21, 2019, TXT finally released their first studio album, The Dream Chapter: Magic, with “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)” as lead single.[38] Musically, the album incorporated a variety of music genres, including R&B, tropical house, acoustic pop and hip hop.[39] The album debuted atop the Gaon Album Chart, surpassing 124,000 sales in its first week.[40] This marked the group’s second chart-topping album following their debut EP. The album debuted at number three on Billboard’s World Albums Chart and at number six on the Billboard Heatseekers Album chart. A total of four tracks from the album entered the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, with the lead single debuting at number two.[41] Billboard and Dazed both later named “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)” one of the best K-pop songs of the year.[42][43]

    TXT’s commercial success in their early months earned them several rookie awards at major Korean year-end music award shows, including the Asia Artist Awards,[44] Melon Music Awards,[45] Mnet Asian Music Awards,[46] Golden Disc Awards,[47] Gaon Chart Music Awards[48] and Seoul Music Awards.[49]
    2020: Japanese debut, The Dream Chapter: Eternity, and Minisode 1: Blue Hour
    On January 15, 2020, TXT made their Japanese debut with the single “Magic Hour”, which includes the Japanese versions of their songs “Run Away”, “Crown”, and “Angel or Devil”. The single album debuted at number one on the Oricon Daily Chart and at number two on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.[50] On January 19, the group’s Japanese television debut was announced with their first appearance on TV Asahi’s Music Station. They performed the Japanese version of “Run Away” on January 24, the first Korean artist to perform on the show in 2020.[51] “Magic Hour” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for selling 100,000 units.[52]

    On April 28, Big Hit Entertainment set the release date of TXT’s second EP, The Dream Chapter: Eternity, for May 18, to be led by the single “Can’t You See Me?”.[53][54] The album sold over 181,000 units in its first week and entered the Gaon Album Chart at number two.[55][56] It debuted at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart, becoming the band’s first chart-topper in Japan.[57] In July 2020, the album received a platinum certification from the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) for 250,000 album shipments, giving TXT their first certification in the country since their debut. Two months later, The Dream Chapter: Star and The Dream Chapter: Magic were also certified platinum by the KMCA.[58]

    On July 20, 2020, it was announced that Soobin would be the new MC of KBS2’s Music Bank for one year, along with Oh My Girl’s Arin. His first broadcast as MC was on July 24, 2020,[59] and his final on October 1, 2021.[60] On August 19, 2020, TXT released their second Japanese single “Drama”. The single album included Japanese versions of “Drama” and “Can’t You See Me?”, as well as their first original Japanese song, “Everlasting Shine”.[61] “Everlasting Shine” served as the twelfth opening theme of the anime Black Clover, which began airing on September 1.[62] “Drama” debuted and peaked at number three on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart and was certified gold by the RIAJ.[63][64]

    TXT released their third EP Minisode1: Blue Hour with the lead single “Blue Hour” on October 26.[65] The album debuted at number three on the Gaon Album Chart, selling over 300,000 copies in its first week.[66][67] In the United States, the EP debuted at number 25 on the Billboard 200, the top-selling album of the week. It also claimed the top spot on the Billboard World Albums chart, with TXT again topping the Emerging Artists chart.[68] The EP also entered the Oricon Albums Chart at number one, becoming their second chart-topper in Japan.[69] It was certified platinum by the KMCA.[70] TXT released an original soundtrack titled “Your Light” for the JTBC teen-drama Live On on November 24, and member Yeonjun also made a cameo in the last episode.[71][72]
    2021: Still Dreaming, The Chaos Chapter, and Chaotic Wonderland
    Their debut Japanese studio album Still Dreaming was released on January 20, 2021.[73] The album included the original Japanese song “Force”, which served as the opening theme for the second season of anime World Trigger.[74] Still Dreaming debuted and peaked at number one on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart and was certified gold by the RIAJ.[75][76] The album charted at number 173 on the Billboard 200, making TXT the second Korean band in history to chart an album in Japanese on the US albums chart.[77] In April 2021, Minisode1: Blue Hour was certified double platinum by the KMCA, indicating 500,000 shipments.[58]

    On April 22, 2021, Big Hit Music announced that TXT would make a comeback at the end of May.[78] The group released their second studio album, The Chaos Chapter: Freeze on May 31 with lead single “0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)”, featuring Seori.[79] On May 7, it was announced that the album pre-orders had surpassed 520,000 copies in six days.[80] On May 31, before the official release of the album, pre-orders increased to over 700,000 copies, doubling from their last release.[81] The Chaos Chapter: Freeze debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, becoming the band’s highest-charting album in the United States and the top-selling album that week.[82] The album peaked at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart, becoming TXT’s fourth consecutive chart-topper in Japan.[83] On May 24, the band released the original soundtrack “Love Sight” for the tvN drama Doom At Your Service.[84] On June 25, TXT released a remix of “0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)” featuring pH-1, Woodie Gochild and Seori.[85] In July, The Chaos Chapter: Freeze was certified Gold by the RIAJ, TXT’s first Korean release to be certified in Japan.[86] In August, the album was certified triple platinum by the KMCA, indicating 750,000 shipments.[58]

    The band released The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape, a repackaged version of The Chaos Chapter: Freeze, with lead single “Loser=Lover” on August 17, 2021.[87] On October 3, the group held their first full-length concert, entitled ACT:BOY. The concert ran for 150 minutes, featured 25 songs, and was streamed through online platform VenewLive[88] to fans in 126 countries.[89] On October 5, it was announced that each member would serve as guest DJs on KBS Cool FM’s Kiss the Radio from October 25 to 31, hosting “Tomorrow x Together week” to “showcase their unique charms” following previous DJ Young K’s military enlistment.[90]

    TXT released their first Japanese EP, Chaotic Wonderland, on November 10, 2021. It contained Japanese versions of “0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)” featuring Ikuta Lilas, vocalist of Japanese musical duo Yoasobi,[91] and “MOA Diary (Dubaddu Wari Wari)”, along with original Japanese song “Ito” and the group’s first original English song “Magic”. “Ito”, composed by Japanese rock band Greeeen, served as the theme song for Japanese drama Spiral Labyrinth – DNA Forensic Investigation[ja], adapted from the manga of the same name.[92]

    On November 24, 2021, TXT was awarded the 2021 Men of the Year Pop Icon Award by GQ Japan.[93] The group also featured on the cover of Euphoria magazine, where they spoke to Aedan Juvet about being named the “IT group” of K-pop’s fourth generation.[94]

    2022: Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child and first world tour
    On February 23, 2022, “PS5” by Salem Ilese was released, featuring members Yeonjun and Taehyun.[95][96]

    On March 14, 2022, it was announced that Yeonjun would be the new MC of SBS’s Inkigayo alongside Roh Jeong-eui and Seo Bum-june.[97][98] On March 23, 2022, TXT became the first male K-pop artist to enter Billboard’s Song Breaker Chart.[99]

    They released their fourth EP, Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child, and its lead single “Good Boy Gone Bad” on May 9, 2022.[100] On April 20, 2022, pre-orders surpassed 810,000 copies, six days after the announcement.[101] To support the EP, the group embarked on their first world tour, Act: Lovesick, beginning on July 2.[102] On July 22, 2022, the group released an English single “Valley of Lies” featuring Puerto Rican rapper Iann Dior.[103] On July 30, 2022, TXT became the first K-pop act to perform at Lollapalooza.[104]

    On August 31, TXT’s third Japanese single, “Good Boy Gone Bad” was released.[105] It contained the Japanese version of “Good Boy Gone Bad” and two original Japanese song, “Hitori no Yoru” and “Kimi janai dareka no (Ring)”. “Ring” was used as the theme song for Abema’s show Heart Signal Japan, a remake of the Korean reality show Heart Signal.[106]

    2023: The Name Chapter: Temptation, second world tour, Sweet, “Do It Like That” and The Name Chapter: Freefall
    The band released their fifth EP, The Name Chapter: Temptation, on January 27, 2023.[107] On February 22, the group made available “Goodbye now” which served as the original soundtrack for the Webtoon Love Revolution.[108] On March 22, 2023, TXT became the first K-pop group to headline at Lollapalooza.[109] In March, the group embarked on their second world, Act: Sweet Mirage.[110] On July 5, TXT released their second Japanese album, Sweet.[111] The album included the original Japanese song “Ajisai no yōna koi (Hydrangea Love)” which served as the opening theme for the drama Saiko No Seito: Yomei Ichinen No Last Dance.[112] On July 7, the group released the single “Do It Like That” with the Jonas Brothers.[113] In August, The Name Chapter: Temptation was certified Gold by the RIAA. It is TXT’s first release to be certified in the United States.[114] On September 15, TXT released the single “Back For More” with Anitta, and the song was performed for the first time at the MTV VMA.[115] On October 13, the band released their third Korean studio album, The Name Chapter: Freefall.[116]
    2024: Minisode 3: Tomorrow
    For the opening theme of the 2024 anime television series Solo Leveling, the band collaborated with Japanese composer Hiroyuki Sawano on a song titled “LEveL”.[117] In March 2024, the K-pop group announced their upcoming world tour ACT: PROMISE.[118] Initial dates for the tour include stops in South Korea and the US, and tickets for the US dates sold out after going on sale.[119]

    TXT released their sixth EP, minisode 3: TOMORROW, on April 1, 2024.[120]

  • K

    KomakiFeb 1, 2024 at 3:35 pm

    Isn’t t stray kids More popular in Japan than txt ?!

    • C

      CrystalFeb 2, 2024 at 11:06 am

      Actually that’s not true! In Japan, album sales are used to determine a groups popularity and TXT has had more album sales than SKZ has. TXT has also sold out their dome tours in Japan and they have a few Japanese albums that sell very well in Japan! ^_^

      • M

        MayaFeb 7, 2024 at 9:27 am

        Ah really but I also thought that Stray Kids are more popular in Japan cuz their social path album sold over 1million copies in Japan and in one of the site interviews where Japanese teens had to choose their favourite boy group Stray Kids was on No 1. and TXT was 3rd and then in music bank Japan most of the people who were present at the event were STAYs so I do think that Stray Kids is more popular in Japan and even Stray Kids sold out their dome tour in Japan so like they are popular than TXT I wanna say.

  • S

    staymoaJan 30, 2024 at 4:38 pm

    as a moa and stay it’s sad to see people pit the groups against each other :/

    • C

      CrystalFeb 1, 2024 at 8:39 am

      I agree with you!! Especially because both groups are friends with one another so it’s upsetting seeing others try to make one group look better than the other

  • L

    LaraJan 28, 2024 at 11:00 am

    this is true, this is happening because of haters because they like to make their lives more difficult.
    this doesn’t only happen to TXT and SKZ but also to other groups because haters like to compare them.
    I think that every group is good in its own way
    +many idols can’t even talk to one another on camera evan if they are very much friends in private

  • L

    LaraJan 28, 2024 at 10:54 am

    This is so truth, this is happening because of haters because they like to hate on other groups .
    I think the hate is unnecessary, they are people too and probably hang out in theirprivate life.
    But also when they are together at an event, haters start attacking them when they talk or interact with each other.
    +This doesn’t only happens between TXT and SKZ but also to other groups ,and hate that they have to be careful not to be caught on camera because of interacting with one another

    • C

      Crystal JarquinJan 28, 2024 at 11:44 am

      I totally agree with you! I think all the hate that groups get together is extremely unnecessary. It isn’t only between TXT and SKZ but it happens with so many gg and bgs. Girl groups and boy groups can hardly interact with each other because then dating scandals will stir. It’s not like second gen when idols were able to interact with one another without fear or dating scandals and whatnot.