Seba Jun was a Japanese hip-hop record producer, better known by his anagram Nujabes (his name in reverse). Like many others, I first saw his work in Samurai Champloo, Shinichiro Watanabe’s anachronistic jidaigeki. It’s absolutely a peach of an anime!
Best of Nujabes (Mix Tape) : https://youtu.be/Aj8UnnMdMcA
I find his work absolutely incredible. Why is it that I find these amazing artists only after they die?
His sound is unique. There are layers, sampled from other songs, mixed together. But it is not for your to distinguish them: there is a flow to it, almost like the undulating flows of a river. It’s mostly what people would call “nu jazz”. Of course, he has produced a lot of hip hop. Over the years, he collaborated with a number of artists, from Japan and America, to produce top-grade stuff. It didn’t end in Gangsta brags, but segued into a soulful journey of undulating beats.
Unfortunately, in the late February of 2010, Jun Seba met with a car crash. He was pronounced dead in the Hospital.
Numerous tributes have been given to him, underlining his importance in the DJ\Indie movement of Hiphop.
Hiphop has become obnoxious in recent times. Apart from a handful of artists, I think most Hiphop artists sell only because they are popular. People buy them when other people tell them to: peer pressure of music scene.
And worst of all, music becomes popular because of music videos. Just fill the music video with vanilla love and overt teenage sexuality, and you have a popular song with a billion views on YouTube. Just don’t forget to add the lyrics in the video (but most people don’t care what you are saying when the lyrics rhyme anyway).
The recent EDM rush just illustrates my point better (ever heard of The Chainsmokers?)
After listening to popular music, I feel like my ears have taken a beating, I feel like I have been subject to an onslaught of electronic bullets. Nujabes then becomes a guilty pleasure. I am listening something which might be deeply unpopular, or not heard of; it is certainly not something you can use to discuss with your friends over lunch, since they haven’t heard of him! But it’s amazing, and you don’t care about these things.
You just put him on, and listen to the beat.