Hip-hop duo Chushokigyo drops MV for “FUGA”

Rap is a genre that’s still having a hard time in getting a proper exposure in Japan. Leaving aside the watered-down renditions that populate the mainstream scene, Hip Hop music – and, generally, its culture – constantly struggle in getting recognized outside of the usual circle of aficionados. Still, there’s a valid roster of acts in the underground panorama who’s slowly creating an ever-growing fanbase that’s gaining more and more followers, and the hope is that, one day, these artists will get their own spot in the market (hopefully not beside the few Trap/Pop acts who “made it”).

Hip-hop outfit Chushokigyo, composed by MC Nakayama Shinichi and Track maker Koyama Shuichiro, is currently one of the most promising acts in the Japanese Rap scene. The duo is yet another gem in the roster of the Internet label Omake Club, and just today, these guys dropped a Music Video for “FUGA“, leading track of their upcoming sophomore album NESS (March 15th).

The track is a sampled boom bap piece with a 90’s East side vibe as main attraction, well balanced by a crystalline production that gives it a refreshing modern touch; Nakayama’s flow is pretty solid, and it’s alternated by a singed chorus that makes the track relaxing yet engaging. The video simply shows the two guys chilling in the city, and that’s fine.

Be sure to check out Chushokigyo‘s MV for “FUGA” down here, as well as all the details of the duo’s upcoming record!


Chushokigyo – NESS (Album cover)

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Tracklist:

1. intro
2. NESS
3. FUGA
4. Gogo no Hito
5. Wonder
6. Massage Time
7. ALICE feat. Kiki vivi lily
8. Through sodafish
9. Kuruma to Ame
10. outro
11. Ikaho onsen yu meguri tabiji – YOSA remix


Chushokigyo‘s new record “NESS” drops on March 15th via Omake Club in both physical and digital stores in Japan. Be sure to let us know what you think about it in the comments!

  • Comments

    • Yeah this is a pretty nice track, but I gotta disagree, hip-hop was actually pretty big in Japan for a couple of years, about a decade ago. Also, the acts that are getting kinda popular lately, like the ones related to Omake are a lot more watered-down and mellow compared to some of the acts that were hugely popular back then. Sure, it’s good to see that they are getting more popular, but I can’t see them bringing about a new golden age for Japanese hip-hop… But fortunately we also have AKLO and his pals, and the all those more edgy underground trap acts, that are building up a following nowadays.

      • Exactly! I don’t understand this revisionist history the international media is trying to push with Japanese hip hop. At one point it seemed like the “in” thing was to have a rapper feature on a track. I read an article once that said KOHH pretty much had the scene to himself because Japanese people “felt they had no business doing hip hop.” WHAT?! Ever since Wild Style hit Japan in the 80s there’s been a steady stream of hip hop artists.

        • Yeah, exactly, it was more mainstream at times, more underground at others, but the hip-hop scene has been HUGE in Japan ever since Krush, Muro and the others started it ages ago. And extremely diverse as well with everything… jazzy, boom bap, hardcore rap, g-funk, abstract hip-hop, trap or the mellow, radio friendly stuff… whatever you want want, it is there.

      • Alex Shenmue

        That is true, I was referring to the current situation of Hip-Hop in Japan though. It’s not that the genre never had any kind of success in Japan, but it failed in establishing a solid and continuous presence in the market, and it’s still struggling in doing so today. Right now, there aren’t many artists doing classic-sounding stuff like this one (with a little touch of modern as well, why not). Others that come to my mind are Norikiyo and JJJ, there are more, but the majority of acts are pushing this Rap mixed with Electronic music thing that’s just a hybrid, and that doesn’t always work. Rap has changed dramatically in the last 10 years of course, and while modern Rap/Trap like KOHH is still relevant (even though he has recently declined in quality, except for the Utada track maybe), I still don’t see the sign of a strong Hip Hop presence in the Japanese market. Just bits of it. I think artists revisiting classic influences in a modern key can help make it happen. That’s just my opinion, though.

        • Oh, there are a lot more doing the “classic stuff”: Macka-chin, all the stuff Nipps is involved with, K Dub Shine and the rest from his era, all the acts related to Infumiai Kumiai, the 9Sari group and so on… And of course Budamunk, Kid Fresino, Gagle and all the others around the Jazzy Sport and Dogearr labels. Also, KOHH is like…. the least interesting of the trap acts, there are much, much better stuff out there.

          And sure, hip-hop is a lot more underground now than it was approx. 10 years ago and it is unclear if it will ever go really mainstream again, but I think AKLO, Salu and the like (who honestly, do pretty classic sounding stuff) are doing pretty fine, filling huge venues and popping up as featuring acts besides some of the biggest names.

          As for the rest… I started a series on my site about some of the most interesting current stuff, but it’s been neglected for months now, but the next part should be out quite soon. (There are some live reports though, about Omake acts, the kiLLa crew and JJJ and co.)

    • that use of old school beats/samples is nice, it kind of reminds me of the work KANDYTOWN does in their productions (one of my fave J-Hip Hop crew), although its even more mellow/smooth than this