Asia, and Japan in particular, is a part of the world that almost makes us feel like we’re in another galaxy. I mean, I love sushi, sashimi and some bizarre Japanese animations, but to be honest, we don’t really get lost in the reverie of their music, their lifestyle or their language, unless you are keen on Japanese culture. Why do we have to be Anglo-centric about pop culture? Why can’t we learn something from other continents, too? What’s good about the Internet generation is our ability to learn about the other side of our own world. Learning; the word generally makes me excited. Let’s stretch our eyes wide open now!
As an introduction to Japanese indie artists, I would like to present to you this Japanese rapper: Emubee, who already has had some shows in North America. He was praised by Korean LA rapper Dumbfounded, and his debut album was the most downloaded hip-hop album on iTunes last summer.
As is clearly noticeable, his first English track ‘Do My Thing’ is a jet-engine starter for him to the world. Preposterously egocentric self-introduction lyrics in English remind us that words also are able to be a part of beat, like jazz. Not only the jazzy beats, but also the jazzy rhythm made by his lyrics. His motto is also unpredictable: Start acting before thinking too much.
Like a story from a Hollywood movie, Emubee’s skill in making beats was perfected while secretly labouring at midnight gas stations. As the resolute, he was chosen as a DJ at TED x YouthKyoto in Japan and lived up to expectations during the event.
Interestingly, though, the Japanese and U.S. hip hop genres have completely different attitudes. As you know, American hip hop was invented as the messenger of conflict solution. On the other hand, Japanese hip hop was imported in 1980s, simply love for music. Therefore, Japanese hip-hop was and is used to claim your opinion in the collective conservative society. The well-known Japanese society rule, “The stake that sticks out gets hammered in.” In the Japanese hip hop community, that would be barely be the case, since hip hop helps individuals to speak up their opinion. The society that forces people to state the same opinion even amongst friends, hip hop is an interesting opportunity to know people.
From the Japanese rapper’s perspective, hip hop is a form of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of self-expression, and it requires the listener’s freedom. Even though you don’t understand what he says in his tracks, try and listen freely. Hip hop might not be only to listen to lyrics closely, but a window to see the other culture.
For more on Emubee, visit http://emubee.jimdo.com