KOHH goes… Metal in new track “Die Young”. And it doesn’t work.

When I first listened to KOHH, Japan’s most famous rapper, and generally one of the most acclaimed Japanese acts overseas, I didn’t like much of what he was doing. At the same time, though, what I couldn’t certainly ignore, was the brilliant production behind his 2015 record DIRT, and step by step it became one of my most listened albums of last year.  I’m still not a huge fan of Trap music, but with that record, I definitely recognized KOHH’s talent in what he was doing, and started to appreciate it.

But that’s what he was doing. Cause the Tokyo-based rapper just took an unexpected direction, something that had me suspicious since his contribute in TeddyLoid’s terrible album Silent Planet, and that with Die Young sadly becomes reality: I’m talking about Metal influences. Don’t get me wrong, I love when artists try to escape from their comfort zone and experiment something new, but this song right here barely makes any sense: It’s not enjoyable, it doesn’t have a logic, and it’s a huge mess. To be quite honest, it’s almost unlistenable.

Die Young kicks off like a Rap song with the usual thundering bass, but there’s a weird aura to it, there are bell tolls and a generally dark atmosphere, and KOHH is just basically screaming nonsense stuff with an annoyingly filtered voice. Then it suddenly turns into a Metal track played with real instruments, and he’s still screaming with that super annoying altered voice the same non-sense stuff he was rapping about in the beginning. Bam, track ends: Inconsistent, irritating, and hardly enjoyable. The only good thing about it is that it’s only three minutes long, so you can get out of it pretty soon.

I understand that KOHH likes Metal, and that’s cool, but with this track and video, it looks like he’s just throwing random sounds all together, while he’s high as fuck screaming and dancing in a tourbus.

As a Rap and Metal lover, but most of all, as someone who liked KOHH’s recent works a lot, this is honestly disheartening. I genuinely hope this dude will get back on track with something different, that I hope to find in his upcoming record DIRT II. But even the cover itself speaks volumes about his intentions and current influences, so I’m not keeping my hopes up. And I won’t listen to this track again, unless you’re gonna buy me a ticket to Japan to attend a Salu show.

– Alex

KOHH – DIRT | ALBUM REVIEW

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Release Date: October 28th
Format: CD / CD + DVD
Number of Editions: Regular Edition / Limited Edition (CD + DVD)


KOHH delivers a greatly produced record, but fails in delivering a consistent experience

Rap music always struggled to gain mainstream attention in Japan, a market mainly awarding the watered-down versions of this genre mainly brought up in electronic and pop music by artists of the likes of Charisma.com, tofubeats, and Rip Slyme.

Tokyo-based rapper KOHH has been trying to change this situation for quite some time. Hailing from the projects in Kita ward, this young rapper brought his talent to attention with several releases that gained him national and overseas recognition, mainly thanks to his inspiration gleaning from Trap, a darker and atmospheric subgenre of Rap that’s been booming in the U.S in the last years.

More than ever, DIRT owns a lot to this new wave of Rap. With crystalline production that successfully summons atmospheric vibes, the young rapper expresses his feelings with anger and charisma, shining in several tracks like the punching Living Legend as well as in thoughtful numbers such as Now and If I Die Tonight.

Alas, the flow on this record is often stained by compositions that suffer from overly excessive repetitiveness and questionable collaborations, where only american rapper J$tash gives a relevant input, depriving this LP from being a consistent experience, delivering enjoyable moments only when taking some of its tracks individually. The right formula is there, but it needs to be refined and executed better, and despite the mediocre result, this album gives hope for future improvement and a concrete expression of KOHH’s talent.

Vote: 6.5 / 10


Tracklist

01. Be Me
02. Dirt Boys feat. Dutch Montana & Loota
03. Living Legend
04. Now
05. Hitori
06. Tokyo
07. Chigau Ichinichi feat. J $tash
08. If I Die Tonight feat.Dutch Montana, SALU
09. Shini Yashinai
10. Shakou
11. Glowing Up feat.J $tash
12. Kiraku ni Yaru
13. Orera no Seikatsu  feat. Dutch Montana, Mony Horse