Bruce Love Japan
After reading Hippo's latest post on Nujabes, I was reminded of some pretty dope hip hop that came from the land of the rising sun. I have to admit, on my visit to Japan a while back, I wasn't that impressed with Japanese hip hop - much of it tended to sound too much like a poor imitation of gangsta rap. In recent years though, it seems like Japanese hip hop has found it's own sound, which is more laid back, warm, and oftentimes jazzy. Kind of hard to describe, but the Nujabes definitely embody that sound with the rest of the artists below representing a spectrum of Japanese hip hop.
[MP3] DJ Honda :: Trouble in the Water (feat. De La Soul)
Daylaaaaaa!!! One of those back in the day reminiscing joints we all love.
[MP3] DJ Krush :: Zen Approach (feat. Black Thought)
Nice minimalist beats with seething flows from your favorite Roots MC.
[MP3] Nujabes :: Battle Cry (feat. Shing02)
If you've seen Samurai Champloo, you know this as the title song. I like the somewhat off-kilter flows and beats on this one, Nujabes and Shing02 definitely stand out on this one.
[MP3] Cibo Matto :: Sci-fi Wasabi
This grandiose banger with blaring horns is produced by Japanese American Dan the Automator, and features Miho Hattori and Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto. While they're typically singing about food, this time around they're rockin' the mic and damn can they represent with some spacey rhymes.
I'm always glad when I inspire another. Shoyu the way like Kikkoman. You're welcome Banner. Another goodie I picked up on my last trip is a couple of albums by DJ Tonk. To me, he's the Hi-Tek of Japan. I wish he could get Tip and Phife to do a couple of tracks with him. Black Star too.
[MP3] DJ Tonk feat. Pismo :: My Underground Life
[MP3] DJ Tonk :: Fly By Moonlight
And this is just an instrumental!
[MP3] DJ Tonk feat. Due Process :: All Come Back
[MP3] DJ Tonk feat. Finsta :: Bushwicked
Homeboy on the mic sounds like Pharoahe