Last time we saw how well Mongolians do rap and how well rap fits in with Mongolian values.

Today I want to show you an example of Japanese rap.

However, before I show it to you, we need to explore how alien Japanese culture is to the American culture that engendered rap music.  The Japanese love to imitate American cultural phenomena, but when they do, they often miss the soul of the experience and insist on developing aspects of the American form that really are incidental to the music itself.

For example, the following vid is what happens when the Japanese try to imitate The Backstreet Boys.  You don’t have to watch all of it if you don’t want to. But I do ask that you watch enough to see what I am talking about.

American rap music experienced a different fate at the hands of Japanese enthusuasts.  Like the Mongolians, they seem to “get it.”

Also, notice they rap in Japanese with a small sprinkling of English – but Japanese is primary.

The Japanese never really got a handle on rock and roll, but rap – no problem.  I find this fascinating and a little mysterious.  What is it about rap that is so mutable across cultures?


3 Responses to “RAP AROUND THE WORLD 1.1”

  1. Punk seemed to do the same thing (i’m talking the dirty spitting screaming punk – clash, sex pistols stuff) , Perhaps it’s about the whole dissafected youth thing. rock and roll and pop has primarily been pretty clean for the last 40 years. Rap is about how unfair the kids think life is. Eventually they begin to know life is actually unfair and even if you can rhyme, for 99% of people that doesn’t get food on the table


  2. paulboylan Says:

    So you think that this is about money – that the kids imitating rap so well are trying to cash in?

    That is a very interesting insight that could explain what I’m documenting. Poor, disaffected kids, plus the possibility of cashing in if you do it right equals kids all over the world trying to rap.

    It explains a lot. As time goes by, I will show examples of rap in Hindi, Greek, Arabic, Korean – even Inuit – and all of it is really, really good rap.


  3. The Japanese group seems more Village People than Backstreet Boys, don’t you think?

    (Be sure and track down some Sami rap, while you’re at it. That, and Lapp dancing.)


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