JPgomi

Trash Picking For A Foreign Language!


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Nujabes spelled backwards is “Hip-Hop-Legend”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The music of Nujabes, more than any other subject matter, exemplifies what this blog is about.  Now that you mention it, what is this blog about?  Anything or any thing?  I’ll be honest, I’m not trying to use this as some philosophical-psychoanalytical-character-study of myself or the world.  There are already plenty of poorly written blogs, books, and Harpo-Winbag-recommended-pieces-of-firewood-kindling that do that.  All I want to do is show people some cool stuff I think they may like, which they may not have found on their own.

And really; what’s cooler than a Nujabes Hip Hop beat?

A.  Nothing   X  A blog post on Nujabes Hip Hop beats.

B.  Nothing   X   Goku doing a kamehameha while wearing a Nujabes T-shirt

C.  Nothing   X   Goku doing a kamehamhea while wearing a Nujabes T-shirt while listening to the Nujabes Pandora station

D.  Nothing   X   Goku doing a kamehameha while wearing a Nujabes T-shirt while listening to the Nujabes Pandora station while doing a 360 flip over a 20 foot gap on a skateboard that has a Nujabes deck design.

E.  All of the above.

That was a trick question.  A Nujabes Hip Hop beat is like a parabolic equation that is always approaching infinity.  “There is none higher. He sets the microphone on fire.”

The reason his music exemplifies this blog is because of it’s incredible ability to bring together elements of different cultures.  Most people will probably recognize his music from, the similarly-ultra-cool, Samurai Champloo.  The anime, like Nujabe’s music, combines elements of art, storytelling, jazz, hip-hop, and both modern and ancient Japanese culture.

Samurai Gang Sign

As some may know Nujabes is simply Jun Seba spelled in reverse.  Jun Seba is the birth name of the incredible Hip-Hop legend that was born and raised in Tokyo Japan.  In addition to his prolific contributions to Samurai Champloo, Jun Seba was actively engaged with the Japanese and international underground Hip-Hop scene. He collaborated with artists such a Uyama Hiroto, Shingo2, Minmi, Cise Starr, Fat Jon, Terry Calier and Funky DL.  Sadly, and unfortunately for lovers of Hip-Hop,  Jun Seba died in a tragic car accident on February 27, 2010 at the age of 36.  His impact and influence on not only hip-hop, but also artistic expression in general, will forever be felt and remembered.

As a piano player I’ve come to love Nujabes for his signature incorporation of Jazz into his samples.  There is something about pianos, martial arts, and Hip-Hop that hits all the right places in my higher primate brain.  Wu-Tang certainly understood this well.  Below is the full album Nujabes- Modal Soul.  At just over 1 hour the album is a mind blowing masterpiece that takes a strange journey through dreamy-anthem-disco-Gil Scott Heron-like samples.  (There is some coarse language at times but over all it’s a very accessible album.  Fans of any type of music could easily be engaged and given a new-found love of Hip-Hop.)

00:00- 02:51 – Feather (feat. Cise Starr & Akin)
02:52 – 07:49 – Ordinary Joe (feat. Terry Callier)
07:50 – 11:54 – Reflection Eternal
11:55 – 17:24 – Luv (Part 3 featuring Shing02)
17:25 – 21:33 – Music is Mine
21:34 – 24:57 – Eclipse (feat. Substantial)
24:58 – 29:41 – The Sign (feat. Pase Rock)
29:42 – 33:46 – Thank You (feat. Apani B)
33:47 – 39:25 – World’s End Rhapsody
39:26 – 44:06 – Modal Soul (feat. Uyama Hiroto)
44:07 – 48:03 – Flowers
48:04 – 51:02 – Sea of Cloud
51:03 – 54:52 – Light on the Land
54:53 – Horizon

Below is a playlist of some of his top tracks.  I especially like the Spanish guitar sample on the 4th Track: Lady Brown (ft. Cise Starr).  I’ve had this on repeat for pretty much a week.  I’ve actually been using this to test a new way to study Japanese.  When I get bored of doing SRS repetitions I put on the instrumental beats and try to Rap the sentences over the mix.  (In the safety and privacy of my room with the lights off and the blinds down and the door locked of course.)   Something else I recommend doing is finding cool surfing or skateboard videos, mute them, and then play the Nujabes’ beats instead.

RIP NUJABES

Hope everyone is inspired.  I love doing anything artistic to this music.  Writing Kanji becomes like meditation.  Just another piece of JPgomi.

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Summer Japanese Jam-sesh (DOPENESS×BOSE×QN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a musician I’ve been there.  The beers flowing, a warm breeze rolls through like a blanket over a sleeping child, and all is right with the world.  Everything clicks, connects, and the senses mingle releasing one’s thoughts from past and future.  That moment and that night, the next note wrong or right, are all that matter.  People join in as new friends of the song.  Everyone’s banging or tapping something regardless of if they can play.  The rhythms right and the Jam-sesh is on.

For me this Jam-session video is the epitome of that end of summer vibe.  I know the summer isn’t over yet but a Friday in august gives me that feel.  I did some research on the place where this video takes place.  It’s pretty much my heaven.  It is so epic that it requires its own post which I intend to do ASAP.  I actually need time to consider whether or not I should reveal this precious gem’s location.  I don’t want my heavenly paradise crowded up with tourists now do I.  Hmmm… on second thought I’d be a tourist as well.  But then again I could always call the universal law of “Finders Keepers.”  I’m in a good mood though so lets see what happens.

The video features, as the title illustrates, Dopeness, Bose, and QN.  I’ve dabbled with a bunch of their stuff and find most of it to have a killer style.  However, I’m no expert in their bodies of work.  I’m not sure who the musicians are in the video but it really doesn’t matter. They hit that flow that usually comes around when no one has a camera and the only time the jam will ever be heard is the first and last time its played.

Thank 神様 someone had a camera.

In the background of this video you’ll see U-zhaan, a world renowned Tabla player who studied and lived in India.

AP_Drum_U-Zhaan“U-zhaan (Hironori Yuzawa) is considered to be one of Japan’s foremost tabla players. He is a disciple of the legendary tabla maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.  He has also studied seriously with the world renowned maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. U-zhaan’s many projects and collaborations, span the wide array of genre in Japan. From the traditional music of Japan and Classical music of India, to modern fusion and contemporary music, his tasteful and inspiring musicianship shines through, touching everyone who comes to listen.”  http://u-zhaan.com/ (The above is an excerpt from http://tyburhoe.com/the_tabla_community/tabla_players/index.html.)

My favorite part of the entire video, besides everything, is the clearly drunk girl yelling in reply ” 楽しい、楽しい” at 2:03.

Just another piece of JP gomi.


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Japanese Hip-Hop 鬼 Remix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately for fans of good Hip-Hop, major radio stations and record labels continue to pump out carbon copies of auto-tuned-club-music-gerbil-rap.  That’s right, mainstream rap music is made for and by gerbils.  It must be shocking to hear this news, but its true.  One can’t deny that global music trends simply follow what America does first.   That’s not to say America is better, I’m just pointing out a sad reality.  One talentless scum- of-society American rapper uses auto-tune, and then the entire world follows.  You can’t blame people, they just want to catch the dollars falling from the money wagon.  But in contrast to all the nonsensical computer generated gerbil music, there are true artists creating something of value.  In the underground Japanese Hip-Hop scene, I often find the true roots and essence of what the music once was.

The instrumentals, beats, and mixes of underground Japanese Hip-Hop, are what I wish the genre would return to as a whole.  Thought provoking, intense, complex yet simple, sometimes even raw, the music has a style and voice that always reinvigorates my love of the Japanese Language.  I can’t help but imagine myself cruising on a long board through the hills of Jiyugaoka; cars, skirts, and the sounds of cafe’s blurring in a Doppler Shift tracer.  Japanese Hip-Hop; it’s great when its good.

鬼 〃糸~意図~ Remix 共演 Bes,漢〃 – YouTube.