Lately I’ve been bemoaning the soft, feel-good rhymes of a two-man reggae/hip-pop unit called Def Tech — featuring a real foreigner! But I’m a hardened music snob and tend to automatically hate everything in this new youth culture of Japanese punk/hip-hop/reggae/dance music. Despite what I think, the Def Tech bros — Micro and Shen — are currently breaking into the big time, and the industry rumor mill thinks it knows why they are suddenly selling a billion records from an indie label called “Tensai Baka Records”: They’re a Soka Gakkai conspiracy!
The evidence for the SG plot seems to be that both young men are members of the Soka Gakkai organization, their original logo used the red, yellow, and blue SG flag colors, and the lyrics seem to drop mad-philosophical bombs coming straight out of SG promotional pamphlets. (Nothing gets the party pumping like the word “価値創造” [value creation].)
My friend at a major label suggested the following: The bar for record sales is so low now that if SG members were to sponsor the band through some aggressive group buying, the Def Tech messengers would certainly make it into the top rankings. This certainly worked for Scientologists and all those terrible, terrible L. Ron Hubbard books that always seemed to be in full-stock at Waldenbooks in my local shopping mall.
I’m not particularly interested in getting bogged down in Ikeda Daisaku-bashing nor do I really think that the religious organization was really that key to their success, but I now like Def Tech even less for essentially being Japan’s answer to Jars of Clay. So goes the Christian Rock Paradox: It’s cool when non-Christian Rock bands discuss God and Jesus and the Bible in their songs, but it’s totally creepy when Christian Rock bands sing about non-religious themes. Same goes for any religion.