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Dope Japanese Hip-Hop

#1
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8FC1DAC79613EA56

It's a link to a Youtube playlist of dope Japanese hip-hop that I've found. For some reason, I thought all there was to J-Rap was pop stuff like m-flo or Rip Slyme. I forgot all about the Japan-only mixtape Pete Rock made. I forgot all about Samurai Champloo.

There is some real dope shit to be found, if you search hard enough (soulseek, youtube, and nicovideo makes it easy enough).

The only difficulty right now for me is finding names of dope Japanese rappers. First, I searched for hiphop on the Japanese P2P program Perfect Dark. I listened to a bunch of the albums that the search returned, and was disappointed until I stumbled upon an album released in 1995 called 5th WHEEL 2 the COACH, by Scha Dara Parr (スチャダラパー). To my surprise, they rapped over awesome beats, and sounded a lot like De La Soul. Turns out they were the rappers featured on the De La Soul album Buhloone Mindstate, on the track Long Island Wildin. I also loved the album My Space, by SLACK.

Since then, I've been going by the rule of degrees: if someone has rapped with someone else that I already like, chances are I'll like them too. My iPod playlist is about 90 songs strong, running about 6 hours. This means that I'll listen to every song on the playlist three or more times a day, which I'm sure will get old pretty quickly (I've already started removing songs from the playlist).

Anyway, for a song to be added to any of my playlists, it has to be dope (beat + flow), and it has to be Japanese. I was pretty disappointed when I heard the Japanese version of Pearl Harbor by Shing02, as the mix was almost unbearable; even more so after hearing the vastly improved mix on the English version. As a result, none of them made the playlist.

Here's the list of artists. I highly suggest you go download (or buy, if you can afford it) their discographies. I'll also list any of their albums, if I have them.

Shing02 - Waikyoku
King Giddra (キングギドラ) - Sora Kara no Chikara (空からの力), Kage EP (影)
Scha Dara Parr (スチャダラパー) - 5th WHEEL 2 the COACH, Poten Hit Singles Collection (ポテン・ヒッツ〜シングル・コレクション), Gousen no Album (偶然のアルバム), Fun-Key LP, Toushiba Classics 95-97, Cycle Hits ~remix Best Collection~
SLACK - MY SPACE
Buddha Brand - Best of the Best CD 1, Don't Test Da Master
Nomak - Fantastical View (only 1 track from this is Japanese; the rest are English)
Shingo Suzuki - The Abstract Truth (I only liked the track Shayo, but your mileage may vary)
WISE - Taiyou no Kodomo (I only liked the first track, and even that one is starting to sound too pop for me. Lasts about a minute before it goes full-English)
Lamp Eye - Shougen

Mixtapes
Shing02 - Limited Express Mix by DJ Ice Water
Various - Japanese Hip-Hop Mega-Mix Vol. 1 - The Early Days - Middle School (Probably the sickest collection you can find.)



For me, hip-hop music is probably the best way to enjoy the language given my current skill level. Please recommend any artists or albums not found on this list, but only if they're in the vain of '90s and/or underground hip-hop. This thread is not for Teriyaki Boyz, Rip Slyme, m-flo, or anyone else who makes music for "hip-hop and r&b" stations. This is for the underground heads. A quick forum search revealed a few more like myself, so make yourselves known and share information on dope hip-hop.
Edited: 2012-05-03, 4:07 pm
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#2
I'm on a quest for Sohmatoh albums, myself. (You can hear a few of their tracks scattered across Rappagariya's albums, too. Such as:
)
Edited: 2010-01-19, 10:38 pm
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#3
I'm not really feeling the beat on that one, nest0r, but the video is pretty cool.
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#4
vgambit Wrote:I'm not really feeling the beat on that one, nest0r, but the video is pretty cool.
I can already see our tastes are probably different (though I don't find the 'beat' for that song to be particularly great), but I might mention K Dub Shine's album Genzai Jigoku, it's an older one I can't find much info on (it was at Ongaku Street LJ community, which is now Ongaku Revival or something), but there's two tracks I quite like on that album that remind me a bit of Tricky's Maxinquaye, Soshiki Hanzei and Sensou Shiranai Kodomotachi (
) are the track titles for that release. (I suspect it's supposed to be 犯罪, though. By suspect I mean I'm sure, eheh.)

I particularly like the MC in Sohmatoh with the lighter voice, he's also in Indemoral, though ironically I can't find many songs of theirs that I like.
Edited: 2010-01-19, 11:09 pm
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#5
By the way, this isn't Japanese rap but I try to recommend Onra's Chinoiseries instrumental album whenever I get the chance:
- It reminds me very much of Samurai Champloo (in spirit).
Edited: 2010-01-20, 1:49 am
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#6
Here are my top tracks right now:

HMK RMX - Heiankyo

Shougen - Lamp Eye

Funky Methodist - Lamp Eye

Santaful World - Scha Dara Parr
Travel Chance (Crab Tunin') - Scha Dara Parr
Mr. Autumn - Scha Dara Parr
Ningen Hatsudensho - Buddha Brand

Don't Test da Master - Buddha Brand

Ill Dendousha - Buddha Brand
Ill Dream Makers Remix - Buddha Brand

Buddha no Kyujitsu - Buddha Brand

Illson - Buddha Brand
Return of the Buddha Brand - Buddha Brand
Tomoniy - VA
Original Rhyme Animal - Zeebra

Manhole - Gama
Dai ni Sen (Remix) - Rino
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#7
Right off the bat I see 3 people (well, one is a group) that you need to add to that list: Rhymester, KREVA, and Seeda.

All of them have great beats and excellent lyrics. While I love Rhymester, I will warn that some of there stuff is simply decent, but since Mummy D is my favorite rapper, I love them anyway. Also, do you not like Zeebra? I admit I haven't listened to him in a while, but he has solid tracks, and Jackin' 4 Beats is addictive (probably because I knew every beat he took in that song).

Other than that, I see you have some good people in there. Most people don't know Buddha Brand - they are excellent. Scha Dara Parr is, of course, excellent. Your first album is still one of my favorites haha. 5th WHEEL to the COACH is excellent. I had the pleasure of finding songs like that and Summer Jam '95 in karaoke in Tokyo. It was awesome.

Also, you must go and get the DJ Nobu aka BOMBRUSH mixtape (called Blackfile). Google it and a blog will pop up with a download link. This should be a good way to get artists' names.

Also check out NORIKIYO. He's got some excellent stuff. You seem to be picky about beats like I am, so I'll go ahead and say check out some 般若, but be warned I am not a big fan mostly due to his beats.

Other than that, I have to say you MUST go and find Seeda albums. He is one of the best. Excellent beats, incredible flow... he really is just damn good.

P.S. - If you can use that P2P network you have to search for more by Tak the Rhhhyme, I'd be infinitely grateful. All I have is 3 songs, but they are all amazing.
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#8
I don't really like hip-hop, but I love this track by 黒人天才:




Can anyone more skilled translate some of the lyrics? I'm curious as to how good their rhymes and accents are..
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#9
I think it's time for a RevtK rap battle!!!
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#10
@Ryuujin27

I'm a beat snob. I can listen to a song for about a half second and decide whether or not I will like it. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm downloading Blackfile right now.

@aphasiac

That's exactly the type of hip-hop I was talking about when I was referring to what doesn't belong in this thread.
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#11
aphasiac Wrote:I don't really like hip-hop, but I love this track by 黒人天才:




Can anyone more skilled translate some of the lyrics? I'm curious as to how good their rhymes and accents are..
Hahahahaha, thanks for that.

The girls in the opening are obviously awful, but the rap is... well, OK I guess. Some of them can't flow well. Some of them can't pronounce Japanese very well. But overall, it's kinda catchy. Though that might be because I'm still stunned this exists.

EDIT

I listened to more stuff by them that let me hear their voices better and found out that they do, in fact, suck pretty bad. But, I did recognize one of them from a 般若 song. Check it out: http://83oozi.blog116.fc2.com/blog-entry-141.html (he does the chorus).
Edited: 2010-01-20, 2:11 pm
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#12
I second Seeda, Rhymester, and Kreva - all excellent choices.

I don't know about your taste, but I love these tracks:

中盤戦 - Kreva feat. Mummy-D


Dear Japan - Seeda


Ill Wheels - Seeda feat. Bes


Michibata - COMA-CHI


99 Bars - COMA-CHI


My way to the stage - Muro feat Kashi da Handsame


And one my favortie "posse cuts", Golden Mic Remix - Zeebra, Ai, Kashi da Handsame, Hannya, Douji-T



COMA-CHI turned more pop recently but, she can spit insane.

Check out the Blue Herb, Doberman Inc, Big-O (he's iffy sometimes - but he he did a collab with Lupe Fiasco which is A+ in my eyes), and Ozosaurus, too.
Edited: 2010-01-20, 2:24 pm
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#13
sokino Wrote:中盤戦 - Kreva feat. Mummy-D

YES! YES! AND YES!

I actually did a translation of this song recently. I'm working with a Japanese guy online to translate Japanese hip-hop lyrics. If you want me to post or send you the translation of this song I'll do it. Unfortunately, it's still only at the first draft stage, and I still need to go over it once or twice more.
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#14
Oh hey, Shougen is on that Blackfile mixtape. Lamp Eye, Microphone Pager, Zeebra... Yeah, that's exactly the style I'm looking for.

Although it seems I made a mistake downloading from the alternate link with individual tracks. Sounds like he jacked up the volume, and it's all distorted. Stuff like this is better when listened to all at once anyway. I just hope that the untouched version isn't messed up as well.

By the way, from the first 3 tracks, this stuff sounds like new-school J-Hip-Hop, which I don't like as much as the '90s stuff, but is actually still decent.
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#15
That was my same reaction to the mixtape. I definitely prefer older to newer, but have found there are still a lot of artists in Japan using that older style. It's great. Enjoy the mixtape ;-)
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#16
By the way, any Soulseek users here who know a way around failed downloads when the titles are in unicode or something?

Another tangential recommendation, if you like Onra (I like every track on Chinoiseries, myself) you might also like Samon Kawamura.

Edit: For future reference, I was able to get those downloads to stop failing by downloading as individual tracks rather than as part of a folder--I think it's related to how Soulseek lowercases titles when you download as folders, and this causes problems with the unicode titles.
Edited: 2010-01-20, 10:37 pm
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#17
Ryuujin27 Wrote:
sokino Wrote:中盤戦 - Kreva feat. Mummy-D

YES! YES! AND YES!

I actually did a translation of this song recently. I'm working with a Japanese guy online to translate Japanese hip-hop lyrics. If you want me to post or send you the translation of this song I'll do it. Unfortunately, it's still only at the first draft stage, and I still need to go over it once or twice more.
That would be sweet, dude. Either way would work for me. Great for SRSing. (^_^)
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#18
I love this one:

Kick the can crew - Christmas Eve Rap

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#19
Ryuujin27 Wrote:
sokino Wrote:中盤戦 - Kreva feat. Mummy-D

YES! YES! AND YES!

I actually did a translation of this song recently. I'm working with a Japanese guy online to translate Japanese hip-hop lyrics. If you want me to post or send you the translation of this song I'll do it. Unfortunately, it's still only at the first draft stage, and I still need to go over it once or twice more.
I dunno. It's ok. Too poppy.

"Kick the can crew - Christmas Eve Rap

"

No thank you.

"Dear Japan - Seeda

"

The beat is too... intact. It sounds synthesized.

"Ill Wheels - Seeda feat. Bes

"

Not a fan of pop.

"Michibata - COMA-CHI

"

Man, it blows my mind every time I hear the Japanese version of an American artist. This woman reminds me of Queen Latifah. Also, Lamp Eye = Wu Tang, and Rino = Afu-Ra.

"99 Bars - COMA-CHI

"

There's a threshold that governs the discrepancies between the beat and the rhymes, and she goes a little too outside it for it to sound right, at least at the beginning. It sounds like a bad mashup. Also, a woman rhyming about how she's got "99 bars but a bitch ain't one" sounds a little ridiculous to me. Still, I'm gonna look up some of her albums.

"My way to the stage - Muro feat Kashi da Handsame

"

The beat is ass.

"And one my favortie "posse cuts", Golden Mic Remix - Zeebra, Ai, Kashi da Handsame, Hannya, Douji-T

"

Again, bad beat.
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#20
Ugh, it sounds like the original Blackfire mix is bad. I'll have to find another copy.
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#21
Also, I was recently very surprised to see that Geskia snuck a release past me called President IDM, which ironically (given the usual non-vocal style) features a lot of Japanese rap:


I like it very much, but it took some time to grow on me (as did Eclipse 323 - went the same warm granular direction as Kiln did [Dusker] for that one) after I'd gotten to used to Silent 77.
Edited: 2010-01-20, 3:44 pm
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#22
For the people who have a good taste in hip hop, hell yeah Kreva rocks. He's actually the last rapper in the song I posted.
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#23
vgambit Wrote:Ugh, it sounds like the original Blackfire mix is bad. I'll have to find another copy.
Good luck, it doesn't exist. You've gotta just put up with what's there. I've searched and searched.

Also, Seeda is far from poppy, and 中盤戦 features some great lyrics and flow. Did you understand the song?
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#24
Yeah, Tobberoth, pretty much.

Nestor - I think that may take some time to grow on me too.

Also, vgambit, tell me if you like this:

Name Tag - Coma-Chi



From what I understand (by browsing Japanese blogs and such) this song is considered a "classic" of the new generation (2000's).

I think she did a more poppy remix of it.
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#25
Ryuujin27 Wrote:
vgambit Wrote:Ugh, it sounds like the original Blackfire mix is bad. I'll have to find another copy.
Good luck, it doesn't exist. You've gotta just put up with what's there. I've searched and searched.

Also, Seeda is far from poppy, and 中盤戦 features some great lyrics and flow. Did you understand the song?
I found another copy of Blackfile that has different file sizes and names for the mp3, so hopefully it will sound better.

As I've said before, I am a complete snob when it comes to beats. Unless they are top-notch, I can't listen to the song at all. The only exception, period, is Triumph by Wu-Tang Clan.

sokino Wrote:Yeah, Tobberoth, pretty much.

Nestor - I think that may take some time to grow on me too.

Also, vgambit, tell me if you like this:

Name Tag - Coma-Chi



From what I understand (by browsing Japanese blogs and such) this song is considered a "classic" of the new generation (2000's).

I think she did a more poppy remix of it.
I don't like it, due to the beat.

Tobberoth Wrote:For the people who have a good taste in hip hop, hell yeah Kreva rocks. He's actually the last rapper in the song I posted.
I have great taste in hip-hop. It's just that wack club beats kill the experience for me completely.
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