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NjS / Blog

International Hip-Hop

Yo guys, so we're just curious about people's views on things we've come across. This time it's people's view on hip-hop as an international community or culture. Because both Aki and I have been performing our music at clubs in Japan, we've had many opportunities to meet artists from Japan and to find out to what extent they are open to hip-hop music from other countries. Japan's hip-hop scene, at least in the underground is basically all in Japanese. Aki and I are usually the only people performing in English at the clubs, but despite that language barrier, most people at the club seem to enjoy our music and can, if nothing else, feel the beat and understand that we're rhyming. So except for a few instances, people we've come across in Japan are very open to the international scene.

What made us want to write this note is a music video we found on youtube. The beat was made by a famous Japanese DJ (DJ Munari) who went to New York and did a collaboration song with a very famous Japanese rapper (Hannya) and a NYC rapper (Kool G Rap). First of all we thought the song was pretty sick. But if you look at the comments, it's just like 2 or 3 pages of these two guys arguing about what hip-hop is. One guy is from NYC and basically believes hip-hop is a New York thing and that it doesnt exist anywhere outside of NY.. not even elsewhere in the US. The other guy is very pro-hip-hop on a global level and states that no matter where people are from, if they have skills they will be recognized.

Here's the link -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgPTBki84yI

So I know these two guys are the two extremes of the argument, but we're curious to see how you all view hip-hop as an inclusive, global community, or something that can't cross languages, or whatever. Like, could you listen to a hip-hop song or album in a language that you don't understand and still like it or feel the music? Any detail you want to throw out is welcome. thanks guys!

- NjS