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Tue, 8 May '12

Otakucore: Hip-Hop for Anime Heads

Disproving rap's bad rep amongst otaku.

Between the Vocaloid craze, visual kei and idol groups like AKB48, it doesn't take Detective Conan to figure out that music is a large part of our enjoyment of Japanese culture. Given the popularity of the video game beatsmiths at OverClocked ReMix, Samurai Champloo's hip-hop-laden soundtrack and Gurren Lagann's power-fighting anthem, one would think that an inherently referential genre like hip-hop would have more traction amongst anime fans. For some reason though, the sample-based sounds never seemed to catch on among otaku. Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you, sifting through tons of anime and Asian pop culture-influenced tracks to find three artists that are worthy of an otaku's ears.

Mega Ran - Raheem Jarbo isn't your average teacher; he's also a talented rapper with a deep-seated passion for video games. Between stellar works like his Final Fantasy VII-inspired Black Materia and Journey: A Hip-Hop Excursion, Mega Ran shows how thoughtful lyrics and deft remixing can enhance, and even elevate, the source material.

Richie Branson - Unlike the would-be kings on Game of Thrones, Richie Branson's production credits for Ruff Ryders and Def Jam, and lifelong Gundam obsession give him the pedigree to back up the self-proclaimed Otaku King's claim to the throne. When you consider that he has been releasing new anime-inspired jams (like today's ultrasmooth #BringBackToonami anthem) for free each Tuesday, it looks like a coronation might just be in order. 

Bun/Fumitake Tamura - Proving that lyrics aren't everything, Japanese beatsmith Bun (also known as Fumitake Tamura) crafts lush, hypnotic soundscapes that sample everything from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho to classical Japanese instruments. All we're saying is give this guy an anime OST and you can thank us later.

Who is your favorite otakucore rapper or DJ? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus

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