Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization

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Duke University Press, Nov 1, 2006 - Music - 249 pages
7 Reviews
DIVIn this lively ethnography Ian Condry interprets Japan’s vibrant hip-hop scene, explaining how a music and culture that originated halfway around the world is appropriated and remade in Tokyo clubs and recording studios. Illuminating different aspects of Japanese hip-hop, Condry chronicles how self-described “yellow B-Boys” express their devotion to “black culture,” how they combine the figure of the samurai with American rapping techniques and gangsta imagery, and how underground artists compete with pop icons to define “real” Japanese hip-hop. He discusses how rappers manipulate the Japanese language to achieve rhyme and rhythmic flow and how Japan’s female rappers struggle to find a place in a male-dominated genre. Condry pays particular attention to the messages of emcees, considering how their raps take on subjects including Japan’s education system, its sex industry, teenage bullying victims turned schoolyard murderers, and even America’s handling of the war on terror.

Condry attended more than 120 hip-hop performances in clubs in and around Tokyo, sat in on dozens of studio recording sessions, and interviewed rappers, music company executives, music store owners, and journalists. Situating the voices of Japanese artists in the specific nightclubs where hip-hop is performed—what musicians and fans call the genba (actual site) of the scene—he draws attention to the collaborative, improvisatory character of cultural globalization. He contends that it was the pull of grassroots connections and individual performers rather than the push of big media corporations that initially energized and popularized hip-hop in Japan. Zeebra, DJ Krush, Crazy-A, Rhymester, and a host of other artists created Japanese rap, one performance at a time./div

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - danielbeattie - LibraryThing

I am a big fan of Japanese rap music and though this book is not up to date regarding the current scene, it is interesting and well written. I rather enjoyed it, and recommend it to every one who ... Read full review

Review: Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization

User Review  - Snake_telegraph - Goodreads

This is definitely a scholarly approach to the subject, so if you're looking for something very personable and entertaining, you might be a bit disappointed. But if you're like me and interested in ... Read full review

Contents

HIPHOP JAPAN AND CULTURAL GLOBALIZATION
1
YELLOW BBOYS BLACK CULTURE AND THE ELVIS EFFECT
24
BATTLING HIPHOP SAMURAI
49
GENBA GLOBALIZATION AND LOCATIONS OF POWER
87
RAP FANS AND CONSUMER CULTURE
111
RHYMING IN JAPANESE
134
WOMEN RAPPERS AND THE PRICE OF CUTISMO
164
MAKING MONEY JAPANSTYLE
181
LESSONS OF HIPHOP GLOBALIZATION
205
NOTES
221
REFERENCES
235
INDEX
247
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About the author (2006)

DIV

Ian Condry is Associate Professor of Japanese cultural studies in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Visit Ian Condry’s website.

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