Review | BAE & Akkan Yatsura “Paradox Live Stage Battle VIBES”

BAE and Akkan Yatsura bring a refreshing mix of funky and laidback vibes in Paradox Live Stage Battle “VIBES”.

悪漢奴等 (Akkan Yatsura) consists on Takayuki Kondo, Shima, Shunichi Toki, Tasuku Hatanaka and Shogo Yano.

Title: Paradox Live Stage Battle "VIBES"
Release date: 24/02/2021
Label: Avex
Genre: Hip-Hop


1 - F△Bulous (BAE)
2 - ROWDIEZ -悪漢奴等 Wanted Vibes- (Akkan Yatsura)
3 - Voice Drama "VIBES" Part1
4 - Voice Drama "VIBES" Part2

Track by track analysis:

1 – F△Bulous (BAE)

BAE kick off this battle with “F△Bulous”, song that makes a big entry with a groovy bassline leading the way however, much changes as soon as the first verse makes its entrance.

The verses have a closed, tight sound that focuses on those dirty, pounding synths and simple beat. The feeling you get, in a way, is of emptiness.

But BAE have a trump up their sleeve and that comes through the summery chorus, bringing to the spotlight funky guitar riffs and a punchy bassline that will have you jamming along to it.

Everything about this chorus feels good and makes me wish the rest of the song had followed this direction instead of the rather uneventful verses.

When it comes to the rap and singing by the talented trio, they did not disappoint.

Gakuto Kajiwara adds a rough twist to their performance while 96neko adds an ethereal touch to the performance. At the same time, Ayumu Murase absolutely dazzles as he glides between Japanese, English, and Korean in his singing and rapping parts.

But when the chorus makes its entrance, their singing shines beyond what I’d expect. They bring energy and good vibes to this song.

2 – ROWDIEZ -悪漢奴等 Wanted Vibes- (Akkan Yatsura)

Wrapping up this single is Akkan Yatsura with “ROWDIEZ – Akkan Yatsura Wanted Vibes –“, song that has a lot of identity.

Brass and a clap track do the honors for this track, creating an additive tune that will take you to the dancefloor in no time.

There’s a duality to this song that is strangely addictive.

The verses with middle-eastern rhythms and melodies with a kawala melody leading the way and later on what seems to be the sound of a mijwiz (although with the melody heavily post-processed) carrying over to the chorus.

And the chorus capitalizes on that sound, bringing it to the spotlight alongside the team’s trademark afrobeat sound with brass at center stage.

In instrumental alone, “ROWDIEZ – Akkan Yatsura Wanted Vibes –“ is a striking, unique song.

On the rap side, Akkan Yatsura’s members bring roughness to the verses and, in an interesting contrast, sing in the pre-chorus, leaving a rather empty chorus as a massive dancebreak.

Top marks.

Final considerations

BAE and Akkan Yatsura certainly brought some really good vibes to the table for this entry in the Live Stage Battle CD series.

I believe that, out of all teams in the Paradox Live franchise, these 2 are really the ones that have strong vibes that make the best of their intense rap and punchy – and at some times, groovy – instrumentals. cozmez and The Cat’s Whiskers are more emotional and introspective in contrast.

There’s also a whole swagger about both teams that makes their face-off quite the interesting one.

BAE had the potential to pull off their best song to date with “F△Bulous” but I feel like the choice for those stifling verses ended up not panning out that well.

Yes, those are a big contrast to the chorus – that is on the funkier side and with a lot of bounce – but that contrast falls a bit short when there’s little in the empty verses as opposed to the liveliness of the chorus.

It’s almost as if there are 2 songs in 1.

In most cases this wouldn’t be a big issue but the changes in music genres were drastic enough to make for a rough, unnatural transition between those.

Still, it is a fun song with really good vibes and some of the best performances by BAE’s members. I keep being impressed by Ayumu Murase though.

Not only is he singing and rapping, but he’s also seamlessly transitioning between performing those in English, Korean and Japanese, which is no easy feat.

And he is insanely consistent in all languages. Kajiwara and 96neko are polar opposites in BAE’s songs and that works really well with the group’s dynamic.

Hat’s off for Akkan Yatsura that pulled off their best song to date with “ROWDIEZ – Akkan Yatsura Wanted Vibes –“.

Their rap performances are powerful, clean and clear at all times, having a unique flair to them. Their singing in the pre-chorus is welcomed addition as well.

To top it all off, the instrumental a warm and bouncy, mixing the best of afrobeat with the mysterious and playful melodies courtesy of Arabic wind instruments.

The beat heavily benefits from this mix of the bounce in afrobeat and the danceable, refined touch of Arabic music.

Addictive to no end, this is really Akkan Yatsura’s best to date.

All in all, fans got a refreshing mix of funky and danceable vibes from BAE and Akkan Yatsura in “Paradox Live Stage Battle “VIBES””.

Paradox Live Stage Battle “VIBES” is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support the Paradox Live franchise by streaming via official outlets.

ROWDIEZ -悪漢奴等 Wanted Vibes-
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).