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Archive for the 'J-Hip Hop' Category

9/20/2007

Toshi Kubota

toshi.jpg

Toshi Kubota (KUBOTA Toshinobu, 久保田利伸) is a Japanese singer who is originally from Shizuoka, Japan. Toshi is a pioneer of soul music in Japan. His music styles have varied over the years, from pop-oriented sounds through to reggae and soul.

Toshi has managed to sustain a lengthy recording career. He has released a total of ten Japanese albums, three English albums, and four compilation albums since his debut.

Toshi made his Japanese debut in 1986 with the album, Shake It Paradise. His popularity peaked with his award-winning 1990 release, “Bonga Wanga.” Toshi’s albums have consistently sold over a million copies each in Japan. His biggest hit single came in 1996 in a duet with Naomi Campbell entitled “La La La Love song”. The single was used as a theme song of a television drama “Long Vacation” and sold two million copies in Japan.

Toshi made his English debut in 1995 with the album “Sunshine, Moonlight” and followed up with 2000’s “Nothing But Your Love.” His latest release is 2006’s “For Real?”.


song: la la la love song


song: Missing (live)


Song: Mercy, Mercy Me

Check out his official website

Posted by The Expedited Writer in General, J-Hip Hop, J-Pop | No Comments »

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4/13/2007

Bennie K

benniek.jpg

BENNIE K is a J-Urban female duo that consists of rapper CICO and vocalist YUKI, both of whom love American hip-hop music. They met while YUKI was in Los Angeles undergoing voice training. They made their debut in January, 2001 with the single Melody, released on the For Life Music label.

Bennie K’s songs usually combine Japanese and English — their English more fluent than most Japanese singers’. BENNIE K is a very popular band in Japan; it has attained high positions on the Oricon charts. Japana-rhythm, their 4th and latest album, debuted at #1 on the Oricon Album charts. DJ HI-KICK (high kick) the manager and DJ of BENNIE K he graduated at Tokai University, Nagano prefecture.

Check out their official website: Bennie K


Bennie K live – Sunrise


Dreamland


UNITY

Source: Wikipedia

Posted by The Expedited Writer in General, J-Hip Hop | 1 Comment »

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2/2/2007

w-inds.

w-indshanamuke.jpg

And you need to spell it that way too – no caps and with a period at the end. w-inds. is a J-pop group that gain their fame from a humble beginning in Shibuya and Yoyogi Park, performing every Sunday for the crowd there. Then in 2001, they released their album w-inds.~1st message~ to the public and the rest is history.

My ex-flatmate loves them and would order their special edition DVDs all the way from Japan. Yes, a fanatic. And that means we all get our fair share of w-inds. whenever the speakers are on. They’re alright, typical boyband to me so i don’t really dig them all that much. Actually, she should be the one writing this post since she’s such the w-inds. fangirl that she is. This post will be at least 2000 words long because she will be including her analysis on each and every songs but anyway, she won’t be writing I will so…yea. LOL.

w-inds. has a wide and strong fan base around Asia. They are especially popular in Taiwan and was the only Japanese artiste to be invited to perform on MTV Chinese Awards in Taiwan in 2006. They have held concerts in Taiwan twice (2004 and 2005) both receiving good response from fans. In 2004, their concert tickets sold out within 23 minutes and that set a record in Taiwan for the “artiste with the fastest selling tickets”, as not even one Taiwanese artiste was able to beat that. Several popular Taiwanese celebrities have attended their concerts as well.

They have yet to go to Hong Kong. However, so far, they have only held video conferences with their Hong Kong fans. They have been to China to perform in 2002 and has taken part in a China-Japan music festival in 2006.

Their success is pretty much like BackStreet Boys but Japanese version if you know what I mean. EAch of the member of w-inds are loved by teeny boppy girls from these asian nations -my ex-flatmate included.

The members are:-

Name: Keita Tachibana
Role: Vocalist, dancer
Birth date: 16 December 1985
Horoscope: Sagittarius
Birth place: Fukuoka, Japan
Height: 183cm
Blood type: B
Keita is especially famous for his incredible voice which can go up to 5-8 octaves above normal males.

Name: Ryohei Chiba
Role: Background vocalist, dancer
Birth date: 18 November 1984
Horoscope: Scorpio
Birth place: Hokkaido, Japan
Blood type: B
Ryohei is well-known for his dancing, break dancing to be specific. He has done many breaking stunts during performances. Even so, he is constantly seen trying to improve his breaking skills.

Name: Ryuichi Ogata
Role: Background vocalist, dancer, rapper
Birth date: 17 December 1985
Horoscope: Sagittarius
Birth place: Hokkaido, Japan
Blood type: O
Ryuichi is renowned for his rapping in their studio work as well as dynamic live rapping during their concerts. Touted as one of the best rappers for his generation, Ryuichi have also learned under the study of famous Da Pump.

Some videos to appease your curiousity of their talent; if you have any:-


Shiki


New Paradise


Kawariyuku Sora

Source: Wikipedia; w-inds.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in General, J-Hip Hop, J-Pop | No Comments »

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1/8/2007

Hey, Kouhaku! Bounce with me!

Remember last year I told you about Kouhaku Uta Gassen, the annual music contest held on New Year’s Eve between male and female artists? Well, 2006’s Kouhaku, as Taro reported, turned into the Japanese Nipplegate when kitschy hip-hop/R’n'B artist DJ OZMA had apparently topless girls dancing to his song “Bounce With Me”.

DJ OZMA

For the finale, the girls pulled off their skimpy G-strings to reveal little mushroom “penises” – the DJ OZMA logo. NHK received over 250 compaints and the producers were quick to point out that the girls were wearing body suits. Admittedly, I could only tell they were body suits after looking at the high resoultion close-ups Taro posted. It might be interesting to note that despite that debarcle, the White team (men’s team) won Kouhaku that night.

Anyway, Taro posted video, take a look at it quickly because it might get pulled down like other Japanese copyrighted material. I wanted to post a bit about DJ OZMA himself, because very little is known about him. People aren’t even sure how old he is. His official profile carries on about Taiwanese and Korean music scenes, and apparently how much of a hit he was there. There is a theory currently doing the rounds that he is in fact Sho Ayakouzi from a “Yankee” rock group called 氣 will 團.

He seems to have appeared on the music scene in 2006, dancing like a loon and chanting half-English, half-Japanese songs. The lyrics are silly and predictable, the costumes (particularly the blonde afro) are outrageous and the behaviour is very lewd. He’s basically a joke, much like Hard Gay. In fact, in the short time he’s been on the scene, people like Ayumi Hamasaki and martial arts fighter Akihiro Gouno have been impersonating him.

His first album “I ♥ PARTY PEOPLE” was released in late November, so expect more kitsch in the future, especially after all that free promotion he got after Kouhaku.

DJ OZMA's first album

Links:
EMI’s official website for DJ OZMA (Japanese only)
DJ OZMA’s official site (Japanese only)


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4/17/2006

Fuji Rock Festival

FUJI ROCK FUJI ROCK FUJI ROCK FUJI ROCK! Sweet googlymoogly YES! I can’t wait for this festival. The Fuji Rock Festival – Japan’s largest outdoor festival – gets in excess of 100,000 attendees and attracts big-name international acts. This year’s lineup include Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Jet, Mogwai, The Scissor Sisters and this little band you may have heard of, known as Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Sweet googlymoogly YES!

But there’s also plenty of Japanese bands to go with the internationals. I’m looking forward to Asian Kung-Fu Generation, personally.

It’s a three-day weekend festival where you camp (or hotel, if you’re that type) in the forests of Niigata prefecture. Niigata isn’t actually anywhere near Mt Fuji as the name suggests. The festival used to be held near Fuji but was nearly destroyed by a typoon in its first year. Hence, it’s new, permanent home in Niigata. It makes for an excellent weekend out in the Japanese summer, with slight relief from the heat of Tokyo in the last weekend of July.

Now’s the downside…the three day pass is ¥39,800 (about US$400), or ¥16,800 for one of the 10,000 one-day passes sold each day. Add an extra ¥2,500 for camping, and ¥2,000 per day car park. The shinkansen there is another ¥6,000 or so, depending on where you’re travelling from. Then there’s food, souvenirs, alcohol…

It’s an expensive weekend out, for sure. But it’ll be a festival you’ll never forget, either.

Fuji Rock Festival

Links:
Fuji Rock Festival – official page in English
Wikipedia article on the Fuji Rock Festival


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4/1/2005

Become a (Pop/Rock) Star in Japan!

Sony Music Japan International Audition

It does sound like an April’s fool but it is just an odd starting date for a real event: for the first time ever, Sony Music Entertainment Japan is hosting an “International Audition”. What it means is that the Japanese branch of Sony Music is looking for foreigners to spice up their catalog. Not just models, they are actually open to all kinds of talents, from musicians, to bands, to TV talents. It seems everyone is invited to apply and try their chance to become a star.”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” meets Show Business!It isn’t rare for Japanese entertainment companies and music labels to host big public auditions like that, and many successful artists have been found through these. Not only interpreters, but also composers, writers, and all-round music artists. What makes this audition different however is that this time, Sony Music is targetting gaijin! And not just fluent Japanese-speakers either: English speakers, Chinese, Koreans, the scope is large and the possibilities seem infinite. Participants from any nationality, sex and age are welcome.

Because of its size, Sony Music is interested in all kinds of profiles, and any musical genres. And the best part is that you can enter from anywhere, inside or outside from Japan.

If you don’t have any recordings, you can apply without sending a demo. You can also submit your homepage’s URL if it has your music and profile online. In fact, you can even enter if you don’t have any musical experience (“we welcome applications from anyone wishing to become a musical artist”). Cover songs are ok too, and to make sure every singer has a chance to get noticed, they even accept submission of demos recorded at a karaoke…

Models are welcome too (“we have some model management groups within Sony so models are also welcome”), but fear not: someone with a better look will not be given priority (“it is important for those who want to become a model or TV talent to have charisma and a unique look. However, for musical artists, the look won’t affect our decision”).

Also notable are the facts that the audition is free (“no fees required for application, screening, or any matters thereafter”), and if you get chosen, you don’t have to worry about money either (“Sony Music will bear all the costs involved in developing you career. If you need lessons, for example, Sony Music will take care of all the lesson fees.”).

Regarding copyright issues, Sony Music will not re-use your original content afterwards (“application materials will not be used for any purposes other than screening”). You will also keep the rights of your songs (“If Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc wants to release one of your songs, we will discuss and make a contract with you before releasing it”).

The audition starts today and end on May 31st, 2005.

More details on the requirements, address etc. on the official Sony Music Japan website


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3/9/2005

Cibo Matto

Cibo Matto was a New York City-based band formed by Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda in the 1990s. Their musical style contained elements of hip-hop, rock, and latin music. Cibo Matto is an Italian phrase that translates to "crazy food."

History

After working together in the noise rock band Leitoh Lychee, Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda formed Cibo Matto around 1994. While recording tracks for their first album, Viva! La Woman, they collaborated with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Russell Simins and others, on a side project called Butter 08. Viva! La Woman was released in 1996.

They later added band members Sean Lennon on guitar, and Timo Ellis on drums to record Stereo Type A. While Viva! La Woman had a stronger hip-hop element, the new album contained more rock and latin inflected songs. Stereo Type A, released in 1999, would be their last studio album. The group continued to play live concerts until disbanding near the end of 2001. Yuka Honda went on to release solo albums, while Miho Hatori worked on latin music, teaming up with guitarist Smokey Hormel.

Discography

Albums

  • Viva! La Woman (1996)
  • Stereo Type A (1999)

EPs

  • Cibo Matto (1995)
  • Super Relax (1997)

External link

(Source: Wikipedia)

Posted by Yves in J-Hip Hop, J-Rock | 2 Comments »

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2/27/2005

Japanese Hip Hop

Japanese hip hop (nip hop or j-hip hop) is said to have begun in 1983 when Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style was shown in Tokyo. The movie focused on graffiti artists but also featured some early old school MCs like Busy Bee and Double Trouble, DJs like Grandmaster Flash and breakdancers like the Rock Steady Crew.

Following the showing, street musicians began to breakdance in Yoyogi Park. Crazy A soon emerged as a prominent b boy, and he eventually founded the Rock Steady Crew Japan, while DJ Krush has become a world-renowned DJ after arising from the Yoyogi Park scene. More DJs followed, beginning in 1985. A year later, an all hip hop club opened in Shibuya. There was some hesitation at the time that the Japanese language, due to the lack of stress accents and highly variable verb endings, might prove unsuited for rapping. A few rappers emerged, however, including Ito Seiko, Chikado Haruo, Tinnie Punx and Takagi Kan.

In the 1990s, teen-oriented J rap music appeared, and hip hop entered the Japanese mainstream. The first hit was Scha Dara Parr’s "Kon’ya wa Boogie Back". The following year saw "Da.Yo.Ne." and "Maicca" by East End X Yuri go platinum.

Japanese Crew, DJs and Rappers

Groups include:

  • King Giddra
  • Rhymester
  • Nitro Microphone Underground
  • K Dub Shine
  • DJ Krush
  • Zeebra
  • Rappagariya
  • Muro
  • Dabo
  • Kohei Japan
  • Tha Blue Herb
  • East End
  • DJ Oasis
  • DJ Yutaka
  • Suiken
  • Deli
  • DJ Masterkey
  • Word Swingaz
  • Shuren The Fire
  • Kaminari Kazoku
  • Dragon Ash (mainstream pop)
  • Ketsumeishi (mainstream pop)
  • Kick the Can Crew (mainstream pop)
  • Rip Slyme (mainstream pop)
  • Lamp Eye

Relevant Links

(Source: Wikipedia)

Posted by Yves in J-Hip Hop | 11 Comments »

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