2015.04.17

ベスト盤リリースや武道館公演などの大きなトピックは間にあったものの、オリジナル・アルバムとしては『The Independent King』から2年ぶりとなる新作。前作を受けての〈王位〉という表題なのだろうが、今回も収録曲から立ち昇るのは安泰な防衛戦ではなく挑戦者のムードだ。序曲から〈B-ninjahと描いた夢のジオラマ〉という一節にハッとさせられつつ、以降は劇的なスケールのデカさに押し流される。理貴の荘厳なトラックでファボラスとマイクを交わす先行シングル“Oh Lord”やショーンC&LVが焦燥感を煽る“Samurai Diesel”などUS勢との合体も華々しい反面、DJ RYOWNATOらの強靭なビートもギラギラと光を発してくるのが頼もしい。歌の比重を高めた後半のメロディアスな流れも効果的だ。

[English Translation]
Though he did have some big topics such as the release of the greatest hits album or live performance at 'the sacred' Nippon Budokan, it's been two years for this hip hop artist, AK-69 to release a new original album since his last original album. The title of the new album, "THE THRONE" may have been given responding to the title of the last album "The Independent King", but rising from the tracks this time also is his mood as a challenger, rather than the air of a tranquil defensive battle. While the lyrics 'the dream diorama I pictured with B-ninjah' (AK-69’s companion musician and reggae artist who was put behind bars due to drug abuse) in the prologue tune takes my breath away, it is then followed by dramatic and grand-scale tracks that wash us away. Combinations with US artists are gorgeous: AK-69 and Fabolous exchange mics with each other on the solemn tune by DJ/beatmaker RIKI in the pre-released single "Oh Lord". Also, Sean C & LV stirs the listeners’ impatience in “Samurai Diesel.” Then again, the tough beats delivered by artists such as DJ RYOW and NATO glitter brightly, demonstrating the promising talents of the Japanese powerhouse. The melodious flow in the latter half of the album putting more emphasis on songs is pretty impressive.

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