Often when browsing on YouTube, people will come across a mellow, or anime gif with “Lo-Fi hip hop” next to it. Perhaps to most of us the familiar jazz hip hop beats are quite common, and relaxing. However for the genre of lo-fi hip hop or jazz hip hop, it would not be what it is today without the rumoured founder, Jun Seba, Nujabes.
Notorious for using samples from jazz and hip hop, Nujabes would create atmospheric music instrumentals unlike most people had ever heard before. Nujabes’ s music started to become more well known, because of the critically acclaimed anime Samurai Champloo, which he was the prominent artist of the soundtrack. Nujabes was also the founder of a record label known as Hydeout Productions which featured some music artists such as Uyama Hiroto and Cise Starr.
On top of creating atmospheric and soulful beats that reach the hearts of listeners, Nujabes collaborated with many Japanese artists and rappers. One of Nujabes’ s popular albums Luv (sic) parts 1-6, features rappers like Shing02 and Cise Starr as the main contributors. One of Nujabes’s most popular songs, Feather, has reached about 13 million views on YouTube, despite not being as well known as Mozart, or Biggie Smalls. To put that number in perspective, the Michigan Stadium has about 100,000 seats, so this would mean, you would need 130 stadiums to fit 13 million people.
To this day, Nujabes still continues to influence todays lo-fi hip hop artists like DJ Okawari, Uyama, etc. Even though he died in a tragic traffic accident in 2010. Many tributes are still being done for Nujabes, as well as other popular songs now being done in “Nujabes style” or “Nujabes blend”. Some examples are, Book of Rhymes by Nas (Nujabes Blend), and I Got A Story to Tell by Notorious B.I.G. (Nujabes style). Some will even go so far to say that he has influenced new emerging hip hop artists like Joji, and Elijah Who.
If you would like to discover the beats of Nujabes, I recommend, Voice of Autumn, Feather, or my personal favourite, Another Reflection.
“Nujabes isn’t dead, you just need to click play.”