Saturday, March 23, 2019

Home Made Kazoku - Mainichi ga Eiga no you na Hitokoma ~Life Is Beautiful~

Home Made Kazoku ('Home Made Family') was a Japanese hip hop trio of DJ U-ICHI and vocalists Micro & Kuro, both of whom spent much of their youth living in the United States.  Most of their work is a mash up therefore of English and Japanese vocals.  From 1996-2001 they had a former member (HOZE) before their commercial success as a trio, notably gaining much of their notoriety contributing to anime themes like Bleach and Naruto.

'Mainichi ga Eiga no you na Hitokoma ~Life Is Beautiful~' released in 2002, and I'm not positive whether or not HOZE is featured on this, but I'm assuming he was as the album has a prevalent and extensive group rapper dynamic (couldn't find the features listed but some tracks sound like as many as five MC's).  They had one album released previously ('H.M.K.U.'), with the two being their only independent albums.

The group is known for their upbeat and positive stylings of hip hop, and it could be said that this album potentially sounds like a younger and more aggressive version of what their later commercial albums became; the hip hop thread ran throughout their career, but following this album there is a noticeable difference in approach, incorporating more layered pop aesthetics and singing which are all but absent from their independent releases.

This album is incredibly solid front to back, with each vocalist bringing their own flavor to the mix.  I go back to this album all the time and it still amazes me how new and different it sounds both in 2002 as it does today.

The group went on indefinite hiatus in 2016, noting that from then on out the three members would pursue solo careers.