Is Rap Popular in Japan?

Rap music has undoubtedly transcended borders and gained immense popularity across the globe. From its roots in the Bronx, New York, in the 1970s, it has evolved into a global phenomenon, influencing music, fashion, and culture worldwide. While it has enjoyed tremendous success in Western countries, one might wonder: Is rap popular in Japan?

Japan has a rich musical history and a vibrant music industry that has embraced various genres over the years. While J-pop (Japanese pop) remains the dominant force in the country’s music scene, other genres, including rock, electronic music, and hip-hop, have also found their place. Hip-hop, in particular, has gained considerable traction in Japan, with rap music becoming an integral part of the Japanese music landscape.

The origins of rap music in Japan can be traced back to the late 1980s and early 1990s when it was introduced to the country through the influence of American rap artists. At that time, Japanese rappers primarily imitated the style and flow of their American counterparts, adapting the genre to their own cultural context. However, over the years, Japanese rap has developed its own unique identity, blending elements of traditional Japanese music, anime culture, and contemporary hip-hop.

One of the pioneers of Japanese rap was Hiroshi Fujiwara, who introduced rap music to Japan in the late 1980s. He brought the essence of American hip-hop to the country, laying the foundation for the genre’s growth. As the years went by, more Japanese artists emerged, including Scha Dara Parr, King Giddra, and M-Flo, who contributed to the evolution of Japanese rap and helped establish its credibility.

The popularity of rap in Japan experienced a significant boost in the early 2000s with the emergence of a new generation of artists. Artists like Rip Slyme, Teriyaki Boyz, and Ketsumeishi achieved mainstream success, gaining recognition not only within Japan but also internationally. Their catchy beats, clever wordplay, and incorporation of elements from Japanese culture appealed to a wide audience.

Today, Japanese rap continues to flourish with a diverse and thriving scene. Many talented artists have emerged, each bringing their own style and unique perspective to the genre. Artists such as KOHH, AK-69, and Ken the 390 have made significant contributions, pushing the boundaries of Japanese rap and gaining recognition both within and outside of Japan.

One of the reasons for the popularity of rap in Japan is its ability to address social issues and provide a platform for self-expression. Japanese rap often tackles topics such as identity, social inequality, and the struggles of everyday life. It has become a voice for the younger generation, reflecting their experiences and aspirations.

Furthermore, the influence of rap culture extends beyond music in Japan. Fashion trends influenced by hip-hop, such as streetwear and sneaker culture, have also gained significant popularity. Japanese youth have embraced the style and attitude associated with rap, creating a unique fusion of fashion and music that is distinctly Japanese.

While rap might not dominate the mainstream music charts in Japan as much as J-pop does, its impact and popularity cannot be overlooked. Japanese rap has carved its own niche within the broader music industry, attracting a dedicated fan base and inspiring a new generation of artists.

In conclusion, rap music has indeed found a place in the hearts of many in Japan. It has become a dynamic and influential genre, fusing elements of both Western and Japanese culture. With its ability to address social issues and provide a platform for self-expression, Japanese rap continues to evolve and resonate with a diverse audience. So, the next time someone wonders if rap is popular in Japan, the resounding answer would be a definite “yes.”







高校生になると、自分で曲を作り始めました。『BAZOOKA!!! 高校生RAP選手権』にも出場し、ステージの経験も増えてきます。そして、2017年には『未成年』というアルバムでメジャーデビューを果たしました。





社会的なメッセージや女性のエンパワーメントを訴えるものも多く、「PAIN IS BEAUTY」では、自分の苦しみを乗り越えて美しくなることを歌っています。「I’m a Pop」では、自分のスタイルやジャンルにとらわれないことを表現しています。「Never Grow Up」では、大人になっても夢を追い続けることを語っています。






I’m a Pop

Never Grow Up


New Zorn Track “いたいのとんでけ”

Some might already noticed that the Japanese rap and hip hop artist Zorn have recently released a new track called “いたいのとんでけ” (itai no tondeke), translated to, “pain, go away!”, and it has been topping the charts for many days! It already have 1 million views in 11 days. If you haven’t heard it yet, please do!

“Itai no tondeike” is something parents and such tells children when they got hurt to make the pain go away.

The lyrics of itai no tondeike is just about that – pain, and it is although dark, beautiful; it provides those we can relate to this song comfort. We might translate the lyrics if there is interest.


An unprecedented collaboration between three highly talented artists will highlight diversity while staying true to their creative spirit.

The bpm plus asia project & Brooklyn Yas furthers the pursuit of bridging cultures and heritages across Asia. In the previous projects/songs of this project, M.A.U Collective connected 10 artists from all over Asia with different backgrounds, energy and brought them to bpm plus asia with the hope of uniting Asian artists and showcase the next generation of Future Shock.

The new tune “Rocka Bye” brings together three artist with cross-cultural backgrounds: Al Cizarr, Mixed Miyagi, and Ankhten Brown. They are integrated to lead the way to the new wave of artists with more diversity in music. Produced by Jamaica native Tu Finga, “Rocka Bye” digs deep into a trap-dancehall vibe to channel a laid back, island vibe.

Though each artist’s heritage is unique, their shared experiences come through via the seamless cooperation on the track. Al Cizarr’s enigmatic vibe fusing with Mixed Miyagi’s edgy dynamic sound and Ankhten Brown’s smooth flow, accompanying a catchy melody, the song promises to conquer any hip hop heads’ hearts. By surviving and thriving as artists who live lives in-between cultures, “Rocka Bye” can hopefully breathe life into music through their stories and energy.

Al Cizarr is a one-of-a-kind artist whose motivation is to bring a new sound to the world, blending Jamaica and Japan. His music is a combination of dancehall and rap which is the way for him to express his stories.

Originally from Can Tho, Viet Nam, Miyagi was raised in Florida, where he was captivated by Hip-Hop culture. As a biracial immigrant, his music expresses passion for social justice, cultural awareness, lyricism and clever wordplay.

Ankhten Brown is a rapper, singer, songwriter and producer from Manila, Philippines. He experimented with hand percussion, native Filipino, African, Caribbean instruments and singing.

Stream now: 

Source: Lifted Asia , Thailand News

japanese rap yokohama



Jin Dogg – ” 街風 ” feat. REAL-T

ZORN – Stay Gold


KOHH – John and Yoko

KOHHが出るのは驚くことではないが、「John and Yoko」は今年に新しいMVが公開した。KOHHの最後の作ったアルバムの「worst」の曲。

KOWICHI Rockstar

KOWICHIは常に改善していて、「Higher」というアルバムの曲「Rockstar」は質がいつもかつてないほどの良いです。JP THE WAVYとT-Pablowも特集されます。Higherで他の曲もお勧めです!

KEN THE 390 – Verses feat. GADORO,NORIKIYO

JP THE WAVY – WAVEBODY (Remix) feat. OZworld, LEX & ¥ellow Bucks

FNCY – TOKYO LUV (Prod. : Jengi)

FNCYというグループはZENLAROCKとGRINAと鎮座DOPENESSというアーティストがいます。この曲「TOKYO LUV」はポジティブの雰囲気ですから、聞いたら気分がよくなって、やっぱり今年のお気に入りの曲です!


MIYACHIは「わかりません」という曲でよく人気になった。同じ人もユーチューブでも人気になったの「KONBINI CONFESSIONS」というビデオシリーズも作りました。この曲はお酒を飲むパーティーと合いますね。

KREVA – タンポポ feat. ZORN

KREVA、「Dr. K」も呼ばれているのアーティストはZORNと一緒に「タンポポ」という新曲を演奏しています。二人のアーティストでは、素晴らしい曲で作りました!KREVAの新しいアルバム「LOOP END / LOOP START」からの他の曲もお勧めです。例えば「変えられるのは未来だけ」。

Kvi Baba – Too Bad Day But…

Kvi Baba はまだそんなに人気にならないけど、今の読んでいるの瞬間にそれが違うかもしれません。Kvi Babaの最近の曲はヒットになってRemixのバージョンも公開した。

Leon Fanourakis – SHISHIMAI

SHISHIMAI was released on January 22 2021 by Leon Fanourakis, an album you shouldn’t miss! Leon Fanourakis is certainly keeping up with his atmospheric underground rap style. We want to highlight this album since we’ve believe this is an undervalued album which you might like if you haven’t already.

Meaning of SHISHIMAI is that lion dancer figure you can see on the picture above.

Follow Leon Fanourakis on Twitter.

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