For nearly a decade, a subcult of young Japanese has tried breaking free of the country's conformity by replicating and co-opting 'hood images they've been fed by Hollywood. Japanese girls are so into the trend that marketers have invented labels for them: they're called shisutaakei, "the sister group," or "hip hop" after the music they like. Japan's streets are where they fight their battle against the tired, older generations, with feather cell-phone straps, dreadlocks and black face paint.
Morris and Stockman met Koyanagi on a Tokyo television show and Koyanagi breezily suggested they sing together sometime. Nearly every song on the album was written by either Morris or Stockman and recorded at the Boyz II Men studio in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. The two Boyz even lend their Grammy-winning vocals to the track I Don't Want to Think About It, giving Koyanagi even greater opportunity to prove her mettle. The World Cup surprised us enough by showing that Japan's got game. Watch out world: now it has soul.