Interview with Idol Rap Unit Rhymeberry : “We Might be ‘Idols’ but We Want people to Recognize Our Skills” (MIRI) –

アイドルラップユニット・ライムベリーにインタビュー! -“アイドル”を取っても通用するようになりたい。(MIRI)
Interview with Idol Rap Unit Rhymeberry : “We Might be ‘Idols’ but We Want people to Recognize Our Skills” (MIRI) –

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Idol rap unit, Rhymeberry, as part of a release event for their new single “IDOL ILLMATIC” out on November 16, held a free concert at Lalaport Toyosu.
アイドルラップユニット・ライムベリーが、11月19日発売のニューシングル「IDOL ILLMATIC」のリリースイベントの一環として、11月16日ららぽーと豊洲にてフリーライブを開催した。

Rhymeberry is a three-member unit with two MCs, MIRI and HIME, and one DJ, HIKARU. With their motto, “cheerful fun”, the idol rap unit was formed in November 2011 and debuted July 2012 in with the single, “HEY! BROTHER”, and since then have gone beyond the boundaries of a typical idol with their smooth rap music, not only captivating idol fans, but a wide audience including rap music fans.
ライムベリーは2人のMC、MIRIとHIME、そして1人のDJ HIKARUからなる3人組ユニット。「明るく楽しい」アイドルラップユニットをモットーに2011年11月に結成され、12年7月にシングル「HEY! BROTHER」でデビュー以来、アイドルの枠を超えた本格的なラップミュージックで、アイドルファンだけでなくラップ音楽ファンなど幅広い層を虜にしている。

“Even people who aren’t familiar with rap can enjoy our songs,” Rhymeberry confidently claimed during one of the show’s MCs, and true to their word and going along with the feel of the location, Lalaport, where the live was held, besides fans there were many couples and families with kids in tow who stopped to enjoy the concert. Spotting young children among the crowd, bobbing along to the rhythm with other fans, certainly left an impression.

Following the concert, Tokyo Girls’ Update interviewed Rhymeberry and asked them about the challenges of being rap idols within a new genre, and about their new song, “IDOL ILLMATIC”.
そしてライブ終了後、Tokyo Girls’ Updateはライムベリーにインタビュー。ラップアイドルという新しいジャンルでのチャレンジ、また新曲「IDOL ILLMATIC」についてお話を伺った。

– The Challenges of “Idol Rap”


Left : HIME, Center : HIKARU, Right : MIRI

-When you started out as Rhymeberry, how did you feel about rapping?

MIRI: My parents like hip hop, and constantly played it in the car, but I’d never listened to hard rap before so in the beginning it was like, “What is rap, exactly?” (laugh) Even hearing the word rap, it was like the only image I had in my head was of saran wrap. (laugh) I thought it was just about talking fast, but once I tried singing it, I found out that it completely changes your phrasing and how you sing. It’s hard, but lately I feel like it’s more fun than anything else.
MIRI: 親がヒップホップ好きで車の中でずっと流れてたんですけど、ゴリゴリのラップは聞いたことがなかったので「ラップって何?」ってところから始まって(笑)。ラップって言われても“サランラップ”のことしか頭に浮かばない、みたいな(笑)。早口言葉みたいだと思ってたんですけど、いざ歌ってみると、音程や自分の歌い方ですごく変わるってことを知って。大変ですけど、楽しいというのが最近はすごく大きいです。

HIME: Well, I hadn’t really planned on making it as an idol. Out of the two, I definitely listened to more rap, and at karaoke I’d sing nothing but stuff like Hilchryme, so I felt thrilled!
私はアイドルを目指していたわけじゃなかったんで。どっちかというとずっとラップを聞いてたし、カラオケに行ってもヒルクライムさんとかしか歌えなかったから、超嬉しい! って思って。



−When you would tell people you were doing rap, what were their reactions like?

HIME: A lot of people would tell me, “That so cool!” At first they thought we were just your average idols, but when they looked us up on YouTube with that impression, they’d be surprised and say how cool they thought it was. There were girls that after giving us a listen for the first time said, “It’s catchy and so much fun!”

−Rhymeberry’s songs certainly are catchy. The rhymes are easy to follow. Do you pay a lot of attention to the way you sing?



MIRI: My voice was really loud so I’d get told, “Your voice is so loud, MIRI-chan,” “Your way of singing is really unique, isn’t it,” and things like that.

HIKARU: I think we’re just doing our best to say the verses smoothly. And about MIRI-chan, I think it’s really cool she has a rough voice that makes normal people go, “Eh?”

– Which is more fun for you, rapping or singing?

MIRI: Rap is totally more fun.

HIME: I don’t really care for singing…

MIRI: I can’t really sing. (laugh) That’s terrible, I know. But with rap I like that it’s easier to express myself freely.

-Is that something you gradually started to feel?

MIRI: I think you could say that. When I first started doing rap, my heart wasn’t in it. Like I was just trying to speak quickly, and I didn’t feel like I was truly rapping at all. But now I feel like I’ve slowly made rap into something of my own. I feel like now I’m having fun when I sing.

HIME: I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing at first either, but from the very beginning rapping was more fun. Like I knew I wasn’t very good at all, but I liked it so I wanted to stick with it.

– At first they had quite a bit to overcome rap. But in spite of that, now it’s become a unique characteristic, and the very core of Rhymeberry.

−To people who don’t usually listen to rap or hip hop, what would you say is your most interesting point and something you’d like them to give a listen to?

HIME: Well more than rap… I really think all of Rhymeberry’s songs are fun. They’re not all just upbeat, but we have mellow songs and our songs all have something special about them. As far as what I think is fun about rap itself, it’s fascinating to discover this and that by just stepping into it. (laugh) But I think that the rapping is more interesting than listening to the lyrics when you hear it.

MIRI: I felt kind of reluctant towards rap at first, too. I mean I didn’t even know what was being said in some songs, you know? (laugh) You have to be into it, though. There were people yelling and I was just like, “Wh-What’s this!” (laughs) But after giving it a shot, listening to it became fun. After I started to enjoy singing it, I was able to look at the lyrics in a new light, so I would recommend everyone to try rapping with Rhymeberry’s music. (laughs)
私はラップには最初抵抗があって。何言ってるかわからない曲もあるじゃないですか(笑)。なのにノらないといけない。叫んでる人もいるし、なんなんだー! って思ったんですけど(笑)。でもいざ自分がやってみると、聴くのも楽しくなったんですよ。自分で歌うことで楽しさとか、歌詞の再認識とかもできるので、みなさんにライムベリーの曲でラップをしてみることをおすすめします(笑)。

HIKARU: I think listening to it again and again is really important. I was also the type that wasn’t really into rap. I went from feeling, “What kind of upbeat music is this?!” Until then I’d only been into classical music. But over time I started to feel more like, “Oh, I like this kind of melody!”
繰り返し聴くことが大事なのかな、って思います。私もラップに対しての知識は無かったので。なんだこのノリのいい曲は!? みたいな感じからはいったんですよ。それまでずっとクラシック音楽にハマってたんで。でも徐々に、“自分はこのメロディが好きだ”とかが増えてきて。



−I thought Rhymeberry put on a great concert, but you come off as a bit hard. Has anyone ever told you that?

HIME: I don’t think so? Do they really?
言われないよね? え、言われる?

MIRI: Yeah, they do… Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I think I’m just a little hard. (laugh) Lately moshing is a thing, you know? Like people get pumped up and crowd surf over the barriers. I’m the kind of person into that sort of thing; I’m the type that wants to join and feel the energy with everyone! Which is fine, but there’s probably people in the audience that aren’t into that, too. So when people say something changed from before and after our hiatus, I think what really changed is the way the audience gets into it.
(Note: Rhymeberry went on hiatus from August 2013 ~ April 2014)
え、言われる・・・MIRIかな? 多分MIRIがいかついんだと思う(笑)。モッシュとか最近できるじゃないですか。ライブハウスだと柵乗り上げてワーってなったりとか。私は結構そういうの好きなタイプというか、そういうのも巻き込んで一緒に盛り上がろう!ってタイプなので大丈夫なんですけど、そうじゃないお客さんもいるじゃないですか。だから復活前と後で何が変わったかって言われたら、多分お客さんのノリ方がすごい変わったなって思います。(注:ライムベリーは2013.8〜2014.4に一時活動休止をしていた)

-Rhymeberry comes off as pretty hardcore, and if it’s all right, I’d like to ask the staff if this was intentional?

E TICKET PRODUCTION: It’s not done on purpose, per say. Simply that since we first started making music not that long ago, we’ve been able to put a lot of energy into it from the very beginning. To put it simply, what we’ve made is somewhat unrefined. We give concerts without polishing it up any, and it gives off that kind of image.
E TICKET PRODUCTION : わざとって言うのはぜんぜんなくて。単純に、トラックがテクニック的に洗練されてないからだと思うんです(笑)。音楽を作り始めてそんなに経ってないので、初期衝動ありきで作っています。だからできたものが荒削りで、それが現場に出た時にハードコアなイメージになるのかも知れません。

– About the New Single, “IDOL ILLMATIC”
I want to be like, “Yeah, just listen to it!” (laugh) (HIKARU)


-There was footage taken of you listening to the demo for the first time, wasn’t there. I’m sure it’s the same as in the video, but what was your impression when you first heard it?

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HIKARU: It was like a spark of electricity. I remember being so excited about it. Being like, “This is totally awesome.”

MIRI: I was the one who listened to it first. I kept going, “Awesome; this is awesome!” I really wanted to tell the other two members, but I didn’t know if I should or not.

HIME: I really wanted to perform it live as soon as possible, and believe that it’s the kind of song that you can enjoy anywhere. I was the last one to hear it, so after seeing the other two’s reactions I thought maybe they were just faking it, but after giving it a listen, I thought it was so much fun! I was like, “Is this practical joke?” (laugh)
ライブで早くやりたいって思ったのと、あとどこを歌っても楽しいだろうなって。私が1番最後に聴いたんですけど、2人のリアクションが大きすぎて嘘かと思って聴いたら、すごい楽しくて! どっきりかと思った(笑)。

MIRI: We introduced it a few times live, and then we got feedback from people asking, “When will it go on sale?”
ライブで何回か披露したけど、音源化いつなの? って言われたりして、手応えを感じましたね。

HIME: Everyone immediately started doing the “clap” part. I guess that’s expected of all the idol fans there. (laugh) I enjoy just singing it, but taking from the audience’s energy and really getting into it is what I think is so great about this song.

-Since you’re the DJ, HIKARU-chan, do you think it leaves a different impression on you than the other two since you’re looking at it from one step away?

HIKARU: From over here it’s a little calmer. I’m always watching how the members and the audience get each other riled up and so on. But during “IDOL ILLMATIC” I’ve usually got a smug face. (laugh)
こっちだと冷静な見方ができるんで。メンバーとお客さんの煽り方とかも全部普通に見れるんですよ。でもIDOL ILLMATICの時は普通にドヤ顔してましたね(笑)。

MIRI: “What’s this, now?!”

HIKARU: With songs there’s always people who either love it or hate it. But I feel like everyone totally loves this song, so I’m over there thinking, “Yeah, just listen to it!” (laughs)

Everyone: (laughs)

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