Asia has a sprawling hip hop culture, AtJap13 talk about ‘Japanese rap’

AtJap13, the teen wunderkind who is a hyperbole of teenage angst and rebellion. Crossing racial and gender boundaries, AtJap13 transcends music genres and fashion styles to create a style all his own. He recently released his second album online,「KING of the NEW WORLD」, a deeply experimental album filled with songs which combine Japanese Visual Kei music with trip hop and noise. This long awaited follow-up to his debut「R@d!oAkt!v D8ing」in 2011, took over six years to create and perfect. AtJap13 is a Japanese musician who combines Visual Kei with hip hop and trap to create a genre he calls "Visual Hip Hop". 

His lyrics range from upbeat and almost silly to deep and meaningful, often singing about subjects of which other artists avoid. Similar to Dir en grey, AtJap13 songs have a deeper meaning what appears on the surface. An artist with a sound almost as unique as the image, AtJap13 combines visual kei and cyber punk meets Harajuku street fashion, with an experimental sound that is a fushion of visual kei, hip hop, noise and alternative. Indie and avant-garde, AtJap13 is guro kawaii meets VK with urban flair. Known for sounds that are a mash up of non-music (think white noise and sinal signals), alt rock and synth pop, featuring dark and sometimes grotesque lyrics with growling or mechanical vocals. Crazy vocals or raps with silly lyrics or growling verse with disturbing imagery is contrasted with a dark-meets-cute appearance. For each song is a distinct personality and attitude, but some form of visual kei and light-hearted youthfulness is always present. 

Stylized as a perpetual teenager living in a fantasy world, the duality of the music and image extend into the lyrics, with some songs having hidden or alternate meaning. For example, several of his songs such as クロセットの中にLOCKED, BOUND BY SOCIETY, and ネオン独裁者, are self-love anthems with powerful lyrics teaching a message of tolerance, acceptance, and the ever-meaningful message to be yourself, even when standing alone. While other songs such as ムズムズ物, HURTS SO GOOD, and 不価値 have deep lyrics containing sensitive subject matter such as self-harm, eating disorders and feelings of worthlessness. With that being said, this controversial artist also has songs which need to be re-analised many times due to the initial view as being silly. Including but not limited to, LIFE SONG, NUCLEAR, 原宿ボイ, XGF, and perhaps the most stand-out of them all, 今までに一番~BEST YOU EVER HAD~, this unique and extremely diverse discography illustrates just how experimental and unpredictable AtJap13 can be. People may say the Japanese Visual Kei movement is dying, but AtJap13 begs to differ. Visual Kei is evolving, and he believes Visual Hip Hop is just what the movement needs. Based in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan and currently working on his third album titled「EXISTENTIAL DECAY」. 

He has described this album as visual journey depicting the downfall of society, our lust for popularity and post-modern decadance. We have come to expect the unexpected from this artist, and despite an image of angst and youthful rebellion, AtJap13 presents an illustrative message about the decay of society and the existential crisis which is the human condition. The artist has stated this will be his most experimental and meaningful album to date. The first single from this album,「愛に苦しみ」is for release on August 13, 2019. Another single set for release from this album, titled 「DYING TO BE ALIVE」is a trap VK track which is very near to the artists views of life and love growing up in this post-modern world. The lyrics create a mockery of our society and how we will do anything, literally risk death, for that one moment in which we feel "alive". However, this is a false sense of what life is really about, as one cannot truly live in the moment and appreciate the people around them if they are constantly worried about documenting it for strangers on the internet. Guilty of this himself, AtJap13 wanted to relay this message as a warning to the younger generation that enough is enough. Some times the best moments are the ones undocumented. 

Many of the songs on this upcoming album are going to contain messages regarding this theme, with another being 「MILLENIAL CONDITION」, another visual hip hop track eloquently calling out the faults burdens and blessings of being a millenial. However, there will also be some of the artists silly and imaginative lyrics for which he is known, specificly on a track called「新宿の王」, which is a cover of sorts to Shiina Ringo's song 歌舞伎町の女王. Misunderstood, mislabeled and stereotyped, this artist continues to be his unapologetic self. One thing is certain, AtJap13 will never be bound by societal norms.

Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's January/February 2020 issue 11, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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