Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Saturday, I went to a place called Super Deluxe in Tokyo. Each week they have different events including concerts, art, jazz and film. The night I went to examined the increasing growth and popularity of hip-hop culture in Japan.

Hip-hop is very big in Japan. Wherever you go you'll see the youth of Japan wearing baggy tracksuits with caps slightly askew, trying to look like their favourite hip-hop artist. It's not just imported music that the youth of Tokyo listen to. The Japanese hip-hop market has increased greatly in the past few years with a large number of homegrown acts.

In fact there are over 300 hundred shops selling hip-hop clothes in Tokyo alone. One of the biggest mistakes I've made in Japan is doing karaoke requests with Japanese people. They always end up asking me to do hip-hop songs by Eminem for example and I always end barely getting through the song, completely exhausted from the singing.

At the beginning of the evening there was a panel discussion with MTV Japan Chief Music Programmer Reiji Harayama, MC Utamaru from Japanese hip-hop group Rhymester, Japanese hip-hop writer Kou Furukawa, and Assistant Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at MIT, Ian Condry.

After this there was a screening of the film 'Black Picket Fence'. This was then followed by a hip-hop dancing competition.

I was looking forward to competing, but pulling a muscle in my upper right thigh, due to exstensive amount of physical activity I do, has left me unable to do windmills.

After this there was a hip-hop singing competition(It was like a cross between Hello Kitty and '8-Mile') followed by a hip-hop fashion show.

It was a very enjoyable night out, although in places it was very Ali-G.

You can check out the official website