Nihongo Rap Breakdown – Ep 131 Debriefing

Okay, so this is late, like everything else is on this site. Sorry.

But anyway, here we go with a breakdown for the last episode in the Nihongo Rap (=”Japanese Rap”) series – ep 131, “Hansei Shitemaasu“, which roughly translates to “I’m soooorrryyy”. The cuts are, in general, about regret, the past, and/or looking forward to the future.

You can play it below, or go check the original post here.

Note that this is only the tracklist – I will be breaking down the actual skit in a future article. You will want to read this.

In the meantime, though, let’s get with these tracks:

MINT – Isoganakya (Gotta Hurry). Somebody feel free to call me out on this, but I forget who actually did this cut first (seriously, someone remind me). Point is, though – it doesn’t matter, because this song is better than that song. @minchanbaby

Cherry Brown – Hayai (Pyuun!) (Fast (Zoom)). I’m not really sure why I didn’t put Cherry Brown in the first episode, but, well, here he is. I think he showed up in The Source Japan (yes, we had one, for like four months), but I lent that issue to my friend and can’t find it now. Cherry makes a lot of weird music – like, a lot – and also produces under the name of Lil’ Yukichi. He also happens to be one of the people who are spearheading this new wave of mixtapes in the Nihongo Rap scene. @twitter.com/cherrycherry_b

A-Thug – Ori no Naka (In the Pen). So this cut is, thematically, pretty easy to understand – references to Scarface, and dude talking about how he spent time in jail, and about his life selling crack. My favorite line:

ヘイズとエクスタシー
Heizu to ekusutashii
Haze and ecstasy

ブラッズとつるみ
Burazzu to tsurumi
Hanging with Bloods*

クラックを造り
Kurakku wo tsukuri
Cooking crack

ブロックを仕切り
Burokku wo shikiri
Running the block

グロックを握り、あ
Gurokku wo nigiri, ah
Gripping Glocks, uh

*I really hope that I’m hearing this incorrectly. Please, let this be wrong.

This sort of talk, of course, is completely unbelievable, and I will personally mail you a dollar if you are able to find five Japanese people that know what the word “Glock” even means. It still sounds cool, though, which is what matters. m/athugscars

AKLO – Chance. From the Aklo 2.0 mixtape, which I recommend – if only for dude’s version of “Forever”. Incidentally, Aklo is also partially the inspiration behind me even doing this series – we had more than a few conversations about the state of Nihongo Rap, and own stance on the importance of mixtapes. Very, very bright dude. This isn’t the best song on the tape, by far – it just fit the theme. m/aklosound

GAGLE – Yuki no Kakumei (Snow Revolution). I swear I’ve heard this sample somewhere – does anyone have any leads? Anyway, Gagle is a pretty respected part of the scene, despite their being from Sendai. I should probably talk more about this at some point, but for a very long time, the general understanding was that if it wasn’t from Tokyo, it wasn’t hip-hop, and it wasn’t worth listening to (though you could argue that Hokkaido natives Tha Blue Herb straightened that out three years before this jawn dropped). This cut is easily my favorite off their 3 Men On Wax record. gagle.jp

PRIMAL , DJ Kohaku, CHIYORI, 02 – Butaiura (Greenroom). Off of DJ Muta’s Character Pack mixtape – which, if you can find, is pretty good. The beat is People Under The Stairs’ Acid Raindrops – and I keep saying this, but seriously, this cut is much better than the original. DJ MUTA’s blog

MINT – “YEAH”de gomakashiteiru (playing it off by saying “yeah”). Okay, that’s a terrible translation, sorry. Anyway, seriously kids, MINT just really goes hard. I was actually done mixing down this episode and chanced upon this cut on dude’s twitter, and absolutely had to fit it in. The hook is really simple, and lyrically actually sort of cheesy, but it’s still just bananas:

おれはずっとこのまま、きっと多分ここなんだ
Ore wa zutto kono mama/kitto tabun koko nanda
Definitely, probably I’ll always be here

YEAHでごまかしてる/自分の居場所探してる
YEAH de gomakashiteru Jibun no ibasho sagashiteru
Playing it off, saying “yeah” searching for my place

Have I mentioned that I’m a terrible translator? I’m a terrible translator. Just trust me, this is a good song.

So that’s what it is for this one – if you have any questions, want to hear on any specific artist, I’m thinking of doing posts on individual artists. Or, you know, if you have comments on the series in general, definitely let me know, either here or via twitter (@dexdigi).

Also, stay on the lookout for the aforementioned article breaking down the skit, and the “Hansei Shitemaaasu” line. It’s shaping up to be pretty interesting.

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