Translation

Hilcrhyme – Ouinkenbunroku

While I was in Japan, I was introduced to Hilcrhyme by a friend who said she’d seen a video with this singer who looked like Axel from Kingdom Hearts. The video in question was “Daijoubu.” Much to my amusement, the similarity was certainly there, at least in terms of his build and hairstyle.

Left: TOC (screencapped from the

Left: TOC (screencapped from the “Daijoubu” video); Right: Axel (from a wallpaper Square Enix had made available on Square Enix Members forever and a day ago).

Hilchryme consists of DJ KATSU (which sounds like the English word “cuts”) and MC TOC. Unfortunately for those living in the States, their music is currently not available through the American iTunes Store nor Pandora. You could buy their stuff through CD Japan though, and there might be other legitimate ways to listen to/purchase their music that I just don’t know about.

Now, as wonderful a song as “Daijoubu” is, I want to instead share another track from Hilcrhyme’s 2010 album Message, namely “Ouinkenbunroku.” This track was the b-side to “Daijoubu” and also appeared on the 2012 compilation album Best of Hilcrhyme. The speed of the track may seem intimidating whether you’re just listening to it or trying to sing along, but speed is something you get used to. If you’re already able to keep up with the fastest rappers in your native language, you’ll be able to sing this song with enough practice. It’s a fun goal to shoot for!

Since I originally bought this track from the Japanese iTunes Store, I don’t have official lyrics, but the ones that appear on J-Lyric.net seem accurate to me, so that’s what I used to transliterate the lyrics and translate them. Although I did add the “Page one,” “Page two,” and other things that MC TOC says but that the lyrics don’t include which will mess you up rhythmically if you don’t take them into account.

I actually did this translation maybe not too long after the song came out and recently found that earlier attempt on my hard drive. While some things I think I understand better now, there are some lines I’m still not 100% sure about. Wordplay is a big part of rap, at least in English, and if Hilcrhyme is trying to follow in those footsteps, there probably are a few puns and such that are flying right over my head.

While ideally I would have liked to create a translation that sounds like it could be a rap, I’m no Lupe Fiasco or Eminem. Still, for what it’s worth, enjoy! ☆

押韻見聞録

ページワン

全国を繋ぐ線路待ち合わせ
飛び乗る車両は先頭で書き並べる
締め切りは明日まで あぁもう間近
でも弱音は吐いちゃダメ
各地で先導アテンドしてもらい俺たちは演奏
嗜む名品に名産から定番中の定番
そしてたまに掘り当てるぜこの地だけの名盤

Laid back そんな暇など無し
この時期を今か今かと待ち
全ての経験が力となり
縛られぬ自由気まま育ち

乗り込むタクシー方角もわからぬまま
現場にて戦うただ
書き記した全文を読み上げようか
押印見聞録

Yo 大地と共に踏み続けたこの韻を
使い表す信条
書き足すまだ足りない まだまだまだ (ひゃっ!)
さらにまた磨き上げてくこの韻を
ばら撒いて徐々に浸透
編み出す技足りない まだまだまだ(ひゃっ!)

ページツー

真っ黒になったスニーカー
とんだスピーカーのツイーター
旅の始まりからどれだけが経った
ああ 一年弱? それだけかたった
四七の境目 また跨いで
空路の時は羽ばたいて
充血の赤い目擦りながら
見せるテクマイク職人肌

終着の地は日本のど真ん中
上げる声をここでも甲高く
どこよりも熱い熱気と冷たい風
まだ崩せない壁
変わらず持つ左手の拡声器一つで
切り込んでいく各ステージ
聞こえるか?絶やさぬこの声
願わくばあなたの耳元へ

Yo 大地と共に踏み続けたこの韻を
使い表す信条
書き足すまだ足りない まだまだまだ (ひゃっ!)
さらにまた磨き上げてくこの韻を
ばら撒いて徐々に浸透
編み出す技足りない まだまだまだ(ひゃっ!)

大地と共に踏み続けたこの韻を
使い表す信条
書き足すまだ足りない まだまだまだ
さらにまた磨き上げてくこの韻を
ばら撒いて徐々に浸透
編み出す技足りない まだまだまだ まだ

書き飽きない書きたい
痛み抱いた歌詞達がいた
キラリ光りが差すくらい磨いた未開拓のフロー
開いた今視界が
自宅のスタジオのマックをタップ
にらめっこするトラックとラップ
この物語もちろんノンフィクション
押印見聞録オンキックとスネア

Yo 大地と共に踏み続けたこの韻を
使い表す信条
書き足すまだ足りない まだまだまだ (ひゃっ!)
さらにまた磨き上げてくこの韻を
ばら撒いて徐々に浸透
編み出す技足りない
まだまだまだまだまだぁぁ

Ouinkenbunroku

peeji wan

zenkoku wo tsunagu senro machiawase
tobinoru sharyou wa sentou de kakinaraberu
shimekiri wa ashita made aa mou majika
demo yowane wa haitcha dame
kakuchi de sendou atendo shite morai oretachi wa ensou
tashinamu meihin ni meisan kara teibanjuu no teiban
soshite tama ni horiateru ze kono chi dake no meiban

Laid back sonna hima nado nashi
kono jiki wo imaka imaka to machi
subete no keiken ga chikara to nari
shibararenu jiyuu kimama sodachi

norikomu takushii hougaku mo wakaranu mama
genba nite tatakau tada
kakishirushita zenbun wo yomiageyou ka
ouinkenbunroku

Yo daichi to tomo ni fumitsuzuketa kono in wo
tsukaiarawasu shinjou
kakitasu mada tarinai mada mada mada (hya!)
sara ni mata migakiageteku kono in wo
baramaite jojo ni shintou
amidasu waza tarinai mada mada mada (hya!)

peeji tsuu

makkuro ni natta suniikaa
tonda supiikaa no tsuiitaa
tabi no hajimari kara dore dake ga tatta
aa ichi nen jaku? sore dake ka tatta
shijuunana no sakaime mada mataide
kuuro no toki wa habataite
juuketsu no akai me kosurinagara
miseru teku maiku shokunin hada

shuuchaku no chi wa nippon no domanaka
ageru koe wo koko demo kandakaku
doko yori mo atsui nekki to tsumetai kaze
mada kuzusenai kabe
kawarazu motsu hidari te no kakuseiki hitotsu de
kirikondeyuku kaku suteeji
kikoeru ka? tayasanu kono koe
negawakuba anata no mimimote e

Yo daichi to tomo ni fumitsuzuketa kono in wo
tsukaiarawasu shinjou
kakitasu mada tarinai mada mada mada (hya!)
sara ni mata migakiageteku kono in wo
baramaite jojo ni shintou
amidasu waza tarinai mada mada mada (hya!)

daichi to tomo ni fumitsuzuketa kono in wo
tsukaiarawasu shinjou
kakitasu mada tarinai mada mada mada
sara ni mata migakiageteku kono in wo
baramaite jojo ni shintou
amidasu waza tarinai mada mada mada

mada kakiakinai kakitai
itami daita kashi-tachi ga ita
kirari hikari ga sasu kurai migaita mikaitaku no furoo
hiraita ima shikai ga
jitaku no sutajio no makku wo tappu
niramekko suru torakku to rappu
kono monogatari mochiron nonfikushon
ouinkenbunroku on kikku to sunea

Yo daichi to tomo ni fumitsuzuketa kono in wo
tsukaiarawasu shinjou
kakitasu mada tarinai mada mada mada (hya!)
sara ni mata migakiageteku kono in wo
baramaite jojo ni shintou
amidasu waza tarinai
mada mada mada mada madaaa

My Life Chronicled in Rhymes

Page one

Meeting up with the tracks connecting the whole country
The trains I jump on are lined up as my vanguard1
Deadline’s tomorrow
Damn, that soon for real?2
But I can’t gripe about it
We lead in each city3
Putting on a show for everybody coming to see us
Our modest masterpiece went from local treasure to gold standard4
Sometimes we hit the motherlode when we’re digging
Pulling out a classic record only this land could make

Laid back? I ain’t got free time like that
I’ve been waiting my whole entire life for this
All my experiences give me strength
Selfishly nurturing a freedom that can’t nobody tie down

Riding a taxi without even knowing where it’s headed
But I’ll just fight when I get there
Shall I read for you the verses I’ve written down?
This is my life chronicled in rhymes yo

These rhymes I’ve tread as I walk the Earth
Manifest what I believe in5
I write more but it still ain’t enough, not yet, not yet, not yet!
Again I let my rhymes flow, polishing them each time
They slowly seep down into everything
But my skills still ain’t enough to tie these lyrics
Together

Page two

Dirtied up sneakers
Tweeters in my bomb-ass speakers
How long have I been traveling this road?
Less than a year, huh? Only that much time has passed?
We’re between places again, at the 47th border6
When it’s time to fly, we spread our wings
Displaying my technique while rubbing bloodshot eyes
The mike is part of a craftsman’s skin

Our final stop is the very middle of Japan
There’s high-pitched cheering even here
I still can’t break down this wall of cold wind and white-hot fever
I bust out on each stage with the megaphone I always have in my left hand
Can you hear it? This voice that ain’t ever gonna die out
I’m over here hoping that it reaches you

These rhymes I’ve tread as I walk the Earth
Manifest what I believe in
I write more but it still ain’t enough, not yet, not yet, not yet!
Again I let my rhymes flow, polishing them each time
Gradually they seep into everything
But my skills still ain’t enough to tie these lyrics
Together

These rhymes I’ve tread as I walk the Earth
Manifest what I believe in
I write more but it still ain’t enough, not yet, not yet, not yet!
Again I let my rhymes flow, polishing them each time
They slowly seep down into everything
But my skills still ain’t enough to tie these lyrics
Together

I still ain’t tired of writing so I’mma keep on writing yo
Lyrics be up in here all full of pain7
I’ve polished up this rough flow so much that it shines
Now my field of vision’s finally opened up
Tap the Mac in my home studio
And rap at the track glaring back at me
This story is of course non-fiction
My life chronicled in rhymes with kick and snare

These rhymes I’ve tread as I walk the Earth
Manifest what I believe in
I write more but it still ain’t enough, not yet, not yet, not yet!
Again I let my rhymes flow, polishing them each time
They slowly seep down into everything
But my skills still ain’t enough to tie these lyrics together
Not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet!


1. This line really throws me off because of the verb used, 書き並べる. Kakinaraberu can mean either to list, or to write in a way that is not inferior (to some other writing, presumably). But he’s applying this verb to 車両, which given the previous mention of 線路 (tracks) I’m taking to mean trains (as opposed to just vehicles, which sharyou can also mean). So because of that verb, I’m taking the trains as a metaphor for his lyrics and train tracks as a metaphor for music tracks. The music carries his flows in much the same way tracks carry a train. That’s my interpretation anyway.

2. The written lyrics 間近 (majika) mean “soon” but I think we’re meant to also take this line as マジか? (maji ka) which is like “for real?”

3. I wonder if he actually means “we’re the opening act in each city,” but I have the impression that being the opening act isn’t as good as being the headliners, so yeah. Also, this is the only line where he uses a plural pronoun; I used “I” for the other lines because I’m interpreting the viewpoint as being “I (TOC) am the only one rapping but we (Hilcrhyme) are both performing.”

4. Oh my god, the liberties I’ve taken with this line! There is no verb functioning as such in this line at all (the 嗜む名品 being a relative clause) so I’m only about 50% sure I’ve pieced it together correctly, and the “treasure” and “gold standard” parts are metaphors I’m bringing into this line given the 掘り当てる (horiateru, to find something by digging) that’s in the next line. A literal translation of this line would be something like “From modest masterpiece to local specialty then to the standard of standards” (again, assuming I’m understanding this correctly) but…I think that sounds too lame to be in a rap.

5. I translated 使い表す信条 as “manifest what I believe in,” but I’m not too sure about that…

6. Japan has 47 prefectures.

7. Japanese distinguishes between the “to be” of things and people. Here, “lyrics” are personified with the use of the “to be” usually used for people and animals, as well as with the pluralizing suffix “tachi” which is likewise usually used only for living things. So, his lyrics are alive!

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