Friday, December 9, 2011


Like many suburban White kids in the U.S., I have been fascinated by Hip-Hop and R&B from an early age. Growing up in the 90's, I was lucky enough to experience the genres at their peaks and enjoy a diverse and inspiring age before it became over-commercialized, mediocre and insulting. While trying to find solace within underground artists, I eventually became annoyed with the ideology that "good" music should not be meant for the ears of many. Through the recommendation of a classmate in college, I checked out a Korean Hip-Hop trio, Epik High, and my life was completely changed. I became obsessed and from that point, I have happily scoured the internet for Asian Hip-Hop and R&B. While Korea does hold most of my favorite artists, it's Japan that practically pioneered its introduction into Asia and allowed many of favorite artists to exist today. Unlike the states, many artists (not all) have stayed true to the origins of the genres and made their way into the mainstream. This post features five artists from over the last 20 years that I feel represent the growth and roots of the genres. DJ Krush, an ex-yakuza, who became inspired by hip-hop and put the J-urban scene on the map in the early 90's. Coma-Chi, one of the few female rappers/singers to establish herself in Japan. Shingo Suzuki and 45, labelmates who utilize genre blending and musicians from all over the world to highlight the beauty of universal hip-hop. Last and not least, JASMINE, a fantastic R&B singer bringing a mature, soulful flare to modern J-pop countering the stereotypical "cutesy image". There is a whole range of artist, past and present, who have brought their finesse to the genres but I hope everyone takes a listen to these artists and check out their other works. Shingo Suzuki's group, Ovall, is awesome! Enjoy!

DJ Krush - Krush (1994)

1. AM 300 Tag
2. Keeping The Motion
3. Mixed Nuts
4. Roll & Tumble
5. Murder of Soul
6. E.A.R.T.H.-SOS
7. On the Dub-ble
8. Another Day
9. Underneath the System
10. Edge of Blue
11. Big City Lover
12. Down The Drain
13. Into the Water
14. Ruff-Neck Jam

Coma-Chi - DAY BEFORE BLUE (2006)

1. Intro
2. 放浪
3. skit-Cypher@丸子橋.
6. Bye bye my self
7. 夜間遊泳
8. Love music feat.TARO SOUL
9. skit
10. バイブレイション
11. 4seasons

Shingo Suzuki - The Abstract Truth (2008)

1. Voice Of The World
2. Flyable (feat. Moka Only)
3. Night Lights With Thirdiq
4. Sunrise (feat. Marina P & Blanco Nice)
5. Hi(gh) Music (feat. Blu)
6. Echo From The Sky
7. M.O.G.
8. Livin' Up (feat. 20syl, DJ Green from Hocus Pocus & Ol' K)
9. Inside Your Love
10. A Kind Of Metaphor
11. Red Earth
12. 1000 Nights
13. Eternal Sunshine
14. Shayo (feat. Ol' K)
15. Universe For H

45 a.k.a. SWING-O - Hello Friends

1. Hello Friends
2. Struttin'
3. Searchin' (feat. Tasita D'mour)
4. The Night Life (feat. Steph Pockets)
5. Underground Superstar (feat. Yuu Sakai)
6. Interlude Italiano
7. Tokyo Jazz Freak
8. Once Again
9. Wa
10. Can You Say Yes (feat. Marcellus Nealy)
11. P.Simon
12. Solitude
13. Hello Friends (Lark Chillout for A.Y.B.Force Remix)


2. sad to say
3. L.I.P.S.
4. Jealous
5. Bad Girl
6. dear my friend
7. stage ~interlude~
8. This Is Not A Game
9. 恋
10. what you want?
11. No More
12. Dreamin'
13. Why


M. aka 2Mave said...

Can u please re-up "Coma-Chi - DAY BEFORE BLUE (2006)"?
it would be great!

xザクx said...

Ya these links have been down for a while since the raid....I'll one up too and post both "DAY BEFORE BLUE" & "RED NAKED"....if you are interested in her two more recent albums let me know too! THanks for the request