image: Tokyo Tribe / Inoue Santa

Some things I’ve written on Japanese hip-hop

dex digital
2 min readApr 14, 2016

Hi! You’re probably here because you heard me talk about Japanese rap music at a Pop-Up Magazine event. Maybe you’d like to hear some.

So, here’s a mixtape I made:

Note that I originally recorded this for a lecture I gave back in 2010, so the “new” stuff is a little dated. The best part is probably the first half, with the classics.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

If you want to hold some Japanese rap history in your hands, but can’t go to Japan, you’re in luck. I’ve established a Japanese hip-hop collection in the UC Riverside library, and because the library is open to the public, so is the collection. Walk in and listen to anything you like. It’s not all catalogued yet, but there’s 500+ CDs, dozens of DVDs, and lots of books, including comic books. Tell them I sent you.

People keep telling me I should write a book.

Good news: I’m on it (my dissertation is on Japanese hip-hop). Bad news: it’s not out yet. Got a couple chapters to go, and then on to finding a publisher.

So in the meantime, here’s some other pieces: an interview with an Okinawan rapper, and a piece on the most important international posse cut of 2015. I talked to the photographer for the rock band Happy End, here.

And trust me, there’s all kind of wild stories.

I have some more on Japan and rap (and disco) music here:

And there’s more where that came from. So much buried history that has to be told.

Here’s my site in case you’d like to get in touch about anything. I’m always down to swing through an event or guest spot on a cool program.

I’m also on twitter @dexdigi.