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Hip Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization (06 Edition)


Hip Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization (06 Edition) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In this lively ethnography Ian Condry interprets Japan’s vibrant hip-hop scene, explaining how a music and culture that originated halfway around the world is appropriated and remade in Tokyo clubs and recording studios. Illuminating different aspects of Japanese hip-hop, Condry chronicles how self-described “yellow B-Boys” express their devotion to “black culture,” how they combine the figure of the samurai with American rapping techniques and gangsta imagery, and how underground artists compete with pop icons to define “real” Japanese hip-hop. He discusses how rappers manipulate the Japanese language to achieve rhyme and rhythmic flow and how Japan’s female rappers struggle to find a place in a male-dominated genre. Condry pays particular attention to the messages of emcees, considering how their raps take on subjects including Japan’s education system, its sex industry, teenage bullying victims turned schoolyard murderers, and even America’s handling of the war on terror.

Condry attended more than 120 hip-hop performances in clubs in and around Tokyo, sat in on dozens of studio recording sessions, and interviewed rappers, music company executives, music store owners, and journalists. Situating the voices of Japanese artists in the specific nightclubs where hip-hop is performed—what musicians and fans call the genba (actual site) of the scene—he draws attention to the collaborative, improvisatory character of cultural globalization. He contends that it was the pull of grassroots connections and individual performers rather than the push of big media corporations that initially energized and popularized hip-hop in Japan. Zeebra, DJ Krush, Crazy-A, Rhymester, and a host of other artists created Japanese rap, one performance at a time.


An ethnography of hip-hop performance and culture in Japan.


An ethnographic study of Japanese hip-hop.

About the Author

Ian Condry is Associate Professor of Japanese cultural studies in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Visit Ian Condry’s website.

Product Details

Condry, Ian
Duke University Press
History and criticism
Rap (music)
Genres & Styles - Rap & Hip Hop
Culture and globalization - Japan
Rap (Music) - Japan - History and criticism
Music-Hip Hop and Rap
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
11 illustrations, 4 figures
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Asia and Indonesia
Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Folk » Folk and Ethnic
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rap and Hip-Hop
Arts and Entertainment » Music » World Music
History and Social Science » Asia » Japan » Contemporary 1945 to Present
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Japan

Hip Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization (06 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 264 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822338925 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
An ethnography of hip-hop performance and culture in Japan.
"Synopsis" by ,
An ethnographic study of Japanese hip-hop.
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