Let’s Mix It up a Little: When Idol Goes Hip-hop

Stop your complaining! These days, if it isn’t BiS/H, it’s Babymetal, with sprinklings of other stuff. It’s not my fault that a whole bunch of the idol world is just doing a bunch of shows and festivals right now, or having heartbreaking last one-mans; if I want to keep things moving, and ON A SUNDAY, I gotta get creative.

This post was inspired by the following message from our good friend and fellow Know Your BiStory conspirator @weeaboowitch:

Yep, we manage to include BiS in everything anymore.

That’s right. It’s time to talk hip-hop idols.

To YET AGAIN cite the project parallel to this one that I still have every intention of launching someday, I want hip-hop idols front and center on it. See, what you may not know about me, I like music. Like, I’m terrible at being a genre snob. I can get a little bit particular about what-makes-this-song-Genre-X, but that’s about it. Music is good! Like, just about all of it! I even spent most of yesterday afternoon listening to Hank 3 while catching up on yard work. Music!

I encourage everybody to adopt that orientation, in other words.

And once you do, wow, look at the world that opens up. You might even begin to enjoy Japanese pop singers doing heavy metal!


I had originally wanted to do a sort of master introduction to a few of the groups that I’m about to show off here, but I figure, let’s keep it brief. Give everybody something to listen to and react. Maybe meet the world’s biggest lyrical school fan.

RHYMEBERRY is great at what they do. And this is the kind of hip-hop that I most get into, using samples and fuller instrumentation for a thicker beat, and having more melody in the vocals. That DiS stuff above, same story. Basically, I think the world is better with Outkast in it.

You’re wrong if you don’t immediately love this song. Sorry. 963 actually mixes it up a little bit, but they dig into tracks like this and hold on, and it’s great.

lyrical school is great casual get-together music, and I mean that as a compliment. You can set a mood in a hurry with songs like this.

Ayukuma does party music like Andrew WK; Charisma.com (more here!) brings together a rave, a Tricky tribute night and mixes comfortable for the after-dinner crowd at your local tapas place. More “trip” than “hip,” but a classic DJ/MC lineup and … just enjoy the beats, all right?

I have no idea if Izumi Makura is or isn’t idol, I just know that this is a great little song.

This one doesn’t count, but Especia incorporates a lot of hip-hop elements into their trance-meets-vaporwave-meets-Miami Vice sound, and also they’re goddamn amazing and need more people to like them. They’re besties with Negicco. There is nothing not to love here.

This is still an emerging phenomenon — J-pop isn’t nearly as infused with R&B as K-pop, and rap is easy enough to incorporate into other kinds of music that it’s an easy acquisition for idol — but a neat enough development. May it grow and prosper!

11 thoughts on “Let’s Mix It up a Little: When Idol Goes Hip-hop

    • I didn’t imply! I left it up to fate. I don’t know how it works for everybody … sheesh … C-could you ask her to cut me some slack?

      Also, how did you and boans both comment on the same thing, but in no way to each other?

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