The legend of Nujabes, Japan’s brilliant hip-hop producer, started with promise and ended in tragedy. He became heralded among a niche, passionate following of hip-hop heads, anime lovers and a cross-section between the groups. Nujabes unfortunately died in an auto accident on February 26, 2010. He’s survived by his discography’s bountiful array of colors, tranquility, beauty and emotion. Plus his fusion of samples with live instrumentation cemented his distinct style and loyal following.
Nujabes’ fan base upholds its fervor for his work although his status remains as an underground diamond in the rough. This is where The Primer series kicks in to set those new to Nujabes on a straight path. Get your best pair of speakers or headphones out to catch some of the enigmatic artist’s noteworthy vibes. Rest in beats, Jun Seba.
1. “Battlecry” Ft. Shing02
Adult Swim heads know what time it is when they hear Samurai Champloo‘s theme. Everyone else may fall victim to the booming kicks and the song’s soft, analog texture. Nujabes’ musical contributions to the show added so much flair and uniqueness to its presentation. Yet “Battlecry” set the tone early as viewers snapped their necks at every episode’s opening.
2. “Lady Brown” Ft. Cise Starr
Nujabes’ collaborations with MCs almost always veer on the path of positivity. Thus Cise Starr’s ode to black queens finds a suitable home on Jun’s heavenly production. This is the kind of track you pre-game with on poetry night.