On January 25, THE RAMPAGE was set to release two best albums simultaneously, “16SOUL” and “16PRAY.” Both of those albums are now postponed due to the group’s usage of Nazi aesthetics and imperialist lyrics.
On December 22, THE RAMPAGE performed a new song from “16SOUL”, “SOLDIER LOVE”, on “MUSIC STATION SUPER LIVE 2023.” The performance immediately sparked criticism due to its use of Nazi aesthetics, most notable the “Sieg Heil salute” which was used by the Nazis in Germany during the World War II era. Its usage is banned in many parts of the world due to its continued association with Nazism.
The lyrics of “SOLDIER LOVE” play on Japan’s imperialist past during the World War II period, when they were aligned with Nazi Germany. Lyrics such as “overwriting the map” and “a kamikaze blows from here in the Far East” have been criticized online for glorifying war and militarism.
In response to this criticism, on December 22, THE RAMPAGE released a statement that song and its associated imagery have the theme of “being determined to continue moving forward toward your dreams with love”, with the group being likened to warriors who are fighting to overcome challenges in the entertainment industry to make their dreams come true.
Now, on December 25, THE RAMPAGE have released another statement, this time saying that “16SOUL” and “16PRAY” will be postponed while changes are made to the song’s lyrics and choreography. They also apologized for any discomfort that “SOLDIER LOVE” may have caused, as well as to fans who were looking forward to the albums now that they have been postponed.