It’s another Saturday night in Japan. You’re sitting in your room, trying to work on an assignment that’s due very soon and suddenly you hear a familiar voice calling to you. “Who can it be?” you ask. Oh, it’s just YouTube enticing me to procrastinate again by watching silly videos or listening to my favourite music. But wait, your brain needs to come up with something that you want to watch. What will it be tonight, brain? Try not to laugh challenges? Gaming? Silly cat videos from a bygone era? “Oh, I know!” says my brain enthusiastically. “How about we watch some more videos about Japan. You always love those, don’t you?”
“Sounds great,” I say to my brain, “but what about Japan are we going to look for?”
So here I am, going through YouTube like the weird person that I am, typing “Japanese rap music” into the search bar and the first song that popped up on my feed was this one:
This song was surprisingly good and very funny (as well being my favourite song of the night), since the rapper first says that he can’t understand Japanese, but then ends up rapping in English near the second half of the song. We’re off to a good start, right? Let’s now check out rap song number two:
This was another rap song that I really enjoyed listening to and the music video complimented the song very well. It felt a lot like something out of an anime. Also, can we give props to the rapper who looked like he came straight out of an anime dropping some insane bars in this song?
The most interesting rap artist I found, though, was Yayoi Daimon. Although, for me, her music is a bit…questionable (but very catchy), I was actually surprised how empowering the songs were to women, as illustrated in this next song:
Now be honest, when you read the title and intro to this post, you were expecting me to only post some of the worst rap songs I’ve ever heard. Don’t worry. If you already got this far in the post, your efforts will now be rewarded as I now present to you, in no particular order, some of the worst Japanese (but honestly hilarious) rap songs I’ve ever heard:
Now while at a surface level this can be seen as nothing more than me finding some excuse not to work on my assignment, listening and watching these Japanese rap songs and music videos actually educated me on a particular subculture that’s not really talked about in Japan. If you look at Yayoi Daimon, for example, she’s not your typical Japanese woman that you usually see in the media, she’s someone who owns her sex appeal and is not afraid to go against the Japanese status quo. Another thing that caught my attention was how everyone dressed. Again, these are the types of clothes you wouldn’t see a typical Japanese person wear on the street (unless you’re in Tokyo, then don’t be surprised).
So I hope you enjoyed this silly and interesting look at Japanese rap music and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on these songs or any other Japanese rap songs you may have come across.
Until next time, sayonara!