I found this record floating between the East China Sea and the American coastline. I threw it into my player and it whispered faraway stories to me. After spinning these sounds over and over in my ears, I can finally share it with you. It’s called Partition and it’s the last mixtape from Awich. The title speaks for itself. Lulled by the Japanese and American culture, the rapper delivers a strong object. It’s imbued with these two sources of influence. In her writing she alternates between Japanese and American slang. We feel a duality, as much in the instrumentals as in her voice. In Revenge, the tones are clearly inspired by traditional Japanese music. Sometimes her flow sounds very US and sometimes it’s very singular. The Japanese pop culture tinges Awish’s music especially with Good Bye. It’s a very light sound that is more sung than rapped. The chorus is very catchy. It quickly gets into the head. One almost forget that the EP deals with heavier themes.
Partition is also a story. An introspective story. The rapper talks about her journey in rap but also about her life. She grew up in a special context. Indeed, she was born in Okinawa, an Island which has a complicated history. Her native village has long lived in the shadow of American military bases. So Awish’s home town has a dark past. However, it also have a good part because American culture is still rooted in Okinawan life. So this allowed her to discover her passion : hip hop music. Later she moved to Atlanta, cradle of rap music and more particularly of trap. Here, she met her husband but he was tragically murdered. She goes back to Japan and release 8 , her first album. With this record the rapper crossed the borders of her home village to get into the bass of all Asia.
Awich, short for « Asia Wish Child » taken from her birth name « Akiko », is a name she created to reflect her roots.
Awich managed to capture something very subtle in this big musical engine that is the United States. A fragment among all those that composed her person and her music. She is a hybrid entity that gravitates between Atlanta and Okinawa, her no music’s land.
Her music is colored by her experiences. The choice of the beat sometimes scathing, pop, or more rnb transports us in her frame of mind. The chaining of these three pieces: Patrona, Revenge and Awake, is awesome. We follow an evolution and a narration. First, Patrona is a very aggressive sound. It’s about a woman whose fired up with vengeance, broken by pain who also try to hurt somebody. In Revenge, it’s different. The artist reflects on what revenge really is when it comes to getting back at people who have hurt us deeply. Finally, Awake is a quieter sound. The rapper seems to be a little more peaceful. There are as many facets of the artist as there are tracks on the album. It comes out of the gut. It smells of romance, rage, ambition. With Partition, Awich hits hard. There is no doubt that she is the most badass female rapper of the Asian continent. She’s on her way to parasitize and improve the world’s airwaves.
Artist : Awich
Album : Partition
Released : August 21th, 2020
Country : Japan
Length : EP – 20’ 40’’
Label : universal J
written by Antonia Barot aka Nomulian 4178