2025 is the latest offering from rapper / trapper Young Yujiro who quickly became a huge fave of mine a couple of years ago when he surfaced with the rest of the Osaka based Hibrid gang. What immediately caught my attention was his very unique, laid-back flow, which, combined with his deep voice is somewhat similar to what the legendary K Dub Shine has been doing since the ’90s, but Yujiro does it all with a modern, trap flair, creating something new and one of a kind. After two earlier mixtapes / albums, Y.A.N.A and No. 102, mid-2018 he dropped his best work so far, Motive which was a flawless album with 16 perfect tracks and it was simply the best of what trap has to offer, presented in his immediately recognizable style. Ghost, the shorter follow-up a year later was a bit of a letdown though. It started out great, with tracks that are just as good as anything from Motive, but then ran out of steam around halfway thru and the last three of the seven tracks were all skippers from that slow, emotional kind of trap that sure is popular, but just as sure isn’t good.

And 2025, released in September follows where Ghost left off. Unlike that one however, it is a longer one again, with 16 tracks, just like Motive, but unfortunately the quality is nothing like that and it ends up being a very mixed bag, but with a few gems thrown in. We get a handful more of those sentimental tunes (like Bae One Moment and This is 4 My Dawgz), that just make you yawn and reach for the skip button, but there are also ones like Dope Dealer, which are… almost good, but just aren’t strong enough. However there are also several very strong tracks, like the opening One Second, the hard-hitting Itsumo! which features a traditional loop and fellow trappers Kenayeboi and Young Coco (yeah, unlike the US where a lot of rappers are called “Lil Something”, in Japan it is “Young Something”), the old-school hip-hop flavoured Wind Era, the slightly twisted Blood Eye, the super-chill What You Gonna Do? or the cold and robotic God Response. These and some of the other tunes save the album, but still, even with these around it unfortunately isn’t anything like the perfection that Motive was.

And it is strange, really, as Yujiro still got that amazing flow, but it seems that he sort of lost that golden touch he had a few years ago, when he did or was even just featured in was refreshingly great and original. However, with all this said, it isn’t a bad album at all and if you dig this sort of laid-back, new school, trap infused hip-hop you will definitely find some favorite tunes here, just make sure to create a playlist of those and forget about the rest.

2021.09.18 / digital
01.One Second (1秒)
02.In My Zone (私のゾーンで)
03.ITSUMO! (feat. Young Coco & Kenayeboi) (いつも!)
04.Too Late After Losing (feat. LYTO) (失っちゃいけないモノ)
05.Better (feat. P!O) (ベター)
06.Dope Dealer (feat. BYUNGSUNG KIM) (ドープディーラー)
07.Wind Era (feat. WELL-DONE, ILLNANDES, S-kaine & DJ BULLSET) (風の時代)
08.Blood Eye (feat. SANTAWORLDVIEW) (血眼)
09.Feel So Good (気分が良い)
10.What You Gonna Do? (feat. WALTHER) (何する?)
11.Manure (feat. KOH) (肥料)
12.GOD Response (神対応)
13.This is 4 My Dawgz (feat. SHEEF THE 3RD) (これは仲間のため)
14.Park (feat. CHAKRA) (公園)
15.EXIT (出口)
16.Bae One Moment (待っとけベイビー)


A year in reviews: in 2021 I was somewhat neglecting the site due to the lack of free time, but now I try to make up for it as much as possible, reviewing several important / good / interesting albums that were released this year. One for each day throughout December, from a very wide spectrum of genres. #2021reviews