From the shadowy neon-lit streets of 20XX Tokyo, where real life and virtual life collide in cyberpunk fever dreams, Gorilla Attack are a fierce new rap duo featuring MCs Higashi Roland and Nishi Roland.
Their intense and original music is a dark yet mellow take on urban rap with dead-straight rhymes that ride the grooves directly to your soul. The duo appeared from nowhere on August 1, 2019 with their first single ‘Gorilla Anthem’ and then sank back into silence, reemerging a year later in September 2020 with their EP ‘GORILLA CITY’. They immediately became the talk of Japan’s music scene, thanks to their unique sound and creatively daring music videos.
As their first collection of songs, ‘GORILLA CITY’ is a dramatic introduction to this modern duo, sublimating elements of hip-hop and R&B with a mellow and dark sound that is sometimes melodious, sometimes hard, along with a captivating flow and high-concept lyrics. The EP was produced with Yaffle, Kenkaiyosi (aka Loyly Lewis), kumonosumica and Tepppei, who are all revered figures in Japan’s urban music scene.
As their name suggests, Gorilla Attack are inspired by the mighty ape, and the motto that informs their music is “Live like a gorilla and you’ll never be happier”. They are also influenced by the ever-narrowing gap between modern Tokyo life and the virtual world. The video to their track ‘Kakusei Gorilla’ is a prime example, along with Gorilla Attack’s main artist photo, both of which borrow the cyberpunk aesthetics of hit Japanese anime ‘Akira’ and ‘Ghost in the Shell’ to arrive at their own concept of ‘20XX Tokyo’, a near-future virtual world that echoes the modern-day reality of life in Tokyo. The result is a cutting-edge mix of music and visuals that captures the essence of urban Tokyo.
Gorilla Attack’s music and videos can be found on their official YouTube channel, including an acoustic version of ‘Gorilla Step’ that was released on ‘World Gorilla Day’ (September 24). Check Gorilla Attack’s YouTube account for more: here
Human or gorilla? The identity of this intriguing Tokyo rap duo remains shrouded in mystery. But like our primate cousins, expect them to become big.