Rap duo chelmico have a knack for celebrating good times. Last year’s “OK, Cheers!” served as a big party popper welcoming their arrival to a major label, and many of their older cuts boast a similar uptempo vibe. So it isn’t surprising that new single “switch” and the accompanying video finds the pair enjoying life to the fullest. Watch the clip below.
Let’s get the context of “switch” out of the way up front. The song serves as the opening theme song for a TV Tokyo drama called Watanukisan Chi No. Like many ideas in Japanese pop culture in 2019, this drama series takes a familiar idea and drops Virtual YouTubers into the mix. Let’s not dwell on that! We are here to enjoy some music.
The latest from chelmico reminds of their roots as two performers who enjoyed the rap-pop stylings of RIP SLYME. This one shoots off right away, chelmico singing in unison over the piano and a drum beat. The verses give each of them room to show off their own rapping skills, and “switch” never really gives them a breather. Save for one slightly slower passage in the middle, the song is always skittering ahead and at times teasing collapse into garage chaos. But chelmico keep pace with whatever direction the number goes, and always stay chipper.
It’s also a good chance to place chelmico in the greater J-pop world of 2019. They are pretty much carrying on the idea that groups such as RIP SLYME and HALCALI popularized at the turn of the century. Those projects meshed rapping up with more pop-ready blueprints, finding a new perspective on hip-hop for Japan in the process. “Switch” shows that chelmico is more than capable of keeping this going and sets them up for an interesting rest of the year.