Friday, Dec. 12, 2008
Gamagori is a beach community on the Chita Peninsula about an hour's train ride from Nagoya, and for the past four years radio station ZIP-FM has been throwing a New Year's Eve party at Laguna Gamagori, a theme-park resort located on the water.
A maximum 8,000 tickets are available, and the festivities include nine hip-hop, reggae and R&B acts topped by a fireworks display. Since it's outdoors, you might think carefully about what to wear, but it's also a family affair — kids under 4 are allowed in free. It's also over by 1 a.m., so we're not sure exactly where that leaves those party-hearty types who are into watching the sun rise.
Anyway, the headliner is Diggy-MO, MC of the popular hip-hop crew and Sony recording act Soul'd Out. He's moving positively into a solo career and is making this his coming-out party, so to speak. Also on the bill are Nagoya-based Karutetto, three rappers and a DJ whose flow comes mainly from jazz and reggae; Metis, a young lass from Hiroshima who's made a name for herself on the local lovers rock/reggae circuit; Sonar Pocket, two singers and a "trackmaker" from Nagoya who produce the kind of pop-tinged hip-hop that tends to get picked up for TV commercials; KingrassHoppers, a large crew of "genreless" beatmakers from Gifu; Twenty4-7, a female R&B duo (MC and singer) based in Osaka; Iecca, a Kanto-based reggae singer who paid some dues in North America earlier this decade; Brown Sugar, a pair of color-coordinated dancehall singer-rappers; and Pengin, a hip-hop trio from Tokyo.
Laguna New Year's Countdown 2009 takes place on Dec. 31 at Laguna Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture (6 p.m.; ¥4,300 in advance, ¥5,000 on the day; ticket price includes access to all attractions of Laguna Gamagori;  58-2700).