With some exceptions, pop music isn’t really a realm for nuanced takes on the human condition. It’s about having a good time and celebrating life and yada yada, you can insert your own cliche here. That’s not a bad thing, though, as evidenced by how clearly people want upbeat messages in their life.
J-pop is no exception, though lately, the country’s music scene is seeing more of a rise in “good vibes only” thinking. This takes optimism an extra step — it isn’t just about celebrating positivity, but making sure nothing that could potentially add some choppy “well, actually…” to the mood. Rising rapper MABU was already leaning that way on his debut, but “WHAT A DAY” finds him going all in on that lifestyle choice. Watch the video below.
The beachside setting of the video offers all the clues you need about what MABU’s trying to get across here. “WHAT A DAY” is eyeing to land on your summer playlist, and finds the rising performer (who, full disclosure, is signed with LDH, which is also OTAQUEST’s parent company) going hard on shiny dance-pop complete with digitally warped vocals to give it a little extra push for the sunny months ahead. The general up-tempo nature of this one tells you it’s all about positivity, though the line that really rattled around in my head was when he shouts “Bad vibes? Don’t want!” in Japanese. So far, that could be his entire mission statement.
Which hey, it’s the summer! So plenty of folks have the same thought going through their heads. If you too are looking on pushing on the positive forward, MABU offers up one of the better examples of this ethos available in J-pop.