Probably the most unique, funny AND talented Japanese rapper in the game. Along with others cited above, Hannya‘s music shifted throughout the years of his career, from a something hilarously ratchet & brute into something more mainstream, poppier, and borderline cheesy at times (marriage and children will do THAT to you). This pretty radical musical change antagonized a good chunk of this first-timer fans. The overall quality of his releases is pretty inconsistent – it’s a hit or miss. I personnaly consider ‘BLACK RAIN’ as the most solid & accessible piece of his discography.
what type of rapper : Probably had mental troubles in his childhood. Repented trashy fuckboy. Gives off creepy vibes but deep down is a good guy.
Terrific sense of humour. Makes better music when angry (thus lost a significant part of his artistry since he got in a healthy happy relationship).
special skills : His slaying verse on his feature track with NORIKIYO “Sara ni Doku Moru Ryouriten“.
Manages to crack you up AND tear your heart apart in the very same album. Very expressive singing abilities. Able to achieve an impressive speech flow rate.
fuckboy level : 5/10
highlight album : ‘BLACKRAIN‘
It’s always a surprise when a former JPop band guy goes solo to venture as a rapper goes that right. SKY-HI‘s music has something a bit ace that is really enjoyable. His music showcases an impressive production & overall artistry. His mixtape with SALU is one of the most cohesive musical venture since Aira Mitsuki × [email protected] ‘PARK OF SAFARI‘ EP. I’m currently a bit confused regarding the upturn of his current musical direction regarding the sloppy funkish rap’pop sound he pulled out on his latest album (‘OLIVE‘) though… Featurings are his strongest point so far.
what kind of rapper : ACE as hell. The highschool bishonen who doesn’t grasp how utterly attractive he is. Didn’t get taken seriously because of this first, but is actually talented and puts a lot of work into his passion to achieve compelling results.
fuckboy level : 0/10
special skills : RIDICULOUSLY CUTE. Twinning with SALU nasally speaking.
highlight track : “Real talk” feat. RAU DEF
..so, yeah~ I decided to be fairplay, put aside my personnal bias and display in all fairness the hottest and widely popular J-rapper of the moment : KOHH.
I don’t have that much to say about him to be honest~ Some of his tracks are actually fun to listen to though. My main issue with him is that all the other artists I displayed here showcase a unique output on rap music that actually makes japanese rap scene so different and unique compared to here in the West, while KOHH is basically out there releasing music that sounds exactly like something straight from the US.
what kind of rapper : Highkey fake. He’s that rich kid desperately trying to act gangsta & get street cred thus overcompensates with *~lewks~*, tattoos and crazy hairdye.
Obsessively peeps out what’s cool in America so he can’t rehash that stuff in Japan where he will be praised for his edgyness. Thirsty for amerikajin attention.
Poorly choice of girlfriends (FYI he got his ass tragically exposed by a sextape leaked by an ex – writing a diss track about her would definitely add some substance to the overall content of his music, just sayin’…)
special skills : that juju that got his basic ass that famous/popular
fuckboy level : 100/10 – leaves you on read✔️ for weeks then sends you dick pics out of nowhere asking “wyd?”.
highlight track : “Living Legend“
Belongs to same circle as SALU and AKLO but somehow doesn’t benefit the same popularity, which is quite a shame since his artistry is the most interesting of them all (i.e his ‘Seasons‘ EP). KLOOZ provides a diverse and compelling music which often fluctuates between the uplifting side of rap music to something more hard and steady.
I’m one the fence regarding his recent pink hairdye though ; I already told yall how japanese rappers dyeing their hair was a bad omen for their career… (SALU’s yellow/blond, KOHH’s blue, Anarchy’s green and now KLOOZ’ pink.. Are they planning to make a reenactment of the Power Rangers? smh)
what kind of rapper : talented, but overshadowed by his more popular (and lowkey less talented) friends. Clingy AF (i.e ‘Seasons‘ EP)
special skills : Completes the holy trinity of the nasally voiced japanese rappers with SALU and SKY-HI.
fuckboy level : 2/10 (his voice makes him sounds more annoying than he actually is)
highlight albums : ‘BLUE‘ & ‘DECORATION‘
So that’s it. I wish this article is gonna push more people to grow some interest into J-rap and spread more awareness about this scene. And for those who already (vaguely) knew some of those aforementionned artists, I hope my ‘listen go-to’ advices will help you getting into their music more extansively.
I willingly left aside a bunch of others Japanese rappers that I either didn’t find particularly relevant (ZEEBRA, Anarchy..) or who released some interesting stuff here and there but not in a significant matter to elaborate more deeply on them here (SIMON, JAZEE MINOR, L-VOKAL, LOOTA, Public Musume, etc…) I’m sure there are a bunch of other ones I forgot so feel free to share your own finding/advices in the comment section!