Charisma.com likes playing with your head. Aidoro C, the latest album from the duo of MC Istuka and DJ Gonchi (following up 2015’s O-Lest) dares you to dance while hitting you in the face with topical lyrics that don’t pull any punches. They’re going to make sure you blink before they do (DJ Gonchi is especially determined to break into your mind through the power of her eyes) — it’s amped-up female hip-hop/power-pop at its finest.
The album’s first release, the message-heavy “Sapuriminal Diet”, gives the group all the material they need for a fun video, a biting satire of Japan’s obsession with mass-marketing diet products. Likewise, as “GODCustomer” picks on the imbalance of Japan’s customer service mentality, MC Itsuka’s angry, harsh lyrics (punctuated by a skillfully-pronounced “FA-Q Baby!”) contrast with the chill vibe co-written by 81neutronz.
“Honenuki” hits the sweet spot with the style most familiar to Charisma.com fans, reminiscent of early Capsule grooves. “PH4”, with its Goldfrapp-synths, is as mellow as you can get on a CC track. “Koshikake Rap” is a hot, dance-floor takeover track, and “Toshindai Grey” is trippy, lounge-ready smooth.
Aidoru C benefits from the trim running time of 8 songs, which helps you jump right back in to repeat (especially when closing track “Jido-ru” kicks into crazy gear). While many Japanese rap artists are busy paying homage to old-style, sometimes copycat American rhymes, Charisma.com is fully focused moving past the pack, and MC Itsuka’s rapid-fire lyrical flow is nothing short of fierce. Spunky and stylish, Aidoro C is a standout album made even more powerful by its fearless female perspective and bomb-level attitude.
Bonus — check out PROMIC.TV’s short interview with MC ITSUKA and DJ GONCHI: