Before we get to this song…can we talk a bit more about tengal6? They are the six-piece rap-pop group sponsored by Tenga, a company making male-masturbation products. It is gross and weird. Yet they also managed to pull in some amazing producers to make beats for them – like Fragment and, especially relevant for this post, Kobe’s tofubeats. The latter’s beat for tengal6’s single, which you can hear right here, is important because tofubeat’s new song “Mercury” is a slight evolution of that tengal6 beat. Although the masturbatory jokes are gone, the sound between the two is very similar – colorful synth waves, high-steppin’ beats, rapping that is easily overshadowed by the actual production work.
The rappers in question on “Mercury” are a duo named Onomatope Daijin, and they aren’t bad with flow exactly – it’s just that tofubeats wisely smears their voices in electronic noise. I’m trying to imagine this song without the manipulation, and I mostly hear something way worse, a saccharine love-rap number. With the digital coating, though, “Mercury” becomes weirder, a robo-sheen grafted onto this track that matches well with tofubeats overall shiny production style. In the same way that tengal6 song’s best parts come courtesy of the portions Auto-tuned up, all of “Mercury” benefits from this android-ification. Listen below.