The new move in Japanese music is women rapping. This is, of course, not a new development, but it’s really easy to figure out when the Japanese music industry senses something might be able to work and goes overboard with it. This moment has been building for a bit — artists such as Charisma.com, Daoko and (poised for the biggest success, with a new album out in November) Suiyoubi No Campanella have been getting attention for the past few years, while the idea has also been applied to groups such as Lyrical School and Rhymeberry, hip-hop idol groups. Now some of these artists are really hitting their strides and achieving increased commercial success — and the industry sees a potential trend to capitalize on, one compilation at a time.
This proto-scene is now entering a phase where new units sprout up and, in an effort to stand out, play around with sound. It’s a little like the middle of the recent “idol boom,” when the music attached to groups was every bit as good as their imagery, and it seemed like produces often ignored by the J-Pop mainstream had found a backdoor in. This past summer saw the debut of Chelmico, who shared two excellent songs thus far, and also the arrival of Yokos, who shared their first song “B.O.U.N.C.E.” online yesterday. The group’s sound is produced by Usagi Disco, an electronic producer probably best known for his work with Curumi Chronicle. And it does stand out — “B.O.U.N.C.E.” boasts a post-Nakata sheen, clearest on the chorus, but makes space for the duo to rap and sing, with a few trippy moments thrown in as well. It’s catchy, and a good starting point for this unit, as it manages to stand out from the fledgling “women rap” niche and the electro-pop world chugging along.
In what direction this trend goes remains to be seen, but it is currently at a point where good songs are actually flowing out. Enjoy it before it is potentially ruined. Listen above.