Review | Dotsuitare Hompo vs Buster Bros!!!

Hypnosis Mic 2nd DRB

Dotsuitare Hompo VS Buster Bros!!! brings the bounce of funk and a lot of excitement to the table in this battle of equals.

Title: HypnosisMic 2nd Division Rap Battle "Dotsuitare Hompo vs Buster Bros!!!"
Label: EVIL LINE RECORDS
Release date: 24/02/2021
Genre: Hip-Hop

Tracklist:

1 - Joy for Struggle (Dotsuitare Hompo vs Buster Bros!!!)
2 - 笑オオサカ!~What a OSAKA! (Dotsuitare Hompo)
3 - Re:start!!! (Buster Bros!!!)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Joy for Struggle

Heavy distorted guitar riffs make the honors for “Joy for Struggle”.

Smoothly, brass and a funky bass line join in, with snary drums creating a deep, bassy instrumental. Wah-wah guitar riffs add the final details, with this instrumental channeling old-school hip-hop vibes.

The verses are simple and of great quality. There are equal measures of spotlight to the instrumental and the flashy rap going on in this punchy battle.

The chorus is rather brief and catchy, with each crew pulling your attention to them, Dotsuitare Hompo to your left and Buster Bros!!! to your right.

I was feeling this chorus on its first listen. It’s really bouncy, it has a massive focus on that deep bass sound that was a trademark of 90s hip-hop and has an entertaining flair thanks to the brass.

The quirkiness and comedic puns of Dotsuitare Hompo and Buster Bros!!! old-school hood vibe and strong bonds go face-to-face for an interesting battle however, a rather tame one.

Aside from a couple of lines that were delivered with a bit of sass or sounded as a provocation, most of their battle was tame.

Still an awesome song though.

2 – 笑オオサカ!~What a OSAKA! (Wara Osaka! What a OSAKA!)

“Wara Osaka!~What a Osaka!” brings rock to the spotlight and adds to it a funky touch with a lot of cowbell.

There’s something about this song that really brings back those 70s rock vibes and I could love it more. The intro may have that vibe but the verses are a place for rap to happen. The instrumental tones down, leaving only wah-wah guitar riffs, a punchy bass line and a minimal beat in the background.

The chorus brings intensity back to the table, with the instrumental once again embracing its 70s funk-rock sound. Organ melodies make their entrance in this section, adding the final touches to this catchy tune.

This is a song is so fun and I believe it’ll be a fan favorite on live shows – it was practically made for that setting, with plenty of parts that beg for you to join in and sing along to the crew.

For the most part, Dotsuitare Hompo are singing so expect rap parts being minimal in comparison with the singing – which takes up at least 4 chorus sections as opposed to the 3 verses.

Solid performance that ended up being a bundle of fun for me. It is a song that goes very much in line with their first group song – carrying over the crew’s sound to this battle – and the crew’s performances are really enjoyable.

3 – Re:start!!!

A melancholic guitar riff, a simple shuffle beat and synths plus a groovy bass line open the doors to “Re:start!!!”, Buster Bros!!!’s best crew song to date.

The verses are introspective and emotional, with the rapping going in a slow pace, almost whispered, demanding your attention right from the start.

This time around, I love the dynamic within the group, with Haruki Ishiya singing the chorus as well as exchanging rap parts with Kouhei Amasaki in the first verse.

For the second verse, the stage is set and Subaru Kimura dominates it while Ishiya and Amasaki go for background and pitch vocals.

The feeling you get after listening this song is that of complete trust and love between the members, with their performance exuding that in a natural way.

My only issue with this song is only the fact that it is too short.


Final considerations:

Dotsuitare Hompo and Buster Bros!!! kicked off the 2nd Division Rap Battle in style.

However, I got the idea this battle didn’t really feel like one, especially with how “Joy for Struggle” was structured and how the lyrics failed to have the grit and aggressive tone that you could find in some battles in the 1st Division Rap Battle.

If there’s something I love about “Joy for Struggle” is how groovy and funky it is. This is the kind of song that will have a crowd going, a song in which Dotsuitare Hompo and Buster Bros!!!’s members can feed off when performing.

It has “good vibes” written all over it, with the bass line and brass creating an old-school hip-hop sound that I love.

The tempo is comfortable for both the instrumental – making it easier for the listener to follow what is going on – as well as the vocal performances – these, more focused on chained rhymes with plenty of wordplay going and, for the most part, being performed in a rather low key.

I like the way the battle is structured, with each crew sending their members one by one to fight, regroup in the chorus, send in the leaders, regroup and then going crew on crew in the last minutes of the song. This structure works well however, it is one of the reasons this song is longer than previous D.R.B songs.

Doutsuitare Hompo showed their colors in “Wara Osaka!~What a Osaka!” however, with a twist.

Rock and funk from the 70s take center stage, putting aside any distinct hip-hop elements.

When listening to this song you’ll notice that Dotsuitare Hompo are far from sounding like a rap crew for this performance.

The instrumental is funk-rock and it never stops being it, only toning down so that the bass can take over in the verses and thus, the crew has their punchy stage set to deliver their wordplay-filled rap.

The chorus changes dynamics and with it, the rapping shifts to singing, with the crew’s members inviting the listener to sing along to them.

Good song however, a big stretch from hip-hop, almost sounding out of place in the Hypnosis Mic franchise.

Buster Bros!!! wrap up this entry in the 2nd Division Rap Battle series with “Re:start!!!”, song that channels a melancholic old-school hip-hop vibe reminiscing of late 90s, early 00s, in which rap, R&B (giving an emotional edge) and rock meet to create this introspective rap song.

This song blew it out of the park for me. I wasn’t expecting something of this quality from Buster Bros!!!, crew more focused on their rap with funk and rock on top. Their music never came across as completely introspective but they’ve upped their ante and exceeded my expectations.

With “Re:start!!!”, Buster Bros!!! delivered their best crew song to date as well as one of the best songs in the whole franchise so far. To put on replay and let those good vibes sink in.

All in all, Dotsuitare Hompo VS Buster Bros!!! ended up being almost like a battle of equals.

It is really hard to determine who was the best crew in this release and, even in the battle song “Joy for Struggle”, there was no real a winner there.

Just two awesome crews with a lot of flair and passion going at it for a chance at being in the next stage, fighting for the “King” title. Also, both delivered rock solid performances on top of enjoyable instrumentals.

If I had to pick a crew to advance to the next stage, I’d say, based on the quality of the song and how much it connected with me, that Buster Bros!!! should win this battle and aim higher, especially if the quality in “Re:start!!!” transfers to other songs of theirs.

Regardless of which crew advances to the next battle, it is safe to say that they will be bringing good vibes and a lot of passion.


HypnosisMic 2nd Division Rap Battle “Dotsuitare Hompo vs Buster Bros!!!is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Joy for Struggle
笑オオサカ!~What a OSAKA!
Re:start!!!
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).

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