That’s Amuro!

Usually I tend to opt for some softer, pensive music on Sundays. It makes it easier to be brought down gingerly to the idea of another soul-crushing, life-sucking seven day cycle within this tortuous, darkened mess plagued with the bloodstains of unavenged souls yearning for justice, buried under the soot-filled ashes of this cruelest of realities that I often refer to as my life. But I think I’ll just post some booty jams instead!

I realized one day (yesterday) that I have never actually given Namie Amuro the credit she’s so duly deserved. As a J-Pop veteran (1994 and counting), the 31-year-old songstress has contributed so many R&B/Pop fused gems to my daily repertoire that it seems silly to go on without shining the spotlight on some of her more glowing achievements.

Before I go on to what I consider her true best work, I can’t say enough about her past. Pegged as the true Empress o’ J-Pop, Namie was well on her way to being ten times the cultural icon that Ayumi Hamasaki is today (forgive me, Ayu!) Ayumi even refers to Namie as an inspiration. And you know, if a diva’s looking up to someone, that’s an indication of success right there.

Her first hit singles, like “Chase the Chance,” “Can You Celebrate?” and the pro-digestive system-sounding “Body Feels Exit” weren’t just chart toppers–they tore up the country (and perhaps their intestines, judging by the success of the latter track). It was a complete and utter Namie takeover. Girls everywhere took to looking and dressing just like her. They were called “Amuraa,” and were thought to be the inspiration for the eventual Ganguro look, which was secretly the inspiration for countless J-Horror ghost movies.

Unfortunately, the fame didn’t last completely. First, she announced a surprise pregnancy and marriage with a boy-band member, Sam of TRF. And as soon as she did return after giving birth to her son, Namie’s mother was murdered one night before the debut of her latest single in March 1999. Things progressively slowed to a halt around that time.

But Namie wasn’t completely lost. She picked up the pieces in 2003 after working on a collaborative effort in which she went under the name SUITE CHIC. The work was a critical success, and elevated her to the point where she could reclaim her title as a solo artist. With the release of her following singles, “shine more,” “So Crazy,” and “Put ‘Em Up,” Namie brought in an American hip-hop sound that was less filtered radio pop, and more gritty, textured beats. She went on to fight through a divorce and gain custody of her son, Haruto, all while promoting her album Style, and then released Queen Of Hip-Pop shortly after, which I consider her greatest achievement yet.

Her music is often challenged by Western (read: anime nerds) listeners as being too, well, Western. But you know what? I don’t have a problem with it. Mostly because it’s not, it’s just that a few J-Pop enthusiasts like to hear about “bubble gum happy fun song time dancing” and “bubble gum happy fun song time dancing” only. I on the other hand, would prefer a few songs to make the booty go clap every now and then. That’s where Namie comes in. With her often ass long hair and stone faced demeanor, she’s not exactly one to conjure thoughts of clubbing. But once you hear a few of her jams, especially off of the latest works she’s done, you know that there’s a freak inside her yet. So go ahead and have your pick at some of my favorites. They’re all great, and more importantly, they’re instrumental in passing the time in between cutting yourself.

I couldn’t decide on only three songs, so I picked…ten. Oops.

DL: Namie Amuro – Put Em’ Up

Punch it out!

DL: Namie Amuro – Indy Lady ft. Zeebra

DL: Namie Amuro – Lovebite

DL: Namie Amuro – Come

This song makes you have sex with yourself. Notice I didn’t say “makes you want to…”

DL: Namie Amuro – WoWa

DL: Namie Amuro – Top Secret

DL: Namie Amuro – Baby Don’t Cry

DL: Namie Amuro – WHAT A FEELING

Uploaded once before, but it bares repeating. Best J-Pop song of ’08, so far.

DL: Namie Amuro – Want Me, Want Me

Without a doubt, one of the finest masterpieces in lyrical construction since Homer’s Iliad. “Te kozuru futari wa like a virgin /Demo wasurenaide ne trojan / I am Oochie / La la, poppin’ coochie” For those who don’t know Japanese, a brief translation: “Silly man, we’re fumbling together like lovers in the night, unaware of each other’s genitalia. Please don’t forget to use a barrier of contraception so that we may not become pregnant. I am oochie, therefore I’m going to need you to go ahead and la la my poppin’ coochie.

These are words transcends the boundaries of a mortal love, teeming with sexuality that overflows onto the eardrums. Oh, and the beat done gon’ be crazay.

DL: Namie Amuro – No

When I first heard “No” in 2005, I told everyone that I hadn’t felt so excited about a song since I heard Kelly Clarkson‘s “Since U Been Gone” for the first time. I have no idea how I pulled that analogy out of my ass, but I’ve been known to make awkward statements in the past. I don’t think my thoughts are so far from the truth, though. Epic. Song.

The bonus slow-down version is attached to the end of the song. I don’t feel like editing it out. My laziness, your benefit.

It Actually Burns

It Actually Burns

You thought the “Little Miss Obsessive” cover was bad?

Morceau De Moi

Morceau De Moi


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