By Paris365 on January 10, 2013

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Pony Canyon

J-Rap superstar Kreva's new single, "NA NA NA," starts off with some fluttering synth loops, a light beat and all sorts of electro-sounds before he begins rapping the chorus, "NA NA NA, NA NA NA," which is followed by backing vocalists going "hey, hey." Simple? Sure. Silly? Obviously. Addictive? As chocolate. And once he starts rapping it gets even more contagious.

Kreva's slightly cocky, slightly silly tone of voice and whole delivery of his rap here reminds me of "Gangnam Style." I'm not accusing him of copying Psy, just saying that maybe he was slightly influenced by him. Then again, Kreva has been around for ages, so it's possible that Psy was actually influenced by Kreva. It seems like rap artists are always influencing each other anyway. Not that pop stars aren't influenced by each other, mind you. But in hip-hop -- especially American hip-hop -- it seems like someone big like Jay Z or Nas will take a leap in a new direction and then a bunch of other guys will, too. Although I suppose it has less to do with the actual rap stars than it has to do with the producers they work with. A new producer will deliver what ends up being a hit single then every other guy goes and uses the same producer. And then other producers start trying to copy that producer. And everybody is basically trying to sound the same. Until one of the big guns says screw it and does something totally fresh and new and the trend changes again. (Clearly, I've gone off on a tangent, but it's OK, I'm allowed to do that once in a while.) All of that being said, the music of Kreva's track is nothing like Psy's track whatsoever. It's only their style of rapping that's similar.

The B-side here is "No More Mr.NiceGuy" (that's how he writes it) featuring KEN THE 390 and AKLO. It starts off with some nice piano and a pounding beat and it sounds promising, but then someone starts singing the chorus "no more Mr. NiceGuy" with so much auto-tune on his voice that you can barely tell what he's singing. And you know how I loathe auto-tune. But at least it's obvious that it's auto-tuned here, as opposed to when artists use a bit of auto-tune and try to hide it or flat out deny using it. (I could go off on another tangent here.) Fortunately, the song does a 360 for the better when Kreva starts rapping and a nice and thick dubstep beat takes over. Within two seconds the song literally goes from sounding like it's copying 2009's trend to sounding totally current and trendy itself. Because, really, there aren't many rap artists who've successfully implemented dubstep into their music. The unfortunate thing is that the chorus is the same overly auto-tuned crap every time we have to hear it. It's worse than T-Pain, really. Just terrible. But I dig the dubstep beats and piano and various loops and other beats on hand and the rap all flows nicely, Kreva's two guests fitting in perfectly, so, ultimately, I would have to say that I do like the song.

Finally, we have a 2012 "Re-Mix" of "あかさたなはまやらわをん" or "Akasa Tana wa Mayarawawon." What does that mean? This is what Google translate spits out: "I was witness to such alleged ん Hama." I guess something is lost in translation here? But that didn't stop me from enjoying this infectious track, which has something of a '70's disco vibe. It's definitely more like an alternate version of the song than what we typically think of when we hear the word remix. (This single also includes instrumental versions of all three tracks.) -Michael McCarthy

A limited edition, first pressing version of this single is also available and comes with a DVD featuring the music video for "Na Na Na."

Labels and artists interested in being featured here may contact Michael McCarthy at Follow Michael on Twitter

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