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NORIKOYO speaks out on police brutality with new single ‘Samidare [五月雨]’

The single comes amid his 3-year prison sentence

LiFTED | Jensen Ooi | 3 Jun 2024

Since his incarceration in 2022, NORIKOYO has channeled his frustration and resilience into his music, becoming a voice for those who suffer under unjust systems. His journey through a nine-month internal investigation and subsequent four-month detention, devoid of interviews, ended with the investigative agency admitting insufficient evidence to support the cannabis trafficking accusations. This ordeal has shaped his recent work and opened his eyes to the injustice he saw in the Japanese criminal system.

The Japanese rapper continues his crusade against police brutality with his poignant new single ‘Samidare [五月雨]’. It is a powerful continuation of the themes explored in his 2023 album Criminal Statement. The album offered an introspective look into NORIKOYO's experiences and thoughts during his incarceration. His struggle took a turn for the worse as he was sentenced to a three-year prison term in June 2022.

Written as a letter from behind bars, ‘Samidare’ is a raw and emotional track that reflects NORIKOYO's ongoing battle against the system. The melancholic guitar loop and simple beat, produced by KOYANMUSIC of SD JUNKSTA, provide a haunting backdrop for NORIKOYO's powerful lyrics. The song serves as both a reassurance to his supporters and a window into his psyche as he navigates the heavy weight of the law.

The artwork for ‘Samidare’ features a drawing by NORIKOYO himself, created with a single mechanical pencil while in solitary confinement. The image of his cell adds a personal and visceral touch to the single, emphasizing the harsh realities he faces daily.

Check out NORIKOYO’s ‘Samidare’ below.