Omake Club has been one of the better providers of Japanese hip-hop — and beyond — this decade. The latest project under their purview is 週末CITY PLAY BOYZ (Shumatsu CITY PLAY BOYZ for those wanting to tell your friends about them), a four-piece group excelling at deceptively laid-back rhymes. After two EPs, they just released their first full-length album Tonight, just in the knick of time to soundtrack balmy evenings. Listen to it below.
The beats here unfold in no particular rush, often dappled by piano notes and guitar melodies lending it all a relaxed atmosphere (though check “Thursday after morning,” featuring a saxophone rip that imagines what a ‘90s sitcom theme song would sound like for modern rappers to go over). There’s nothing here musically even faking intimidation, but 週末CITY PLAY BOYZ themselves take this above mere chill-out tunes thanks to flows that add all the needed emotional character. Plenty of songs are upbeat, but they also get a bit more blue on “freezin” and “neon light” among others. As an entire listen, Tonight offers a lot of emotional and sonic variety.
Still, going all sunny seems to capture them best. “Found” offers a good entry point into their sound, and it comes with a just-released video. Watch that below.
Pretty relaxing, huh? Go beyond the seaside visuals and dig into the easy-breezy tune, a pleasant wind of a song even when the 週末CITY PLAY BOYZ drop a sharp “fucking motherfucker” followed by ANOTHER ONE. Whatever aggression lurks underneath stays buried though, as the bulk of “Found” simply coasts on good vibes, backed by one of the chiller beats on the entire album. There’s more to the group’s debut than just hanging out, but they do that pretty darn well.