At some point in January, I said my 2011 resolution would be to cover rap more here. Well, it’s April and here is the first Japanese-centric hip-hop post that isn’t American (sorry Odd Future) or fake-ass “rap” (sorry Funky Monkey Babys). Personal aside, I’m hesitant to write about Japanese rap because there already exists an excellent series on the topic called Japan The Beats over at Tiny Mix Tapes, and I’m uncomfortable writing about a style of music that I think lives and dies on lyrics when it’s done in a language I mostly don’t understand. Indie rock just works out a lot easier.
Yet PSG’s “寝れない!!!” manages to please despite being entirely in Japanese. For this, I have to tip my hat to the production, as the beat present here leans toward minimalism, leaving plenty of space between the big hits and goofy sounds running between them. The whole shebang reminds me of various moments off The Beastie Boys Check Yr Head, though the chorus goes way more high-pitch than anything I remember from that album. I have no idea what PSG rap about here, except for a line about skating and “trick flip,” but they do a good job flowing between the big peaks of silence and the whole song sounds solid. Still wish I knew what was going on, but had to finish some Japanese rap here at some point, right?