Japanese Hip Hop Studies
"I wonder if anyone's told him yet that Americans won't buy rap music
from a Japanese person."
- Hiro to Da5id in Neal Stephenson's 1992 novel Snow Crash.
In the present day, few serious studies of Japanese Hip Hop exist. Hip hop was originally created in urban black America. How did this musical form come to gain wide acceptance in Japan? We hope to expand this area of knowledge, and delve into further research comparing the hip hop coming out of Tokyo to West Coast and East Coast styles.
Featured Artist: Lamp Eye
Links of interest:
- VintageHiphopJapan, a YouTube station featuring songs by Lamp Eye, Microphone Pager, Buddha Brand, and more.
- Tommy Boy's Planet Rap: A Sample of the World compilation contains the track "Kaisei Kaishi (Begin The Revolution)" by Japanese hip hop group Microphone Pager (sample available): Planet Rap on Amazon.com
- Hip-O's The Best of International Hip Hop comp. includes K-Dub Shine's "Setsumei Fuyou (No Need To Explain)": International Hip Hop on Amazon.com
- In this brief, but scholarly essay, History of hip-hop dance scene in Japan, claims that hip hop entered Japan through dance, a visual form that transcends language barriers. However, it also claims that, due to the language barrier, several essential elements of hip hop culture have not crossed the Pacific intact.
- A great discography on a website called Ele-Bugi places the earliest Japanese Hip Hop at 1986, with Itou Seikou & Tinnie Punx and President BPM. The website claims that they will be publisihng a periodical called "Zero" to cover the Japanese Hip Hop scene.
- Miko-Chan's Japanese Hip Hop and Pop Page includes samples from four artists.
- Snooker's Spot features a list of Snooker's extensive personal collection.
- A good staring place would be The Best of Japanese Hip Hop, Volumes 1-7, on the Nippon Crown label. Unfortunately, we've been unable to locate this collection.
If you have a knowledge of Japanese Hip Hop beyond DJ Krush, perhaps you could contribute an essay, or point out links to others good online resources on this topic.
Updated 02-18-2009. Problems? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org