Visionair (album)

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Visionair
Studio album by Verbal
Released March 16, 2011 (2011-03-16)
(see release history)
Recorded 2010—2011
Genre Rap, hip-hop, electro
Length 47:48
Language Japanese, English
Label Rhythm Zone
Producer M-Flo
Singles from Visionair
  1. "Fall Out featuring Shunya"
    Released: December 1, 2010 (2010-12-01)
  2. "Change Change featuring Nicki Minaj"
    Released: March 2, 2011 (2011-03-02)
  3. "Black Out featuring Lil Wayne, Namie Amuro"
    Released: 2011 (2011) (cancelled)

Visionair (stylised as VISIONAIR) is the debut album of Japanese hip-hop MC Verbal, from the group M-Flo. It was released on March 16, 2011, one and a half years after M-Flo's 10th anniversary greatest hits album, MF10: 10th Anniversary Best.[1] Due to the effects of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami which occurred five days beforehand, promotions for the album were cancelled, including a music video for the song "Black Out."

Background[edit]

M-Flo released their last studio album of their Loves... artist collaboration era, Cosmicolor in 2007, followed by two compilation albums, Award Supernova: Loves Best (2008) and MF10: 10th Anniversary Best (2009). In 2009, an M-Flo tribute album was released, Tribute: Maison de M-Flo, which featured songs from new artists who had not been featured on a loves album.

On September 17, 2010, Verbal released his first solo song. He covered "Cherry Bomb" by The Runaways with his wife Yoon on vocals, for the 50 Years of Dr. Martens project, which was released as a compilation album in October 2010.[2]

At the same time as Verbal was working on his solo debut, band member Taku Takahashi was working on a solo dance music project, The Suitboys. He released the mix-tape After 5 Vol. 1 a month after the album's release, on April 20, 2011.

Promotion[edit]

The first song announced on the album was "Fall Out," which was used as the opening theme of the drama Perfect Report in October 2010. The song featured Shunya, a member of Senme, an a cappella group that won first place on the Fuji TV show Seishun A Cappella Kōshien: Zenkoku Hamonep League 2010 Haru. Verbal met Shunya at a school event at his previous school, St. Mary's International School, and was impressed by his vocal abilities.[3] It was released in December 2010.[4] Shunya later covered M-Flo's song "LOT (Love or Truth)" on Tribute: Stitch the Future and Past, the successor to Tribute: Maison de M-Flo, which was released on April 20, 2011.

"Black Out" was released as a ringtone at Recochoku on March 2, 2011.[5] A music video was produced for the song, but never officially released by Verbal.[6]

The album was released for pre-order to iTunes on March 2, 2011, with the song "Change Change" featuring Nicki Minaj included as a preceding download. If the album was preordered, the song "Some Other Place" featuring Drake was included as a bonus.[5]

Later in 2011 and 2012, the album was toured with the Angree Yung Robotz Tour alongside Mademoiselle Yulia.

Conception and writing[edit]

Verbal had planned on a solo project for many years while in M-Flo and Teriyaki Boyz, after often being asked by producers such as Jermaine Dupri and Pharrell why he did not have one. The project came to life in 2010. While creating songs, Verbal made several that did not fit with the sounds of M-Flo or Teriyaki Boyz. Eventually, there were enough of these songs that Verbal decided to make a solo album.[7]

Verbal named the album Visionair, because of how he turned ideas in the production time into reality, and decided which he thought were "real" sounding or "fake" sounding.[7][8]

The album features collaborations with R&B musicians from America as well as Japan. American rappers Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj are featured on the album, as well as Canadian R&B singer Drake. American producer Jermaine Dupri produced the song "Black Out."[9] He and Verbal had been sending emails to each other for a while. At one point, Dupri told Verbal that rapper Lil Wayne was working in the studio next to his. Verbal asked if they could collaborate, and he agreed.[7] The recording of "Black Out" became the beginning of the solo project.[8]

Another American producer who worked on the album was Swizz Beatz, who made the song "Ball n Bounce."[9] He and Teriyaki Boyz had wanted to collaborate, but due to timing issues they had not. Instead, Swizz Beats worked with Verbal's solo project.[7] Many other songs were created with overseas producers for the album, but since they did not fit the album, they were not included.[8]

Four Japanese vocalists are featured on the album. Namie Amuro, who has worked with Verbal since the 2001 single "Lovin' It" is on the song "Black Out." She later featured the song on her collaborations best album, Checkmate!, in April 2011. "Fall Out" features Shunya, an unsigned singer who Verbal met at an event at his former high school. Mademoiselle Yulia, a singer who is produced by Verbal, was featured on the song "Liar." The pair have collaborated four times since 2008: on the Dexpistols song "Saturdays," on the Teriyaki Boyz song "After 5 (A.M.)," on the Towa Tei song "YOR," and on Mademoiselle Yulia's song "What Now?" which was featured on M-Flo Inside: Works Best III. She later released her Verbal-produced debut album Mademoworld on September 21, 2011. Minami from the band CREAM is featured on the song "Hey Mister," and also wrote the lyrics to "Black Out." Minami first collaborated with Verbal on the songwriting for BoA's single "Bump Bump!" in 2009, and was later featured on the Teriyaki Boyz on the song "Even More."

Japanese DJ Shinichi Osawa produced the songs "Dope Boy Fresh" and "Nothing" for the album. Osawa worked in 2009 with Verbal on the song "Rock U" featuring Namie Amuro, for the Ravex DJ project. They worked again in 2011 on Amuro's song "Naked." Three Tokyo-based DJs under Verbal's production agency [www.kozm-agency.tv Kozm] were featured on the album: Lucas Valentine on "I Can't Help Myself" and "I Want It All," Suguru Yamamoto on "Hey Mister," "You Are..." and "I See You," and Major Dude on "Vision in the Air," "Black Out," "Hey Mister," "Change Change," "Stomp Dem Roach" and "Liar." New York-based producer John Fontein, who is associated with Kozm, made the songs "Hey Mister" and "Change Change" for the album.

Originally a CD+DVD version of the album was planned (RZCD-46833/B), however it was scrapped.[10]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Vision in the Air"   Verbal, Major Dude 1:15
2. "Black Out" (featuring Lil Wayne + Namie Amuro) Verbal, Major Dude, Minami 3:45
3. "I Can't Help Myself"   Verbal, Lucas Valentine 3:39
4. "Ball n Bounce"   Verbal 3:23
5. "Dope Boy Fresh"   Verbal Shinichi Osawa 4:17
6. "Fall Out" (featuring Shunya) Verbal, John Fontein, Hisashi Nawata 3:12
7. "Hey Mister" (featuring Minami (CREAM)) Verbal, Major Dude, Suguru Yamamoto 3:18
8. "I Want It All"   Verbal, L. Valentine 3:05
9. "Change Change" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Verbal, J. Fontein, Major Dude 3:49
10. "Stomp Dem Roach"   Verbal, Major Dude 3:44
11. "Liar" (featuring Mademoiselle Yulia) Verbal, Major Dude 2:40
12. "You Are..."   Verbal, S. Yamamoto 3:36
13. "I See You"   Verbal, S. Yamamoto 1:41
14. "Nothing"   Verbal S. Osawa 3:46
15. "Take You Far (Percapella Ver.)" (CD hidden track, performed by M-Flo) Verbal, Taku Takahashi 2:32
Total length:
47:48
iTunes pre-order bonus track[5]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
15. "Some Other Place" (featuring Drake) Verbal 3:55
Total length:
49:11

Chart rankings[edit]

Charts
(2011)
Peak
position
Oricon weekly albums[11] 35

Reported sales[edit]

Chart Amount
Oricon physical sales[12] 6,100

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Distributing Label
Japan March 16, 2011 (2011-03-16)[1] CD, digital download Rhythm Zone
April 2, 2011 (2011-04-02)[13] Rental CD

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "VISIONAIR". Amazon.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ "VERBAL + YOON Cherry Bomb" (in Japanese). Dr. Martens. 2010. Archived from the original on May 5, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ "VERBAL、18歳シンガーとの新曲が日9ドラマOPテーマに" [Verbal, releasing new song with 18 year old singer for nichiku drama opening theme]. Natalie (in Japanese). October 14, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "VERBALソロ本格始動のドラマOPテーマ、着うた配信開始" [Verbal, solo activity beginning drama theme, ringtone release]. Natalie (in Japanese). November 17, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "VERBAL×安室×リル・ウェインの世界照準コラボ先行配信" [Verbal x Amuro x Lil Wayne Global Collabo Preceding Download]. Natalie (in Japanese). February 28, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ ""BLACK OUT" feat. Lil Wayne & Namie Amuro". Verbal (in Japanese). February 14, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Verbal". Kimio Saito (in Japanese). FLOOR net. 2011. Archived from the original on March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "Interview: Verbal". Yusuke Ito (in Japanese). Ameba. March 30, 2011. Archived from the original on March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "VERBALソロに安室、ジャーメイン、大沢ら豪華ゲスト" [Verbal Solo, with Amuro, Jermaine, Osawa, and many other artists]. Natalie (in Japanese). February 14, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "m-flo VERBAL、☆Takuがそれぞれ世界基準のソロ作発表" [M-Flo Verbal, Taku, both releasing releasing global solo activities]. Natalie (in Japanese). January 11, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ "VISIONAIR" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon. Retrieved March 27, 2013.  (subscription only)
  13. ^ "VISIONAIR". Tsutaya. Retrieved March 27, 2013.