Review | Division All Stars “Survival of the Illest”

Hypnosis Mic

Division All Stars’ steal the show with the funky and groovy, Survival of the Illest.

Hypnosis Mic Survival of the Illest

Title: Survival of the Illest
Label: EVIL LINE RECORDS (King Records) 
Release date: 17/07/2020 
Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop

Tracklist:

1 - Survival of the Illest

Track analysis:

1 – Survival of the Illest

Division All Stars finally released Survival of the Illest, song that has been featured on the smartphone game Hypnosis Mic – Alternative Rap Battle – since its launch earlier this year and quickly turned into a fan favorite song.

A groovy bass line, wah-wah guitar riffs, a simple bassy beat hinting to early 90s hip-hop beats and brass make this the most danceable, entertaining and grooviest track coming from this franchise as a whole.

It is really impossible to listen to the chorus and not jam along to it, feeling every hit on the bass and bouncing to its groove. Also, it just so happens that the lyrics are pretty catchy and you’ll manage to find yourself singing – or humming – along to it in no time.

Now, where this song really impresses – besides the instrumental shining from the get-go – is on the vocal end.

The song is split into 4 verses and 4 choruses. There really isn’t an “ensemble” part in which all crews sing / rap together instead, the song is split in a way that each crew has its own verse and chorus to showcase their talents.

And this is where things get interesting! In a song like this, insanely groovy, 4 crews with different strengths and weaknesses on the vocal end and rap game went for completely distinct performances.

Buster Bros!!! give a bouncy performance, pretty simplistic, yet pretty much what you’d find a rap crew doing: improvising to a beat. It sounds free and fun. The crew has a good balance, being solid in rapping as well as in singing, with their chorus sounding pretty tight.

MAD TRIGGER CREW bring a completely different vibe to the table. The cool yet imposing air about the crew shows in their poised rap, with fierce lyrics yet, when it comes to the singing, the crew sounds – apparently – a bit slower, doing some legato on their singing – riding on Shintaro Asanuma’s steady mid-tones, further enhancing the lower toned vocals in the crew.

Fling Posse continue to be pretty unique as in, their looks and vibe don’t match their sound and lyrics; plus, although their rap game is not bad, it highly contrasts with their top singing skills. They are doing some pretty awesome harmonies in the chorus – with Soma Saito’s vocals as the converging/mid-level tone for this section. This level of balance is something that other crews didn’t manage to pull off. As a result, their verse + chorus combo sounds the most complete out of all crews’ performances in this track.

Matenro are the complete opposite. The crew exudes an imposing, untouchable vibe that fits perfectly with their urgent, mind-boggling rapping. When it comes to singing, the group sounds unbalanced, mainly due to the members having contrasting singing tones. They lack harmony in the chorus but still wrapped up this song in their unique style.

All in all, Division All StarsSurvival of the Illest is a treat to funk and old-school hip-hop fans. Those retro melodies and beats plus the fancy mix of rap and singing make this track a sure-fire winner.

Old-school rap vibes, a mix of funk and hip-hop, catchy lyrics and equal lines distribution for each group – highlighting their strengths (and weaknesses) – makes this song a must listen.

Fun, easy-listen and groovy, Survival of the Illest is the song you should be listening to this Summer.


Survival of the Illest is available for streaming on Spotify.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Survival of the Illest
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. A year later, 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).

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