This blog’s taste in Japanese rap leans towards the poppier and the stranger — and today, two artists hitting both those sides released new videos. The first comes courtesy of a performer I’ve been on the fence about personally for a while now, Akko Gorilla. She occupies the same space as many other artists I really like, and she’s been gaining steam pretty quickly (plus, she’s the only artist I know to play around verbally with famous local snack offering Tokyo Banana). But her music always felt just off, brimming with energy but not much else, save for videos of her going to Africa that teetered on Instagram exoticism. But her new Green Queen EP finds her moving in a good direction, primarily because it highlights her verbal dexterity, shining over beats from the likes of Stuts and Parkgolf which force her to showcase some variety…which she proves she has. It’s her ability to dart between a beat provided by Foodman — who reminds here his wonk beats work well with vocalists, too — on “Denkousekka” that offers her best moment to date, completely taking over the track with her charm. Oh, and it’s fun, carried over to the video (look at Foodman go!). Listen above.
On the hookier side, duo Chelmico shared the video for their song “Zuruine” off this September’s lovely EP, which you can watch below. I wrote about them for Metropolis magazine’s cover story this month, so read that for more thoughts — but the song shows them in a more chilled-out zone, but still capable of a sticky chorus.