Sunday, July 15, 2012

Steady & Co.

In 2001, members from the bands Skebo King, Rip Slyme, and Dragon Ash, combined forces to make one of Japan's most epic Hip Hop groups of all time, Steady & Co.

Steady & Co. consists of 4 members:
Kenji Furuya (Dragon Ash)
Bots (Dragon Ash)
Ilmari (Rip Slyme)
Shigeo (Skebo King)

The band's only major release was in 2001, an album titled "Chambers." The Chambers album is packed from front to back with awesome songs, as to be expected from Japan's 2001 Hip Hop dream team.

Track List:
"S・T・E・A・D・Y -intro-" -1:22
"Chambers" -3:58
"Kazemakase" (風まかせ) -3:48
"Hip Drop" -3:47
"Sorrow" -5:16
"Shun-Ka-Shū-Tō" (春夏秋冬) -4:20
"Time Erases Everything" -4:27
"Jammed Train Blues -inter-" -1:41
"Pass da Mic" -3:37
"Wonderland" -3:56
"Only Holy Story" (featuring azumi from wyolica) -5:10
"Up and Down" -4:16
"Gekkoyoku" (月光浴) -3:36
"Stay Gold" -4:56
"After Hours -outro-" -1:31

When I first started listening to Japanese music, the only influence I had was my (then) roommate at the time, Daiki. He had a huge collection of Japanese music and he enjoyed sharing music with me. I thumbed through his collection of Japanese music, and the Steady & Co. "Chambers" album caught my eye. I put the CD in the player and pushed play. That was in 2004, and I havn't stopped listening to the album ever since.

Immediately I was drawn into the album by the catchy beats, despite being unable to understand any of the lyrics. There was one song on the album in particular that I loved called "Shunka Shutou." I spent a couple days listening to that one song on repeat, learning the Japanese lyrics in anticipation of joining a few friends at the local karaoke club in San Diego.

Steady & Co. - 春夏秋冬 (Shunka Shutou)

I impressed everybody in the room with my terrible rendition of Shunka Shutou.

"Kisetsu wa nagarete... HEY! Sugisarishi hibi yo... HOO! Deaiya wakare de... HEY! Arata na tabiji wo... HOO! Comin' up Shunkashuutou..." I sang. The hook being just about the only part I could remember.

Being the only American in a room of Japanese people, singing a song you don't understand in Japanese was as frustrating as it was hilarious. With only a couple days of practice, I did my best to finish the song, still managing to impress all those who witnessed it. Nobody expected me to bust out a Japanese song that night, myself included.

The Chambers album is full of great songs worth downloading and storing on your iPod. Most of the songs can be found easily online for free, but real gangsters remember to buy the album. Some of the beats on the album may seem recognizable to you when listening to the Chambers EP. That's because Steady & Co. "borrowed" beats from other popular artists of the time. "Stay Gold", for example, is eerily reminiscent of the beat from "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction. As you listen through the album, you will hear other guitar riffs that make you think, what song is that from?

Steady & Co. - Stay Gold

Jane's Addiction - Jane Says

Despite some people knocking the band for their "borrowed" sound, I love it. What this band did, and the only thing they're guilty of, was make real Japanese Hip Hop, something that has become lost in today's overly-saturated Hip Hop industry.

With that said, I encourage you to sit back, push play, and let your PC speakers do all the talking.

Oh yeah and... Don't forget to turn it up!

No comments:

Post a Comment