[Disclaimer: The author’s knowledge of Japanese popular culture doesn’t extend beyond having seen a couple of anime movies, read a small stack of manga comics, played some ancient video games and listened to a few hip-hop and city pop records.]

Few people would reproach De La Soul anything, except maybe for some copyright holders and faithful fans who often had to wait years for new music. But excuse me, what the hell went wrong with “Long Island Wildin'” and “Stix & Stonz”? No idea what I’m talking about? Let me explain.

“Long Island Wildin'” was a cut on De La’s outstanding “Buhloone Mind State” LP from 1993. Featured artists given were SDP and Takagi Kan. The track is a 90-second interlude of isolated Japanese rhyming. It wasn’t a direct collaboration between a host and a guest, the sort that rap music so successfully made part of its portfolio. As a performance, it was singled out instead of incorporated. Part of that is due to the crew’s montage-like approach to making albums, still De La Soul could have been the first American rap act of note to hold a binational rap summit.

“Stix & Stonz” on the other hand was an actual collaboration to which De La invited old schoolers Grandmaster Caz, L.A. Sunshine, Whipper Whip and Tito (each a representative of a legendary old school crew), but for whatever reason it didn’t make the album (or any album).

So as we follow the footprints of some of the earliest Western rap business travellers that touched down in the land of the rising sun, of course we meet Takagi Kan, music enthusiast who acted as ambassador for punk, new wave and hip-hop in quick succession, we meet Scha Dara Parr (a/k/a SDP), a trio sometimes likened to the Beastie Boys, and we meet the Fantastic 5‘s Whipper Whip and several other pioneers of his generation. In De La Soul’s defense, they are in the picture as well. They were guests on DJ Honda‘s 1997 album and Trugoy remixed an U.N.K.L.E./Takagi Kan collaboration in 1998 and appeared with Scha Dara Parr in 2000. Prince Paul last but not least co-produced a track with Takagi Kan for Microphone Pager’s Twigy in 1996.

As commendable as any cultural exchanges by way of hip-hop are, we find out that American and Japanese artists met on hip-hop-related records as early as 1985. And that is indeed notable, barely a year after Melle Mel rapped for Chaka Khan.

Let’s begin with the curious case of George Hiko, who was the featured artist on the Tommy Boy single “She’s Wild” to which The Great Peso from The Fearless Four contributed raps. A bit of a heavy-handed ode to New York, “She’s Wild” is an early rock-rap combo with music provided by Hiko and the Fearless’ O.C. Rodriguez. There isn’t much info available in English about Hiko himself. He allegedly appeared in the movie ‘Beat Street’ and collected a couple of studio credits in the US, including one for the Boogie Boys. The only evidence of a close connection to Japan are the ‘special thanks’ printed on the single’s back cover, including to Katsuya Kobayashi, a DJ/comedian who also took part in some of Japan’s earliest hip-hop appropriations.

Technically, the ‘Hiko featuring The Great Peso’ cut doesn’t meet this piece’s basic requirements because it occurred on American soil. Far more relevant is “Tokyo Tower”. Toshiki Kadomatsu is a key figure in Japanese ’80s pop (and beyond) as a solo artist, songwriter and producer. He can be seen as a representative of city pop, a breezy genre fanning urban flair with touches of funk, disco, R&B, soul, West Coast and album-oriented rock. ‘A product of the optimism, prosperity and security of Japan’s economic bubble of the 1970s and 1980s and mirroring of the futurism and luxury of sprawling cities and increased wealth’, as Tokyo Weekender contributor Ed Cunningham calls it. “Tokyo Tower” features a guest appearance by King Pin Shahiem, an MC who was a member of Grandmixer D.St’s Infinity Rappers. In the album version, Shaheim starts to rap at the top of the track (in the 12″ ‘Executive Special Power Mix’ after a build-up), mentioning New York and Tokyo in the same breath before going on a brief excursion on the topic of romance in the big city. Which makes it representative of almost any guest spot ever (the rapper doesn’t quite know what to say), but the fact that you have a certified, bonafide American rap artist rhyming in the shadow of a foreign city’s monument (so to speak) in 1985 is utterly remarkable.

How did this happen? Our guess would be that D.St and Infinity, already present when hip-hop first got on the road internationally with the ‘New York City Rap’ tour, eventually also touched down in Japan. The DJ’s legendary contribution to Herbie Hancock‘s “Rockit” may have helped. There exists, in musical form, a document of the crew being in Japan (simultaneous with the recording of “Tokyo Tower” or shortly after), the 1986 Epic single “Rock the House in Japan”. This song greets listeners back home from a “studio that’s in Tokyo, the heart of Japan”, reassuring them, “no matter where we are / near or far / it’s still real hip-hop, my man”. This is virtually the seminal theme song of all travelling and touring rappers. And it breaks the mold of a simple road diary as the Infinity Rappers are keenly aware of them engaging in the transplantation of hip-hop to a foreign territory:

“If we were raised in Japan with hip-hop, my man
It would probably sound like this
We were not, so we wondered how Japan would rock
if they heard real elements of hip-hop
So we use our imagination
to accept the concept to rock the nation
It wasn’t complete with a scratch and a beat
So we flew to Japan to make it concrete
Now we’re here with a finished idea
that got Japan rockin’ everywhere
Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, Sendai
Hiroshima even see the way we satisfy
Without lyin’, we’re not tryin’
It’s a natural gift that we are applyin’
Without playin’ fly or high-post
but by playin’ hip-hop from coast to coast”

From ‘coast to coast’ in this case also meaning across the Pacific – see this article’s featured image, an album cover for guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka that depicts the Tokyo Tower against the background of a symbolic US coastal line with the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

In 1986 Toshiki Kadomatsu meanwhile was already working with a second US MC, Rodney C from the Funky 4 + 1. He features him twice on his “Touch and Go” album. He makes a barely notable interjection in “1975”, a nostalgic nod to a pivotal year in Kadomatsu’s musical self-realization. Rodney C’s contribution to “Pile Driver” lasts longer, 8 bars from the perspective of a deserted lover, introduced by a sequence of frantic editing that fits the track’s punchy rhythm.

Without overstating the importance of these features more than three decades later, there’s a good chance that few people actually realized what was going on here. Last but not least because hip-hop wasn’t yet such the global force to be reckoned with. The music business may have presented Toshiki and Rodney with the opportunity to collaborate, but this was certainly not the same industry ploy that brought us gazillions of random pairings in the ’90s and beyond. These two 1980s American appearances on Japanese records are nothing short of historic, from a hip-hop perspective.

Like many innovations, it didn’t immediately catch on. Or rather the DJ’s insisted on playing their role. Bristol’s DJ Milo, member of Wild Bunch, the collective that would bring forth Massive Attack, found himself assisting production team Major Force (sampling pioneers in Japan), most notably on the breakbeat collage “Return of the Original Art Form”. Before the decade closed, Major Force the label (of which Takagi Kan was one of the co-founders) also invited New York’s DJ Red Alert for a megamix of their catalog. While Ice-T’s DJ Afrika Islam delivered flirtatious raps on female pop singer Mayo Nagata‘s “Swinger” in 1990.

A few years into the new decade, a trio of Japanese DJ’s went directly to the source by inviting marquee MC’s from the homeland of hip-hop. The internationally most renowned, DJ Krush, found himself promoted outside of Japan by trendsetting label Mo’ Wax. Krush is not just one of the godfathers of the Japanese scene but also one of a few hip-hop instrumentalists whose careers span decades. Fittingly, his first guest was Gang Starr’s Guru for “B-Boy Mastamind” (recorded in ’93, released in ’94). Krush’s exclusive guest rapper list includes The Roots, Company Flow, Mos Def, Aesop Rock, Antipop Consortium, and perhaps most notoriously, anticon on “Song For John Walker” from ’02, named after captured Al Qaeda fighter John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban who got rid of his rap music collection after his Islamic radicalization. If that sounds a little bit hard to digest, very few tunes so authoratively manifest the beauty that lies in simplicity as “Only the Strong Survive” with C.L. Smooth. Some rather strange stereotypes might be at play here, but to me this is still the most evident outcome of the ‘American raps’ set to ‘Japanese beats’ proposition.

Two of Krush’s peers tapped the full potential of US cameos. DJ Yutaka would have them on two volumes of his “United Nations” series in ’00 and ’01, but he extended his first invitation even earlier than Krush, in ’92 working with the aforementioned Whipper Whip and a rapper named Baby Girl, by all indications a member of exploitative rap act Hoes With Attitude.

The most foreign credits however were amassed by DJ Honda. Honda first left his fingerprints on wax as a member of remix outfit The JG’s, including a Afrika Islam/Zulu Kings (Ice-T, Melle Mel, Bronx Style Bob) single in ’88. Sony commissioned him with more than a dozen remixes of US rap tunes for the domestic market (including one for Alchemist‘s group Whooliganz), and in ’95 he started a run during which he would clock well over 50 cameos. One of the most remarkable ones, however, predates all of them. In ’93 Whipper Whip and Melle Mel were on the DJ Honda track “Sayin’ Something” (co-produced with Yutaka), where the Furious 5 legend speaks out against discrimination, explicitly mentioning Japanese, Jewish and gay identities. “Keep jokin’ ’bout gender, sex and race / and yo, stay the fuck out my face”, he concludes, and we’d be naive not to consider he wasn’t also addressing his rapping offspring. Imagine that same feature taking place on a typical US rap release at the time. In the most blunt terms, in 1993 the American rap industry wasn’t trying to hear Melle Mel and it wasn’t trying to hear explicitly inclusive messages.

DJ Honda had several generations of US MC’s on his records. “Out For the Cash” comes in two versions. The ’95 one features Common (who might have had some reservations about some of the other performances), but the revamped version (with Problemz) knocks harder anyway.

DJ Honda links up with rappers to this day, but not with Americans anymore. Same with DJ Krush. Which also serves as a clue that we’re looking at a specific period here. Nevertheless Honda, Yutaka and Krush found plenty of successors in the likes of DJ’s Mitsu the Beats, Tonk, Beat, Yas, Hasebe, Deckstream or Chika. And those were just the immediate ones.

Japanese pop (along of course with hip-hop) boasts innumerable national rap features. Domestic cameo kings include Zeebra, Dev Large, Sphere of Influence, Mummy-D, K Dub Shine, Dabo or Verbal. Employing homegrown talent usually makes more sense in these cases, but every now and then a amerika-jin finds himself on a J-pop tune. Some tag along to remixes (DJ Spinna often has his Jigmastas partner Kriminul in tow). Some are supposed to bring star power to a single, yet it seems neither Ja Rule nor Snoop Dogg could do much for Ai Morioku or Aki-la, respectively. Despite the latter receiving training in L.A. for her singing/rapping career.

Non-existent, not surprisingly, are the top-level meetings between the superstars of their respective genre. Must be some industry rule. A.I. and Joe Budden were primarily Def Jam employees when they met in ’03. Like it sometimes happened in the US, some combinations couldn’t possibly be anything other than chance acquaintances. How underground trooper L Da Headtoucha wound up rapping for girl group conglomerate Morning Musume is anyone’s guess.

Like in our Backpacking Europe feature, there are names you would expect to find that are absent from Japanese pop and hip-hop’s guest list at the time in question. This is less about rap’s biggest stars than global players such as Xzibit or Missy Elliot, or people who were heavily pushed by a major label (e.g. Bubba Sparxxx), acts that would have been surely a fit somehow someway (e.g. Tech N9ne), those with undeniable international appeal (e.g. Eve). Or someone like Lyrics Born who was, after all, born in Tokyo. Not to mention other West Coast luminaries of Japanese heritage.

Or let’s say you wonder if Left Eye was ever booked for a Japanese record (TLC surely must have been a major influence on J-pop under the global ‘urban’ influence), and you find out that ‘pop culture icon’ (Wikipedia) Namie Amuro stood in for Lisa on a Japanese ’20th Anniversary Version’ of TLC’s “Waterfalls”. Or there’s British supermodel Naomi Campbell credited with a ‘rap’ on Toshi Kubota’s “La • La • La Love Song”…

If you want your search to produce more relevant results, you can’t be blamed for scouring meat-and-potatoes hip-hop collaborations, and who else could be as reliable as the Diggin’ in the Crates crew who has a long-lasting relationship with the King of Diggin’ Muro? Collabos like “Lyrical Tyrants” or “The Vinyl Athletes” surely have an abundance of hip-hop credibility.

Perhaps even to a greater degree than in Europe, what really resonated in Japan was underground/independent rap. Whether ‘The Indie Rap Archive. Another Side of Hip-Hop History: 1991-2020’, a Japanese encyclopedia issued in 2020, delves into the overseas relations we touch on here is beyond our knowledge. One quite sophisticated, more extended encounter were the “Synchronicity” albums from 1999 and 2000 where on the one hand Japanese beatmakers were paired with American rappers and on the other hand the roles were reversed, United States producers putting down tracks for Japanese MC’s. Participiants on the American side included Talib Kweli, Prince Poetry, El Da Sensei, Craig G, Wordsworth, Punchline, Buckwild, Nick Wiz, DJ Spinna, Eligh, Sage Francis and Sha Self, better known as soon-to-be G Unit Records co-founder Sha Money XL.

The “Synchronicity” cut “Culture Universal” deserves special mention for how brothers Zeebra and Sphere of Influence pay tribute to hip-hop – in English. From an overall perspective, most of the bookings we have compiled here express a deep reverence for hip-hop and its history on Nippon’s part.

The 2000s brought an unusual amount of full-length Japan-exclusives by North-American hip-hop artists. Curiously, seemingly not one of them had a domestic feature, whether Substantial, Insight, Mike Zoot, Apani B. Fly or Zion I. Japanese acts meanwhile also gladly accepted foreign production aid, Zeebra for example the likes of DJ Premier, Swizz Beats, Jaz-O or Scott Storch, Scha Dara Parr DJ Premier, Buckwild, Pete Rock, No I.D. and Mondo Grosso The Beatnuts, The Roots, Da Beatminerz and Diamond D. Japanese-American Dan the Automator worked with DJ Krush, Teriyaki Boyz and Natural Calamity. (Production credits not included in the list below.)

We’d be remiss not to mention artists for whom making music in another country became part of their biography. Towa Tei (born in Yokohama and raised in Kawasaki) joined dance outfit Deee-Lite while studying in New York and quickly found international success with the group’s 1990 album “World Clique” (which contained the megahit “Groove Is in the Heart”). After two albums with Deee-Lite, the third-generation Korean-Japanese, who as ‘Jungle DJ Tohwa’ also has credits on the Jungle Brothers‘ “Done By the Forces of Nature” album (’89), began a solo career and eventually relocated to Japan, not without booking Mos Def, Biz Markie, Bahamadia and Leaders of the New School’s Charlie Brown for his projects. Atsushi Numata was another Japanese citizen who hoped to pursue his passion for music (hip-hop specifically) in New York. He would form Groove Garden with vocalist Ambersunshower and write the liner notes for the Japan release of Nas‘ “Illmatic”.

And finally we have the relatively unknown foreign enthusiasts who contributed to hip-hop and rap’s advance in Japan in a way that their names show up in the Discogs database. In ’88 we found two or three English-speaking rappers partaking in production team M.I.D.‘s “Cold Getting Down”, while American rap vocalists also seem to have been involved in the project M.K. Fresh Connection (Doug Flex, M.J. Raa-Dee?), later continuing to rap in Da Uptown Crew and Masters of Funk. In ’91 the short-lived 3 Stories High, comprised of three US MC’s and a Japanese DJ, released an EP called “Famous Last Words”. Their music was used in the arcade game ‘B.Rap Boys’ and one of their members went on to work with Marques Houston, Lil’ Mo and Murs. (And on the topic of video games, let us not forget Dred Foxx voicing PaRappa The Rapper.) The most familiar to the informed Japanese audience however should be B-Bandj, a rapper with roots in France and Cameroon who started out with acid jazz band Mondo Grosso in ’93 and is fluent in French, Japanese and English.

Coming back to our quick in-and-out US (and UK) cameos, those collabos are not essential for local hip-hop. They could be, individually, if they happened at the right time and at the right place, but whether they make any sense or not, they are primarily a mutual gesture of recognition. The collaborations didn’t stop in the mid-’00s, either. Producer Ski Beatz for instance simultaneously realized Japanese and American versions of his project “24 Hour Karate School” in 2010. All in 2007, there was the posthumous J Dilla EP “Jay Love Japan”, Fat Jon contributed to the ‘Samurai Champloo’ soundtrack and The RZA had even greater input into the anime ‘Afro Samurai’.

But if we nevertheless give the rap subcategory ‘foreign features’ the attention it rarely gets, let’s celebrate a few outstanding offerings. (And commemorate, for the briefest of moments, three crucial Japanese MC’s from that era who sadly passed away – ECD, Dev Large and Big-O, along with beatmaker Nujabes, gone too soon as well.) Note that these are real Japan exclusives, you can have your Obi strips, thank you very much. Here goes:

Coincidence or not, as Grandmixer D.St’s “Rock the House in Japan” heralded the era of transnational rap tours, Japan also produced one of hip-hop’s most essential touring-themed tracks, Mos Def’s “Travellin’ Man” (’98) which he cut with DJ Honda. Keep in mind that it’s this touring that is at the beginning of many a collaboration.

As usual, the topics range from profane to profound. De La Soul vouch for rappin’ video game pooch PaRappa on “Say ‘I Gotta Believe’!” (’01) together with female pop duo Double (twice as infectiously funky in the ‘Funkeyboard Version’). Little Brother’s Pooh and Phonte are their usual lively selves teaming up with DJ Mitsu the Beats on “Feelin’ Alright (We’ve Got to Have It)” (’03). Substantial puts reason to rhyme on Nujabes’ “Think Different” (’03). Ugly Duckling’s Dizzy Dustin enganges in nostalgic waxing seemingly everybody can agree to on Himuki‘s “Remember?” (’05). L.A. Veteran Frost does the same with DS455 on “Keep it Movin'” (“It was all a dream, I used to read ‘Lowrider’ magazine”…) (’03). The Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown finds his overseas soulmate thanks to DJ Beat on “Miss Risin’ Sun” (’01). Pri The Honey Dark and Helixx C. Armageddon of the Anomolies have an extended girl talk on the epic “Prisons” by Silent Poets (’99).

Homeliss Derilex’ Grand The Visitor elevates hip-hop on Bun‘s “Universal Mind” (’05). Treep (or Triip), a talented young lady who unfortunately made herself rare, joins Shibuya-kei flagship Pizzicato Five for the merry “Icecream Meltin’ Mellow” (’95). Group Home’s Lil’ Dap and the guys from Brainsick Mob deliver on the mic, but “East New York Theory” (’96) belongs to – literally and figuratively – Mixmaster G Flexx, whose beat is frequently mistaken for being genuinely New York/East Coast or even the work of DJ Premier. And since a handful of Euros also made the trip, honorable mention goes to the UK’s Roots Manuva fully engaging in rock guitarist INORAN‘s “Rat Race” (’97) (“Enemies don’t like to see / worldwide hip-hop youths in harmony”) and France’s Ménélik navigating the meditative mélange of jazz and dub Silent Poets cooked up for “La Vie” (’94).

DJ Honda f/ Mos Def – “Travellin’ Man” (1998)

DJ Honda f/ Cuban Link, Juju, A.L., Al’ Tariq, Problemz, Black Attack – On the Mic (1998)

Muro f/ O.C. – Lyrical Tyrants (From Local to Global) (2001)

YKZ f/ The Beatnuts – Reign of the Tec 2000 (2000)

North-American and European Rap Cameos in Japan Between the Mid-1980s and the Mid-2000s – The List

Tokyo Tower – Toshiki Kadomatsu f/ King Pin Shahiem [The Infinity Rappers]
She’s Wild – Hiko f/ The Great Peso [Fearless Four] (US release)

1975; Pile Driver – Toshiki Kadomatsu f/ Rodney C [Funky 4 + 1]

I’m So Tired – Yasuaki Shimizu f/ Amad Henderson [Shango]

Return of the Original Art Form – Major Force / Hiroshi + K.U.D.O Featuring D.J. Milo [Wild Bunch] (UK)
Cold Getting Down – M.I.D. f/ MC B Myke, Keni (?)

Prop-Master’s Party!! – Kool D.J. Red Alert + Major Force Posse

Swinger – Mayo Nagata f/ Afrika Islam

From the East to the Quest – Takagi Kan [Tiny Panx] f/ Q-Tip [A Tribe Called Quest], Afrika Baby Bam [Jungle Brothers]
Kickin With the Kid – M.K. Fresh Connection f/ Kid Capri
Famous Last Words (EP) – 3 Stories High [D.O.G., Peter Gun, DOC]

Love Soljuh – DJ Yutaka f/ Baby Girl [H.W.A.]
World Beats – Jupiter Project [/Monchi Tanaka of M.I.D.] f/ Prince Whipper Whip
Listen to the Bass and Rhythm – DJ Yutaka f/ Prince Whipper Whip
Murdered Luv – B Fresh f/ Prince Whipper Whip, Baby Girl [H.W.A.]

Sayin’ Something – DJ Honda f/ Grandmaster Melle Mel, Prince Whipper Whip
Don’t Hold Back – Nokko f/ Maestro Fresh-Wes (CAN)
The Sixth Sense – United Future Organization f/ Rob Gallagher [Galliano] (UK)

Turn My Back – Hiroshi Fujiwara f/ Neneh Cherry (UK)
B-Boy Mastamind – DJ Krush f/ Guru [Gang Starr] (promo release 1993)
La Vie; Le Possédé – Silent Poets f/ Ménélik (FRA)
Another Root (Ménélik’s Rap Mix); Science Fiction (Ménélik’s Rap Edit Mix) – Nobukazu Takemura f/ Ménélik (FRA)

DJ Honda (album) – DJ Honda f/ Redman, Erick Sermon, Melle Mel, Gang Starr, Biz Markie, Volume 10, Naybahood Watch, Def Jef, Al’ Tariq, Fat Joe, The Beatnuts, Common, Donald D, Kurtis Blow, Prince Whipper Whip
Most Wanted Man – DJ Krush f/ Big Shug, Guru
Only the Strong Survive – DJ Krush f/ C.L. Smooth [Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth]
Meiso – DJ Krush f/ Black Thought, Malik B [The Roots]
Ground – DJ Krush f/ Deflon Sallahr [Alphabet Soup]
I Wanna Be Like You (Remix) – Pizzicato Five f/ Aboriginals
Icecream Meltin’ Mellow – Pizzicato Five f/ Treep [/Triip]
Funk it Up (Allstar Street Funk Mix) – Toshi Kubota f/ Yukmouth (unconfirmed)
Off We Go; Make it Happen – Downtech [/Takagi Kan] f/ Mike G [Jungle Brothers]
Kick & Loud – Geisha Girls f/ Baga Boom

Real – DJ Krush f/ Tragedy
Listen – DJ Krush f/ Shawn J. Period
Light (Can You See It?) – DJ Krush f/ Mos Def
Supanova – DJ Krush f/ Finsta Bundy
Shinjiro – DJ Krush f/ Mos Def
Straight Talk From NY – DJ Honda f/ Grand Puba, Sadat X, Wakeem
International Anthem – DJ Honda f/ Tha Alkaholiks
The End – DJ Honda f/ Al’ Tariq
Out For the Cash – DJ Honda f/ Al’ Tariq, Fat Joe, The Beatnuts, Problemz
Fuk Dat – DJ Honda f/ Black Attack
Kill the Noize – DJ Honda f/ Problemz
East New York Theory – Mixmaster G Flexx f/ Group Home & Brainsick Enterprize
Good For You (Radio Remix) – Seiko [Matsuda] f/ Tweed Cadillac [Mackadelics, Penthouse Players Clique] (US release)
Let’s Talk About It (R&B Street Mix) – Seiko [Matsuda] f/ (?) (US release)
Slow it Down (Beatminerz Remix) – Mondo Grosso f/ Shadez of Brooklyn (unconfirmed)
Just the Two of Us (So So Def Mix) – Toshi Kubota Duet With Caron Wheeler f/ Fiona

HII (album) – DJ Honda f/ De La Soul, Camp Lo, Black Attack, KRS-One, King Doe-V [/Truck Turner], Al’ Tariq, Dug Infinite, No I.D., Rawcotiks, The Beatnuts, Problemz, Cuban Link [Terror Squad], Juju [The Beatnuts], V.I.C.
BMT – Towa Tei f/ Biz Markie, Mos Def
Happy – Towa Tei f/ Bahamadia
Another Sound Museum – Sweet Robots Against the Machine [/Towa Tei] f/ Charlie Brown [Leaders of the New School]
こんなにも落ちこんでしまうなんて – Yukie f/ Camp Lo
Obscenity – INORAN f/ Malik B [The Roots]
Rat Race – INORAN f/ Roots Manuva (UK)
Blank Paper – Shing02 f/ Murs
In the Wee Wee Time – Natural Calamity f/ Kool Keith
Check L’Intellect – Silent Poets f/ EJM (FRA)
Realistic Love – E.G.G. Man [Soul Scream] f/ Kriminul [Jigmastas], Mr. Voodoo [Natural Elements], Hab I Scream [Soul Scream]

Another World – The Creators (UK) & Ambivalence f/ Mos Def, Talib Kweli [/Black Star]
You Know, I Know – The Creators (UK) & Ambivalence f/ Mike Zoot, F.T.
A Day Like Any Other Remix (A Day Like No Other) – El-P, Murs, Shing02, Yeshua daPoED
Pearl Harbor (English Tojo Mix) – DJ $hin & Shing02 f/ Bas-1
On the Mic – DJ Honda f/ A.L., Cuban Link, Juju [The Beatnuts], Missin’ Linx
Every Now & Then – DJ Honda f/ Infamous Syndicate
Travellin’ Man – DJ Honda f/ Mos Def
Hai! – DJ Honda f/ Keith Murray, 50 Grand [L.O.D.]
Fresh (Spinna’s Brown Stew Remix) – Yasushi Ide presents Lonesome Echo Strings f/ Kriminul [Jigmastas]
How to Walk in This World – E.G.G. Man f/ Mr. Voodoo [Natural Elements], Kriminul [Jigmastas], Hab I Scream
Can It – Flying Pupa f/ Natural Resource, Pumpkinhead
We Shine – Mixmaster G Flexx f/ Disciple, Len Da Barber, Logi Steve, Courtney Terry

Synchronicity (album) – [binational pairings of MC’s and beatmakers] f/ [US raps:] El Da Sensei, Prince Poetry, Matt Fingaz, Will Paack, Craig G, Mike Zoot, Consequence, P Dap, F.T., Wizdom Life, Punch-N-Words, Talib Kweli, [US beats:] Sha Self [/Sha Money XL], Sage Francis, P. Original, DJ Spinna, Nick Wiz
Honda2000 (album) – DJ Honda f/ Rawcotiks, Manifest, Missin’ Linx, S-On, Black Attack, Problemz, Supernatural, Mos Def
Someday; Prisons – Silent Poets f/ Anomolies
The Vinyl Athletes – Muro f/ A.G.
The Vinyl Athletes (Remixes) – Muro f/ A.G., Lord Finesse
Memory Seishun No Hikari – Morning Musume f/ L Da Headtoucha
It’s Alright – Mimi f/ Coolio
Free Style (DJ Spinna Mix) – Double f/ Kriminul [Jigmastas]
Sweet Time (Da Beatminerz Remix) – Double f/ Shortie No Mass
The Changing ~Electric Lady Mix~- Tak Matsumoto f/ Apani B. Fly (unconfirmed)
Nothing Without You; Bluesy Baby – Ram Jam World f/ Speech [Arrested Development]
The Dawn – DJ Krush f/ Shawn J. Period
Tatiana No Namida (EL-P “Tatiana” Remix) – Yasushi Ide presents Lonesome Echo Strings f/ El-P, BMS
Take it Easy – Ken Ishii f/ Mike Ladd
Kawamatastee (Lo) (Roots Manuva Remix And Revocal) – Hibahihi + Silent Poets f/ Roots Manuva (UK)
None Better (Brooklyncorner Version) – Flying Pupa f/ Mr. Live
Home (Prince Paul Remix) – Natural Calamity f/ MC Paul Barman
Kamikaze – Crown Lee f/ Freddie Foxxx, Prophet 21
Peoples Don’t Stray – Nujabes f/ Funky DL (UK)

United Nations (album) – DJ Yutaka f/ Afrika Bambaataa, Ras Kass, Chuck D, Professor Griff [Public Enemy], Ice-T, Donald D, Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mel, Prince Whipper Whip, Phil Da Agony, Tash [Tha Alkaholiks], Smooth B [Nice & Smooth], Akil [Jurassic 5]
Synchronicity 2nd Session (album) – [binational pairings of MC’s and beatmakers] f/ [raps:] Craig G, Asop [Living Legends], Smooth B [Nice & Smooth], Scaramanga [/Sir Menelik], Wise Intelligent [Poor Righteous Teachers], [beats:] Buckwild, Shawn J. Period, Eligh, 25 to Life
Once Upon a Rhyme in Japan – Nigo f/ Rakim
KFF 2000 – Nigo f/ GZA [Wu-Tang Clan], Prodigal Sunn [Sunz of Man]
Something For the People – Nigo f/ Biz Markie
Very Good My Friends – Nigo f/ The Beatnuts, E-Swinga
Born Again – DJ Tonk f/ Glory
Bushwicked – DJ Tonk f/ Finsta [Finsta Bundy]
Professional Paper Chaser – DJ Tonk f/ Sadat X, Alamo [Brand Nubian]
Take a Stand – DJ Tonk f/ 5FT [Black Moon]
Now and Forever – DJ Tonk f/ Afu-Ra
Rock Da House 2000 – DJ Beat f/ Donald D
Miss Risin’ Sun – DJ Beat f/ Bootie Brown [The Pharcyde]
Type Nice – DJ Beat f/ Arsonists
Listen What? – DJ Beat f/ Afu-Ra
Bounce – DJ Hasebe f/ Mos Def
Phife’s Speech; Committed – Ambivalence f/ Phife [A Tribe Called Quest]
The Indictment (Hood vs State); The One That Got Away – Ambivalence f/ Consequence, Menace
This Is What You Get – Ambivalence f/ Buckshot [Black Moon]
On It – Ambivalence f/ Rahzel
Red Light Green Light; J-Live’s Speech – Ambivalence f/ J-Live
Tokyo Dream – DJ Yas f/ Asop [Living Legends)]
One Warning – DJ Yas f/ Smooth B (unconfirmed)
Across The Globe – DJ Yas f/ El Da Sensei, Rino Latina II
Universal Music – DJ Hasebe f/ Speech [Arrested Development]
Side to Side – DJ Hasebe f/ Doug E. Fresh, Rahzel
Lyrical Tyrants – Muro f. Diamond D, O.C.
Patch up the Pieces – Muro f. Freddie Foxxx
希少情報 (Hydraulic Funk Mix) – Twigy f/ Afrika Bambaataa
Never Turn Back – Toshi Kubota f/ Pras [Fugees]
Masquerade (Rez Remix) – Toshi Kubota f/ Punch & Words
On the Mic – Shing02, DJ $hin, Bas-1 f/ Pismo
Lyrical Terrorists – Nujabes f/ Substantial, L Universe [/Verbal]
Werdz – Flying Pupa f/ Choclair, Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates (CAN)
Reign of the Tec 2000 – YKZ f/ The Beatnuts
All Day – Kriminul & DJ Celory [Soul Scream]
That’s What I’m Made Of – Ken Sport f/ J-Treds
D.P.G. Records – DS455 f/ Daz Dillinger
Cross Over – Namie Amuro f/ Poppa LQ

HIII (album) – DJ Honda f/ PMD, M.O.P., Headcrack, Triple Seis [Terror Squad], Donny Midnite, Manifest, Buttah [Rawcotiks], Marly Gatz, The Beatnuts, Willie Stubz, Agallah, J-Boogie, RahSun, Rob Jackson, Teflon, Gravediggaz, Jeru The Damaja, Black Attack, Nashawn [/Millennium Thug], Saigon
Zen Approach – DJ Krush f/ Black Thought
Vision of Art – DJ Krush f/ Company Flow
Whut’s Da Solution – DJ Krush / Kukoo Da Baga Bonez
The International Rhyme Killers – DJ Yutaka f/ B-Real [Cypress Hill], Rappagariya
Revenge – DJ Yutaka f/ Guru
Dondi ‘N’ Grand Mizza – DJ Yutaka f/ Donald D, Grandmaster Caz
From New York to Tokyo – Nigo f/ Flavor Flav
Symphony No. 25910 (23 Skidoo Remix) – Nigo f/ MCD (UK)
Say “I Gotta Believe!” – De La Soul f/ Double
Messing With My Head – Nujabes f/ Pase Rock [Five Deez], L Universe [/Verbal]
Your Reality’s a Fantasy But Your Fantasy Is Killing Me – Boom Boom Satellites f/ Chuck D
What’s Da Deal – Ambivalence f/ Phife [A Tribe Called Quest]
Love Music – DJ Beat f/ Souls of Mischief
Expo Expo – m-flo f/ Bahamadia, Chops [Mountain Brothers], Towa Tei
Lyrical Tyrants (From Local to Global) – Muro f/ O.C.
Confessions (Of Three Men) – Dose One, Shing02, Doc Maxwell, Kirby Dominant
2 Many Stars – Crown Lee f/ Pete Rock, B-Bandj

Underground Connection (album) – DJ Honda & PMD f/ Erick Sermon, 275, Don Fuquan, J-Boogie, Rob Jackson, Buttah [Rawcotiks]
Galaxy Part 1 – DJ Tonk f/ Insight, Asiah
Beautiful – DJ Tonk f/ Raashan Ahmad [Crown City Rockers]
Innerspace – DJ Tonk f/ The Procussions
Spread Love – DJ Tonk f/ Rasco, Mista Sinista
All Come Back – DJ Tonk f/ Deux Process
Lyrical Surgery – DJ Tonk f/ Afu-Ra
白夜 – Tsubaki f/ Tony Touch
Lifeology – ShiinaBand f/ Afu-Ra
Crypto – Jay Dee [/J Dilla] & DJ Uppercut
Love – Lonesome Echo Production f/ Apani B. Fly
Sword Heads – DJ Hazu f/ Jeru The Damaja, Nipps
Daggers & Darts – Ken Sport f/ J-Treds
Jebidiah – DJ Quietstorm f/ Murs, Luckyiam.PSC, Basik MC [Living Legends]
Supreme Team – DJ Krush f/ Antipop Consortium
Song For John Walker – DJ Krush f/ anticon
Raw Basement – DJ Tonk f/ Chops [Mountain Brothers], Zion I
No Game – DJ Tonk f/ Cocoa Brovaz [/Smif-N-Wessun]
Love Song – DJ Hasebe f/ Biz Markie
Organik Swamp – Blue Smith [Kankawa] f/ Malik B [The Roots]

Material Curse – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Promoe [Looptroop] (SWE)
Pursuits of Clarity – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Agape (CAN)
Do Right – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Rich Medina
Stolen Moments – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Audessey the Sound Sci [Mass Influence]
Feelin’ Alright (We’ve Got to Have It) – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Rapper Big Pooh, Phonte [Little Brother]
Tokyo – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ K-Otix
Blessing It (Remix) – Nujabes f/ Substantial, Pase Rock [Five Deez]
Think Different – Nujabes f/ Substantial
Lady Brown – Nujabes f/ Cise Starr [CYNE]
Laws – Apani B. Fly (p. Nujabes)
Freak Da Club – Aki-la f/ Snoop Dogg
City of Angeles – Aki-la f/ Ice-T
Last Words – A.I. f/ Joe Budden
Keep it Movin’ – DS455 f/ Frost
213 to Tha 052 – Phobia of Thug f/ Frost
South Central to Saitama – S.S.G. f/ L.V.
3, 2, 1 – DJ $hin f/ Raashan Ahmad [Crown City Rockers]
Japan – Shing02, DJ $hin, Bas-1
Stay Strong – Mr. Beats [DJ Celory] f/ Apani B. Fly
Kaneda’s Theme – El-P + Ambivalence
21MC – Romero SP f/ Triptik (FRA), Smooth B [Nice & Smooth], other
Told Ya (Ark Teck Cartoon Variation) – BCBA [Buckshot, Cocoa Brovaz, Ambivalence]

Samurai Champloo Music Record – Departure / Impression (albums) – Nujabes, Fat Jon, Force of Nature
Tom Sellack; Cicada – DJ Quietstorm f/ Eligh, Luckyiam.PSC [Living Legends]
Put ‘Em in the Air; Bang the Drum – DJ Quietstorm f/ Omni [Gershwin BLX]
Life Itself – DJ Quietstorm f/ Afro Classics [/Scarub & Very]
Kill Switch – DJ Krush f/ Aesop Rock
Nosferatu – DJ Krush f/ Mr. Lif
Got Skills Galore (Grooveman Spot Remix) – Martiangang f/ Insight, Dagha [Electric Company]
Miami Vice – Martiangang f/ Time Machine
Living For Today – Toshi [Kubota] f/ Mos Def
Rush Hour; In the City – II-J f/ Foesum
L.A.L.A. – DJ Yutaka f/ LOWD
M.O.O.D. For Otis (Remix) – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Medaphoar
Cheddar Check – DJ Hide f/ Lumba Blackwood [Rubberoom]

Street Revolution (album) – U.C. a/k/a DJ Uppercut f/ Rosco P. Goldchain, Wildchild, Fatlip, Omni, Dave Ghetto, O.C.
Mad Drama – DJ Honda f/ Raekwon [Wu-Tang Clan], 565, GDX, Twigy, 山田マン
Infamous – DJ Honda f/ Infamous Mobb
Beginning to End – DJ Honda f/ PMD
Victory – DJ Honda f/ K-Solo
Rep Da R.I. – DJ Honda f/ Black Attack
XL; Backpacker – Breakthrough f/ Count Bass D
Thought Process – Breakthrough f/ Grap Luva [InI]
This Way Before – Breakthrough f/ Maspyke
No Game; Not Tomorrow But – Breakthrough f/ Jneiro Jarel
D.T.F.N. – Nujabes f/ Cise Starr
Feather – Nujabes f/ Cise Starr, Akin Yai [CYNE]
Thank You – Nujabes f/ Apani B. Fly [Polyrhythm Addicts]
Eclipse – Nujabes f/ Substantial
Side Step – Himuki f/ Omni [Gerswhin BLX]
Bonez – Himuki f/ Omni, Molman [Gerswhin BLX]
No Title – Kaijin f/ Motion Man
Shin Shoku – Kaijin f/ Jihad
Universal Mind – Bun f/ Grand The Visitor [Homeliss Derilex]
I Don’t Play That – 565 f/ Grafh
酒祭り – 565 f/ Nashawn
東京One – Hannya f/ Nashawn
Yeah Y’all – DJ Mitsu the Beats f/ Kev Brown, Roddy Rod [Maspyke]
Remember? – Himuki f/ Dizzy Dustin [Ugly Duckling]
Letter – Ai Morioku f/ Ja Rule
JPN – BIGZ f/ Kokane

My Underground Life – Frequent Flyers [/DJ Tonk] f/ Pismo
All Night – Frequent Flyers [/DJ Tonk] f/ The Procussions
Turn the Party Out – Frequent Flyers [/DJ Tonk] f/ Braille, Ohmega Watts [Lightheaded]
Reform – Frequent Flyers [/DJ Tonk] f/ Othello [Lightheaded]
One Life – Frequent Flyers [/DJ Tonk] f/ Disco [Homeless Nation]
The Blow – Grooveman Spot f/ Capital A
Hadesugiru; Benzaiten Love – Grooveman Spot f/ Count Bass D
Time For the Essence – Grooveman Spot f/ Grap Luva [InI]
Turn it Up – Grooveman Spot f/ MED
Who’s This – Grooveman Spot f/ Invincible (CAN)
Maintain – Grooveman Spot f/ O.C.
The Extravaganza – Muro f/ Kool G Rap, Young Chris [Young Gunz]
Mr. Pitiful 2006 – Muro f/ Prodigy [Mobb Deep]
The Roosevelts – Muro f/ Ghostface Killah, Raekwon [Wu-Tang Clan], Trife Da God
So Cool – Muro f/ De La Soul, Lunch Time Speax
In L.A. – Cradle f/ Fresh Air, Alexx Daye
Beautiful Thang – Cradle f/ Legendary K.O. [/K-Otix]
Never Forget Action – Cradle f/ Collective Efforts, Dillon, H2O, Pgnut
Til the Morning – Cradle f/ Captions
Bigg Thang ~Sukiyaki Western~ – DS455 f/ Slow Pain
Play On – DJ Deckstream f/ Pep Love [Hieroglyphics]
Beautiful – DJ Tonk f/ Raashan Ahmad [Crown City Rockers]
Shallow Nights Blurry Moon (album) – ShinSight Trio (Shin-Ski [Martiangang], Insight, DJ Ryow) f/ Edo.G
You Feel Me (Dais West Coast Mix) – Asami f/ Suga Free
Oh! – Satomi’ f/ Doc Brown (UK release)

It’s All Real – Shin-Ski f/ The Procussions
Elements – Shin-Ski f/ Dagha [Electric Company]
Koyoi – Shin-Ski f/ Apani B. Fly [Polyrhythm Addicts]
Time – Shin-Ski f/ Othello [Lightheaded]
Have You Been a Good Girl – Shin-Ski f/ Funky DL (UK)
Let You Slide – Shin-Ski f/ Louis Logic
You Did it Again – Shin-Ski f/ Insight
Rough Draft – Shin-Ski f/ Time Machine
Peace of Mind – Shin-Ski f/ Melodee (NL)
Innversion – Himuki f/ Kero One
Alright – Himuki f/ Raashan Ahmad [Crown City Rockers]
Keep On – Himuki f/ Rasco
Hold On – Himuki f/ Sene
If I Was Peace – Nomak f/ Fat Jon
Elemental Music; Radiant – Nomak f/ Melodee (NL)
Time of Reflect – Nomak f/ Tor (UK)
Hi, Mom! ~A Prayer For World Peace~ – Nomak f/ Abstract Rude [Freestyle Fellowship]
Geishas in the Days; One Fist; 1st Commandment Is… – Nomak f/ Pismo
Keep On – DJ Kentaro f/ The Pharcyde (UK release)
Free – DJ Kentaro f/ MC Spank Rock (UK release)
Let it Go – DJ Kentaro f/ Fat Jon (UK release)
His Name Is… – Twigy f/ Murs, The Grouch [Living Legends]
Rockin’ It – Twigy f/ Del the Funkee Homosapien, You The Rock
City Wings – Big-O & DJ Watarai f/ Lupe Fiasco
Speak My Mind; Get Priority – Big-O & DJ Watarai f/ O.C.
Run Away Love – Double f/ Lupe Fiasco
I Still Love H.E.R. – Teriyaki Boyz [Ilmari, Ryo-Z, Verbal, Wise] f/ Kanye West
The City – Dela f/ J-Live, Surreal
2 Way Street (EP) – B.I.G. Joe ‘n’ El Sadiq [/Divine Dubar]