“Maknae on Top” Is Real, Let’s Meet Stray Kids’ Maknae, I.N
We often hear about the term “maknae on top” in the K-pop industry. Just like the name, it means that the maknae or the youngest member in the group is still powerful among the members in the group. We often hear the term “golden maknae” too, which mostly refers to BTS‘ Jungkook. It’s because Jungkook is one of the best dancers and singers in the group. And, he can rap, too.
This time, we’re not going to talk about maknae on top in general. Instead, in this article, we will talk about that one maknae that makes everyone realize that he’s really a maknae on top. Not only because some fans call him that, but also because he released a song with the title “Maknae on Top.” As a maknae, he sang the song that talked about himself, and the other rappers in his group, which are the hyung-line, joined the song too as features.
So, who’s the maknae that we’re talking about?
It’s I.N from Stray Kids! He’s one of the eight members of a group that made its debut in JYP Entertainment, Stray Kids. Before making its debut, Stray Kids was shown to the public as contestants of a survival program with the same title, Stray Kids. The leader of the group is Bang Chan, and he’s one of the composers and songwriters in the group. Stray Kids is also known as a group that makes their own songs and concepts.
So, let’s get to know the maknae of this powerful group, I.N!
Stray Kids’ I.N’s Profile
In Stray Kids, I.N is the youngest member as he’s the only one who was born in 2001. The other members were born between 2000 and 1997. Even though his birth year is just a year younger than half of Stray Kids’ members, which is 2000, as the youngest, the members and the fandom Stay always treat him like their baby. That’s also because I.N is so cute and lovely.
Besides on top, his position in Stray Kids is one of the main vocalists along with Seungmin. There are a lot of things about I.N that you have to know, so, let’s see the full profile of the maknae of Stray Kids down below!
Full Name: Yang Jeongin
Korean Name: 아이엔 / 양정인
Chinese Name: 梁精寅
Stage Name: I.N
Nickname: Agi Bbang (baby bread), desert fox, I.Nie, Jjangin (means Jeongin is awesome), Jeonginie-oppa (since he’s the youngest, it’s rare to call him an older brother), Trot Jeongin, etc.
Birthplace: Busan, South Korea
- Dongil Jungang Elementary School
- Busan Seo Middle School
- Myeongho High School -> Seoul of Performing Arts High School
Birthdate: February 8, 2001
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Chinese Zodiac: Snake
MBTI: ISFJ / ESFJ
Position: Main vocalist
Occupation: Singer, idol
Blood Type: A
Baptismal Name: John
Foot Size: 260 – 265 mm
Family: Parents, older brother, younger brother
Debut Year with Stray Kids: 2018
Agency: JYP Entertainment
Stray Kids’ I.N’s Facts
Now we have learned some basic info about I.N. Of course, his name I.N is not his real name. His real name is Jeongin, and sometimes Stay calls him by his real name, too. I.N also has some nicknames that suit him and his cute image.
But, besides that, there are more interesting things about I.N that you have to know to understand him better. Yes, he is cute and all, but do you know that I.N is Hyunjin‘s junior in high school and they always went to school together?
Let’s see more interesting facts about I.N that will make you adore him even more!
- Originally, I.N wore glasses, but the company told him to not wear glasses.
- I.N said that he looks best after he washes, brushes his hair, and looks in the mirror with wet hair.
- With the recommendation of his father, I.N had braces since 2016 and took them off in January 2019.
- I.N can sing trot really well; it’s one of his specialties.
- I.N likes to go to the gym and exercise. Sometimes, he thinks that exercise makes him refreshed, the other times it tires him.
- I.N is the only member of the team that was born in the 21st century.
- I.N removed his braces on January 16, 2019, and the next day, I.N and Hyunjin went to eat curry.
- When I.N was young, he wanted to be a priest and a kindergarten teacher.
- I.N uses honorifics or formal language with his parents.
- Among the members, I.N wants Seungmin to switch the maknae role because as an older brother, Seungmin likes to bother him a lot, and he wants to do the same if Seungmin is the youngest.
- When I.N was younger, he often sleep-walked and opened doors, went outside, or hit his brother.
- I.N is close with TXT‘s Beomgyu.
- I.N didn’t take the college entrance in 2021 because he wanted to focus more on his job.
- I.N’s favorite season is winter because he has a lot of memories of his birthday.
- When he was in middle school, I.N said that his friends found it hard to approach him because when he didn’t smile he looked scary, so he smiles often now.
- I.N didn’t like tomatoes when he was younger because whenever he saw a tomato he tended to vomit.
- I.N always wears a rosary ring that his father gave him. He wears it even now.
- I.N is full of cuteness; that’s why he is so loved by his members.
- As the youngest member, I.N sometimes loses his confidence when someone criticizes him.
Stray Kids’ I.N’s Pre-Debut
Stray Kids is known for having members that came from various areas. Some members came from outside Seoul such as Yongin and Gimpo, some members have Seoul as their hometown, and some members came from overseas such as Australia and Malaysia.
While I.N is one of the members who used to live outside Seoul, the distance between his hometown to Seoul is the furthest between the members who used to live outside Seoul, although it’s still not far if compared to Australia.
I.N was born with the name Yang Jeongin. He was born and raised in Sujeong-dong, Dong-gu, Busan. In his family, there are three sons including him. Unlike his cute and adorable personality, he’s not the youngest child in his family. In fact, I.N is the middle child. He has an older brother who was born in 1999 and a younger brother who was born in 2007.
If we see him as a cute boy now, then I.N as a child is even cuter. No wonder that when he was 7 years old, he became a child model. Seems like that experience on modeling made I.N pursue a career as an idol. When he was in middle school, he was interested in rapping. But, I.N never really tried to rap. Instead, he focused more on his singing skills.
Finally, after working hard to be a good vocalist for years, I.N got a chance when he was in his first year of high school. He passed the audition for one of the biggest K-pop agencies in Korea, JYP Entertainment.
I.N then left his hometown and went to Seoul to be a trainee. Of course, he left his school, too. In addition, he went to a school that focuses on performing arts, which is SOPA or Seoul of Performing Arts.
In 2017, I.N was chosen as one of the members of Stray Kids. The one who chose the members was Bang Chan, the leader himself. But, they couldn’t just debut immediately. They had to do a survival program to test their ability to debut. If members didn’t suit the criteria, they wouldn’t be included in the team to debut.
In the program, I.N poured his heart to train really hard while preparing to perform in front of the judge. There are a lot of times that he felt lacking in some skills, but as the youngest in the group, he endured it by smiling. He took the title of the youngest member seriously because I.N never whined or had tantrums during those periods. In fact, sometimes he felt he wasn’t good enough and cried.
Let’s see some heartwarming and emotional moments of I.N when he was on the reality show Stray Kids.
You can watch the whole episode on Mnet’s YouTube channel and see how much I.N had to struggle until he became the I.N that we know right now.