Released: November 8, 2017 (Rhythm Zone)
THE RAMPAGE from EXILE TRIBE have been really gettin’ out there haven’t they? With three singles in, the Japanese boy band have continued to tour around Japan and unveil their talents on various television shows and outdoor concert performances. Now, THE RAMPAGE have released their fourth single “100degrees”, alongside a typical addition of B-side tracks with an English rendition of their previous single. But y’all, I’mma be quite real here; “100degrees”—a hood-as-F hip-hop tune that shimmers a 90s throwback vibe to it— could easily be their best release yet.
Now I understand that the boys have been in the game just lil’ under a year, but their rich sound quality and tight choreography have translated perfectly well into each single they have release. With “100degrees”, I immediately saw a few improvements. One, vocalist Kazuma Kawamura has decided to put the pen to paper and write the lyrics to the track, which is pretty admirable for someone as young as him. Two, the three vocalists—Riku, Kazuma and Hokuto Yoshino—have now proven to be quite appealing with an agile-set of rapping sequences and thick yet well-delivered voices. And three, the remaining 16 performing members are now a lot more loose and spontaneous with their choreography in the music video (which you need to check out… it’s pretty lit haha), which has shown their potential as individual talents. Yup, a pretty good package right here in my opinion!
Now I know I’ve been bit hard on them in the past reviews for Kazuma being somewhat a powerhouse vocalist in comparison to Riku and Hokuto, but here, the boys deliver as equally as each other. The deliveries aren’t so meticulously performed, and allows them to engage in a more edgier yet a somewhat relaxed backing track, which I’m all for, personally. But another highlight I loved about the song is the fact it actually balances out their voices nicely. Those LDH boys sure have a damn thick Japanese accent, and it’s clear on the songs they release, but because “100degrees” comes off as an inspired-classic throwback to 90s hip-hop, I can’t really categorize it as a typical J-Pop tune with lush arrangements and primary focus on their vocals; it’s a “both-ends-meet” circumstance, which only makes me live for the track EVEN MORE!
“100degrees” also hosts three new tracks; “Can’t Say Goodbye”, which is a tropical house jam (ughhh…) with lingers of trap elements. “Dream Yell”, which is a COMPLETE disco-influenced banger that could easily makes “Dirty Disco” look a lil’ dirty (no tea no shade). Speaking of “Dirty Disco”, an English rendition is added to the mix; it’s not as accessible or clear as their previous English tracks, but it’s decent enough.
With improvements like these, THE RAMPAGE from EXILE TRIBE could be on a easy path to success, with “100degrees” to exemplify that! As catchy as is, it’s a vast improvement on their on-going development of character and sound and, truth be told, it’s probably one of the most interesting entries I’ve heard this year by a LDH act. I’m really enjoying their progression as a group, and hopefully more is served on the table to feast on in the future! GET ‘EM BOYZ!