In 2015, Gene Shinozaki secured his place in the Grand Beatbox Battle 2015 with his wildcard routine called Jigsaw. This not only secured his place in the tournament but he won the whole thing. It’s regarded as one of the best routines to date and many people who I show it to say it’s the best routine they have heard. But why is it so popular not only among beatboxers but also people who don’t beatbox?
Before I start the breakdown of this monster of a routine, we need to understand the structure of a routine.
The parts go in this very rough order:
Buildup: sets the mood for the routine
Verse: acts like a verse in a song where it’s a melody that people remember
Pre-drop: prepares audience for the drop incoming
Drop: an area of the routine that gets people on their feet with something such as a signature sound
Hook: another area similar to the drop but the part is changed up with things like better technicality or musicality
End-off: how the routine ends off
The first part is the buildup. Gene uses a synth sound combined with his humming to set the tone. This is really musical and sets the tone for a good music filled routine. People who are not into beatboxing like this more than something like lip rolls or inward bass because it’s more relatable and likeable for them than the sounds that beatboxers use.
The second part is the verse. Gene likes to use a lot of composer elements in his routines and he shows it off here with his insane musicality during the verse. He also likes to sing in his routines which are nothing new but the lyrics mean a lot and for non-beatboxers, this really catches on for them. The lyrics make a lot of sense. Gene is a jigsaw puzzle piece trying to fit into the puzzle or like a person trying to fit into the world.
The third part is the pre-drop. It’s the area before the drop and lets the audience know that the drop is coming. People like to use lyrics sometimes with some sort of drop joke such as, “drop it” or something like that but Gene, once again, does something different and uses a good buildup through his sounds and musicality. You start to see a trend with the amount of musicality that he uses in this routine which makes it enjoyable to listen to.
The fourth part is the drop, the most memorable part of any routine. Gene is referred to as “The Godfather of Clicks” and it’s easy to see why. This click drop is done of the best drops I have heard combined with the cough snares in between the clicks every third beat. This drop is compared to EDM songs such as Animals by Martin Garrix due to the clicks (Gene has done a cover of Animals as well). The drop is really well executed and sounds really good as well.
The fifth part is the hook. It ties back to the drop and this time, he adds a bunch of pops with the clicks. It sounds really technical. He has the musicality and the technicality to blow anyone away as long as they aren’t a hater of his or a hater of beatboxing. The technicality he adds showcases every part of a good routine but it needs to end well. That’s where the end-off comes in.
And we reach the end-off as the last part. The end-off is a tad bit rough but people don’t really notice it. The end-off touches back on the verse with the same humming he uses in the buildup without the synth. The end-off ties the whole routine together.
Gene does an exceptional job of showcasing all the elements of a good routine. He has structure, flow, musicality, technicality and originality. It’s no wonder why he won the whole tournament. With a great performance like this, who knows what the next great routine will be.
This has been my breakdown of Jigsaw by Gene Shinozaki. Other than that, thank you for reading.