Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank is seemingly never out of the news recently. In the past seven days, we’ve seen CEO Masayoshi Son put down a heckler on Twitter, offer his employees up to a month’s pay for mastering English, and now the company comes out with a genuinely wonderful free app for iOS in celebration of being Japan’s most popular telecommunications provider for five years running.
Officially titled 「ラップお父さん」 “Rappu Otousan” (lit. rap dad), the application is essentially a sound board filled with memorable lines uttered by members of SoftBank’s fictional White Family, as seen in commercials. As well as allowing users to annoy friends with one-liners like “Shut it!”, “What’s so funny!?” and even the company CEO’s famous “Let’s do it!” line, users can play and mix a variety of prerecorded rhythm tracks, making this app by far the most wonderful time-waster we’ve discovered so far this year.
Featuring cute hand-drawn buttons and even scratchable turntables, Rappu Otousan, allows anyone with access to an iOS device to create musical masterpieces by setting the ads’ character voices to background music, and even record and send their creations to friends.
Here’s a user-submitted video of the app in action:
Of course, the app’s only as good as users’ mixing skills allow, but it’s seriously addictive and we’ve already lost a combined three hours to this app since discovering it earlier today.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer:
The app opens up with the familiar face of “Otou-san“, the head of the family.
From the main menu, selecting 「はじめる」 takes you to the “rap menu” where each of the buttons can be pushed, producing one of the famously short-tempered father’s lines from “Oi oi!” to “It’s too soon for you, sunshine!”
The 1, 2 and 3 buttons on the left of the screen give you access to other sound banks, including the family’s mild-mannered son’s one-liners. Useful lines like “I am/You are”, rap staple “yo” and the Japanese question marker “desu ka?” make it easy to put together little phrases of your own with surprisingly decent results. You, of course, can let the app do all the rapping work for you by pressing the 「おてほん」 example mode button. Hitting the “DJ モード” button, meanwhile, takes you to the mixing desk:
With two turntables to operate (A and B) and six tracks (Hip hop, funk and dance) to choose from, as well as backing tracks like guitar and piano, you can mix up a nice little beat for your family to rap over. The slider at the bottom of the desk, meanwhile, allows you to balance the volume of the two records. And don’t forget to scratch!
Finally, back at the sound bank screen, hit “Rec” and you’ll be able to record, save and send your creation to your phone or share it with friends.
Like any big company, SoftBank may not always get the best reviews from its customers, but we have to hand it the people behind this: they’ve got style. Much more of this kind of thing, please, Mr. Masayoshi!
We’ll leave you now with Otou-san and his son, played by American Dante Carver, out for a stroll in one of SoftBank’s more recent commercials. Happy rapping, kids!
「ラップお父さん」 is available now on Apple’s App Store and is completely free.