THE REDDIT POST: Link
Okay here’s an explanation, but I don’t speak perfect english so keep that in mind too. And don’t just call me an anti, because I've been a stay since before at least half of these new angry ones. I’m also an atiny too, and learning korean. And note that mala/mara is the same it’s just romanization.
Recently on Kingdom Mnet was talking about different groups and for Ateez said “just as stray kids, ateez’s mala taste performance” aka spicy/hot performance. This phrase mala has become a big contention points and now stays are claiming Mnet is evil editing to cause fanwars, but the only fanwars are being started because stays are making tweets with thousands of likes saying “another group STOLE stray kids unique title” “you can’t outdo the doer” and all that.
Mala is like malatang, which is spicy soup. Maramat is also used for spicy food. This is where the mala/mara comes from.
For context, Ateez has been called “Malateez” since debut because of their spicy performance. They have several articles on Naver calling them that, on even harpars bazaar calling them that, the members themself use the name. They were asked about it in an interview too. Stray Kids got the descriptor of mala after God’s Menu. God’s Menu has chef/foods theme, so it was fitting! Stray kids has articles saying they have mala genre music, that they have pioneered the mala taste. That their music is unique and spicy, and scorching to hear.
Stays are angry because they feel like Mnet is robbing skz of a unique title and using for another groups clout.
Well, this is where I break to you that mala or describing something as mala flavor is not a unique title or a new concept or new word, and in the end- if you ask a korean on the street, they don’t know who stray kids are, much less that they get described as mala. And guess what? They won’t know for ateez either. Ateez and Stray kids are not relevant enough for you all to be arguing about who plagiarized whose title when no one outside of english ifans cares.
Even if this was a title to get so upset about, Mnet subtitle did not call Ateez that title “pioneers of mala taste genre” but if you look up on twitter stays are spreading that misinformation everywhere. If you don’t know korean, don’t say that’s what it said, because all it said is that ateez have mala tasting performance or spicy tasting performance. Even if you want to keep the “genre pioneer” title, we look stupid trying to gatekeep mala tasting, or spicy tasting, as an adjective because people were describing ateez as mala way before skz.
Atinys are not mad at it being used to describe skz, because imagine this flipped. Let’s say two bright concept boy groups are competing. Would it make sense for people to get angry at “Like this other fresh group, this group is known for their fresh performance”. No one cares about this adjective being used to describe 2 groups! That’s not a title, if they had said the pioneer thing that would be a title, but they didn’t, they just used a adjective that both groups has been described with commonly. Hot performances aren’t unique to one group, so it’s not the disrespect you think it is that both groups were called spicy. It’s not hurting anyone and the only fans mad about it are i-stays, not katinys, not kstays.
“I feel bad for ateez who don’t even have their own group identity” are shady tweets I see. Don’t come with “stays are mad at mnet not ateez” because 1) stays have a funny way of showing it, and 2) it’s not that deep. I tried to argue with my mutuals in a groupchat but all of them still held this view. I’m so frustrated and there’s so much misinfo and this is just one of several things international stays have been causing trouble for no reason over. We’ve gotten f*cked over a lot in the past and even more recently but that doesn’t give us an excuse to act so ignorant and attack people over nothing. Can we just try to settle down with drama for one day?? There will be enough fighting with my cofandoms when kingdoms actually starts but y’all said nope let’s do it early.
Please stop trying to gatekeep what language Koreans use when you don’t even speak Korean.
This post really encompases all my thoughts. After the whole 4th gen it boy debacle i thought we would be free from people gatekeeping imaginary words/phrases yet here we are again. 4th gen boy group fandoms are going to be the downfall of boy groups. You dont see gg fandoms fighting over 4th gen it girl or things of that sort. Mnet has spilled lighter fluid all over the place and 4th gen boy group fandoms have set the place on fire. At the end of the day its just a word. There's absolutely no need to be so pressed over it or send hate to the other group. Both skz and atz are irrelevant and nobody is the owner of the term.