Anarchy is represented by the prominent Japanese hip-hop label R-Rated Records. He was born in Osaka, but moved to Kyoto at the age of 3. Anarchy’s lolling, slightly blunt delivery is in sharp contrast to the introspective nature of his lyrics, which often deal with issues related to his youth and childhood abandonment. He was a delinquent teenager and became part of a motorcycle gang, but claims his negative energy was transformed after he discovered hip-hop through famous Japanese artist Zeebra. Anarchy has a close association with KOHH, as the two rappers’ differing rap styles and similar backgrounds tend to complement each other well on collaborative efforts.
It doesn’t receive the attention of the U.S. or UK scene, but it’s safe to say Japanese hip-hop has emerged from the shadow of its larger cousins, becoming a powerful musical force in its own right. In the early ’80s, genre luminaries such as Toshio Nakanashi and streetwear impresario Hiroshi Fujiwara helped to export the New York sound to Tokyo, while Charlie Ahearn’s seminal 1983 documentary, Wild Style, was the primary catalyst in bringing breaking to Japan.
Leading into the ’90s, artists like Buddha Brand, King Giddra, and the Beastie Boys-influenced Scha Dara Parr started to refine the early Japanese sound—inspired, as it was, by the hedonism of old-school American hip-hop—and injected it with a theretofore unseen degree of social commentary. By the 2000s, Japanese hip-hop started to achieve real commercial success on home turf, refining its sound and distinguishing itself from other countries’ output.
We wanted to celebrate the innovation and talent coming out of Japan’s diverse hip-hop scene, with a particular focus on a mix of both older and newer artists anyone looking to get into the genre should try to seek out.
Originally posted 2017-04-03 12:00:35.