Shoda Ish make Japanese-Australian collabo on FoxP2
The 3-man Goldcoast, Australia based Japanese/Australian Hip Hop group is not very known yet overseas (except for Japan maybe), but they have been around for a while and getting more acclaim now. They got my attention about four years ago with a tribute AMV they did on the Japanese anime series Samurai Champloo called Lyrical Swords, fitting the Japanese samurai style really well with sword slicing production by their producer Tats and dope verses by him and Mic Lava.
Following their releases and listening to their second EP featuring a track called ‘Tower of Babel’, it was clear these guys are coinciding with IBMCs’ idea on the global connectedness of Hip Hop and bringing together the languages, so we got into contact with the producer, who then joined the IBMCs Beatmaker Collective.
This year they dropped their first full length LP, so we wrote this review to introduce the Shoda Ish crew to the world.
The album name FoxP2 comes from the name of the gene responsible for human speech, it’s the human evolution gene, as the album is a collection of tracks from when they started until recent times, to show their evolution.
Listening to the full album the first thing that was apparent is that the crew has been getting involved with other artists and got quite some features from other rappers as well as productions by other producers on the project.
One of the dopest collaborations on the album came together while touring in Japan in 2010. They met up with the Japanese group EverGreen in Osaka which led to the transcontinental and bilingual track “International”, one of my favorite tracks of the album along with Complacency which will be released as the first single.
Another very dope track is the tribute to Nujabes, one of Japan’s top producers who passed away in 2010. The beat has a really dope nostalgic feel to it and Tats’ lyrics are comprised of many of Nujabes’ song titles. Followed by another sentimental beat in the interlude “Rest in Beats” both tracks make a really nice tribute.
More international collaborations include from the U.S., Cise Star from Hip Hop group CYNE, One Be Lo from rap duo Binary Star, DJ and producer Tokimonsta and Count Sierackula and also from Japan Mori-J, producer and dancer.
The features of the other rappers are all really dope and well fitting the lyrical style of the album. The productions on the album flow consistently with dope beats filled with heavy MPC drums, cool jazzy samples and dope cuts and scratches by DJ Iron Edih, then drawing up to some different and unexpected styles on the last four tracks ending the album with more electronic and up-tempo sounds.
Overall the ambient Japanese feel to the productions reminding of Nujabes make the music a pleasure to listen to and Tats and Mic Lava make it interesting with their lyrical skills filled with existential subjects and concepts. Tats getting better on every track and Mic Lava with his low voice, constantly treating us with really dope flows, rhymes and wordplay.
Being familiar with their previous EP’s and the developing of their sound this album really shows the evolution of the group over the years and is a nice addition to their work and just very dope as a first full length album and a promise to more dopeness to come in the future. Check it out as soon as it drops and I recommend strongly to check out their Bandcamp page to listen to their EP’s as well.
By: Krecy | IBMCs on Facebook