MAD TRIGGER CREW and Matenro face off in a dull final battle in the “BATTLE SEASON” series.
Title: MAD TRIGGER CREW VS Matenro Label: EVIL LINE RECORDS (King Records) Release date: 14/11/2018 Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop
1 - DEATH RESPECT (MAD TRIGGER CREW vs Matenro) 2 - IKEBUKURO WEST GAME PARK（Boyz Sunshine remix）(Buster Bros!!!) 3 - Yokohama Walker（Triple Trippin’ remix）(MAD TRIGGER CREW) 4 - Shibuya Marble Texture -PCCS-（Candy Dazed remix）(Fling Posse) 5 - Shinjuku Style ～笑わすな～（Nerve Rackin’ remix） (Matenro)
[Remixes won’t be reviewed]
1 – DEATH RESPECT
Hypnosis Mic‘s “BATTLE SEASON” wraps up in rather disappointing fashion. After hyping up their fans with powerful and unique releases in the first battles (Buster Bros!!! vs MAD TRIGGER CREW and Fling Posse vs Matenro), this release felt a lot tamer that it didn’t even feel like fans were witnessing a fierce battle for the title of “King”.
With two of best and most popular units in the franchise facing off, it was expected that they’d go the extra mile to impress the listeners with MAD TRIGGER CREW‘s trademark witty wordplays, Matenro‘s flowy rhymes and those fancy punchlines that both crews have used us to. However, what we got was the worst possible version of both crews.
Matenro‘s fierce, touch me and you’ll regret it vibe was toned down and Matenro‘s poise and class was completely shoved aside. What made both crews distinct, wasn’t present in their performances of DEATH RESPECT. Up until now there had been an interesting story/plot progression in the series. For starters, the first crew releases (2017 – 2018) were about representing their district and introducing themselves, and the first part of the BATTLE SEASON series was about their pride, what made them tick and stand out from other crews. This release, however, doesn’t introduce anything fresh in the franchise – aside from being the catalyst to find out who will be “King” to possibly advance plot in the franchise -, it’s a dull performance by both crews that doesn’t add anything new to either side. Listening to previous performances by both crews and then comparing those with this one, it’ll be easy to understand that each crews’ individuality went down the drain.
MAD TRIGGER CREW are in their element in slow paced, hard-hitting songs and Matenro‘s members have a flow that would be killer in a slower, imposing instrumental, however this was not what we got with this release. DEATH RESPECT is a mid-tempo song that could have been a solid entry in the series, however it is plagued by sloppy and loud instrumentalization to the point that it completely shifts the focus away from the vocals to itself. Perhaps the goal for this instrumental was for it to sound messy and gritty – as a battle usually is – but it was overdone. The instrumental simply stole the spotlight from the rap performances – which should have been the highlight.
The instrumental leans towards a dated nu-metal sound – something that had been featured in Matenro‘s Shinjuku Style ~笑わすな~ – courtesy of the rock band YamaArashi. Just like in Shinjuku Style, this attempt at making the song sound more aggressive through the addition of heavy guitar riffs and loud drums failed completely to create the perfect platform for both crews to shine. A simpler approach to this song as a whole, with a heavy focus on bass and a hard-hitting beat might have been more than enough to serve as the stage in which both crews would face off. And truth is that during Samatoki (Shintaro Asanuma) and Jakurai (Sho Hayami)’s face-off (easily the best part in the whole song, both instrumental and rap wise), the instrumental was quieter and simpler, with distant synths and focus on bass, and it was actually more intimidating (befitting of their vibes) than any other part of the instrumental that featured those loud, distorted and slightly muffled guitar riffs that made everything sound messy or overcrowded.
As it stands, DEATH RESPECT is a song that pales in comparison with previous fiery releases by both crews.
MAD TRIGGER CREW VS Matenro is a release that had all the hype and the most popular crews in the franchise on it, yet everything about it felt too dull. When pitted against, it was uncanny how much both crews sounded alike. This lack of individuality, especially in a song that both crews would have wanted to use as an opportunity to set themselves apart and show their originality, makes this release an expected disappointing “final battle”.
Now, it rests on everyone’s hands the tough choice of choosing the “King” in the Hypnosis Mic franchise. With the BATTLE SEASON series wrapping up and the crowning of a “King” crew, it is expected that new/interesting storylines and more exciting music will be released in future series/entries in the franchise.
A reminder for those that purchased this CD – don’t forget to cast your votes.
MAD TRIGGER CREW VS Matenro is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.