Pharrel and Japanese fashion icon/undercover dj NigoJeff 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.


2 responses to “J-Hop

  1. Nip-hop Rapanese. And i LOVE it! (geah!)

    Jeff Chang is one of the most gangsta API amerikans alive today. his book ‘cant stop, wont stop’ is THE definitive truth on the history of Hip-Hop culture and it was written by a yellow kid from hawaii. BLUCK!

    i too go back and forth in taking japanese hiphop seriously but this was an interesting look at it. i think my pessimistic ass needs to actually go to the motherland before i make judgements about my own peoples. =P

    no matter what the weather be, this recipe is stressing me, a model minority is what i’ll never be.


  2. Jeff Chang is a gangsta but the article in question was actually written by Jeff YANG, another Chinese brother who contributes to the SF Chronicle. Both are great.

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