Nujabes

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 absamuraichamploo-departuresolutely 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.

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A tribute to Seba Jun’s life. Rest in beats. Credits: chrisgoods.tumblr.com

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.

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A lot of rain

I was hoping for a lot of rain, but this was not what I had planned. I think it started somewhere close to Friday afternoon; little drops of rain fluttered down from the heaven, gradually gaining momentum, till by the night it was a downpour of epic proportions. And it hasn’t stopped since.

This is what happens when there is a low pressure area building up in the Bay of Bengal, as is evident from this Nullschool.net’s picture

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Jamshedpur is that little green dot. With lots of rain, evidently.

I wound up walking quite a bit in the ensuing water spray. In Nagpur, the rains were amazing. The earth would burst open in a festival of green, and every dead tree bearing the punishment of the unrelenting Sun finally burst forth with the hues of life. Snails, birds, mongooses, and even myriad of pangolins, would start coming out of their summer habitats. I often felt a lot for the pangolins, because there are so few to begin with, and they would often be unfortunate casualties of monsoon driving. It does happen in Nagpur, since it is surrounded by five national parks and sanctuaries, and so unfortunately in the line of human and animal contact.

But, I digress.  I would love to walk in the humid evenings. I would love to roam in the cloudy skies, often strewn with orange sunlight in lofty paintings of colour. Ah! I do love the monsoon! No wonder my ancestors called it Indra, the god of rain, whose weapon is lightning and who is the king of gods, because surely without rain, India is a devastated land, parched, dry, and lifeless.

I miss it here, my beautiful monsoons. Instead of uninterrupted green beauty, I get streets littered with wrappers, with the neck seals of bottles, and with shit. Isn’t this the land which inspired Tagore? Isn’t this land of red hills? People, people, when will you see your own beauty?

Even with that, three days is a helluva lot of rain.