The EXILE universe is a twisty one. The namesake group has been around since 2001, boasting 19 members, the bulk of them dancers, and they have become one of Japan’s biggest pop acts thanks to a mix of high-energy pop and sweeter R&B numbers (and slick moves).
Yet start prodding around and you find all sorts of sub-units, spin-off groups and solo endeavors. They range from Sandaime J Soul Brothers, best known for the EDM-adopting “R.Y.U.S.E.I,” to the younger unit Generations from EXILE Tribe. They have what amounts to an idol group in E-Girls, and we haven’t even taken all the solo adventures into account yet.
Welp, add THE RAMPAGE from EXILE Tribe (henceforth THE RAMPAGE) to the list. The latest EXILE-adjacent unit came together through a series of auditions that started in 2014, the group eventually whittled down to 16 members. They debuted earlier this year, but it’s with the dance video for “Knocking Knocking” where their skills really stand out.
Musically, “Knocking Knocking” continues building on the sound the group introduced in “Lightning.” It’s very “now,” taking cues from American hip-hop and EDM while also featuring a gooey pop center. It’s catchy, if at times a little too busy.
What makes “Knocking Knocking” stand out is the accompanying clip, which spotlights THE RAMPAGE’s dancing skills. It’s the first time that aspect of the group has been solely highlighted (unless you go to live events or dig for TV recordings online) and it’s important because footwork is equally (if not more) important as the music to EXILE and its associated acts. The main group mostly features dancers! So “Knocking Knocking” shows off their moves — choreographed by group leader Likiya — and they seem more than capable to be part of the Tribe. Get to know them in the video above.
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