FUNKY MONDAY | #21 RANL THE FREAKY RAPPER #www
Smile, it’s Monday. For today’s episode, I’ll serve you some rap, some anime, some sado-maso and some cuteness : it’s 4 in 1, better than the best shampoo… That’s it for the picth.
Ranl, the #wonderful #wild #woman ou #www
Japanese artist randomly discovered a few years ago, during my youtubian peregrinations. At the time, I was regularly wandering on the net in search of japanese music, to accustom my ear to the language and also to enrich my music library.
# WILD : a peculiar style
First thing that catches my attention : her name. An odd name, which evokes nothing, which “resembles nothing” and which is difficult to pronounce. Whether you say it the french way “RANLE”, the english way “WANL” or in the japanese “LANLU”, it sounds as if you were gargling with Listerine… Anyway.
Second thing that strikes me : her style. When you listen for the first time, it’s a bit irritating. This little high-pitched voice, typical of female anime characters gently pierces the eardrums and yet, for some obscure reasons, I let the album flow (from memory, I was doing something at the same time so my attention wasn’t focused on the music).
Then I come across Slave Rock : “You are my slave dog, don’t move don’t look at me don’t speak out…”
An evocative title, sharp and explicitly perverse lyrics… on a kawaii background. Slave Rock is the hook-track, the one that makes you say “it may be quite good after all, let me take a closer look”.
And let’s be honest, it allows you to enrich your vocabulary with words that no books will ever teach you : a hizamazukinasai「跪きなさい！」- kneel down! – admittedly hard to place in a regular conversation, can always be useful in good times.
# WOMAN : Ranl, anime umare, hip-hop sodachi*
* Born in anime, brought up in hip-hop
Little information about her identity or her background. In real life, she may be a cashier at Family Mart or a violin teacher… However, on stage, judging her avatars or her words, I would have no trouble believing she really is the sexy nurse who involves in questionable practices. Of course I invent but in Japan, artists with unsuspected double-life are commonplace.
Above it all, Ranl is the virtual rapper mixing oddly but intelligently hip-hop and animation. Not that these two universes are separated by a thick wall surmounted by barbed wire, but their association remains uncommon and not especially conceivable at first sight.
# WONDERFUL : the mixtape Service Time
With numerous featurings and collaborations, Service Time remains her main work, as far as I know. Ranl lays her cute and nasal high pitched voice on hip hop and electro sounds. You can find exuberant themes, varied styles (dark, wacky…), lyrics ranging from cute and candid to depraved sado-masochistic or even pee-poo.
A rather passive first listening highlights the extremes and incongruities. The second listening, more attentive, allows to note the originality of the words, the agility of the flow and the instruments. Her kawaii signature is a real risk taking but is nevertheless ingenious because she doesn’t fall into annoying, badly put together cuteness…
In a nutshell, Ranl plays a lot with the border between cute and pervert, she’s the rapper lolita somehow.