Jeff Yang’s bi-monthly ‘Asian Pop’ column in the SF Chronicle is friggin awesome. This week, he examines hip-hop’s universality in the context of Japan’s embrace of the music and culture. Japan does love it some hip-hop, most definitely. I used to think it was simply because Japan is really into American pop trends, but Jeff breaks it down as something deeper:
” to say “I” in a society built around “we” is an act of rebellion, of radical self-expression, that connects the experience of the Japanese hip-hop community with its peers around the globe who are also seeking to define their “I.” Ironically, from that international collective of people saying “I” comes a collective we — a nation of people who are converging and collaborating based on mutual desire of expressing themselves, their passions, and their love of beat and rhyme.“
One nation under a groove. Word.