Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Japanese Hip -Hop producer Nujabes. I wrote a tribute to him a while back, you should read it
Rest in Peace Nujabes
Coming in at Number 3 is Aurarian Dance by Nujabes. Pronounced new-jah-bes
Nujabes is a Japanese hip-hop producer. Now let me clear up any confusion you might have, I know the only exposure most of people might have to the Japanese Hip hop industry is the song “Tokyo Drift” by Teriyaki Boys from the Movie Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift but I’m here to tell you, don’t judge Nujabes on that (admittedly awesome) song. He doesn’t actually rap, he makes beats. I’m not trying to justify this mans talents, I’m just clearing up any confusions or misconceptions anyone might have.
Nujabes was born Jun Seba. He frequently collaborated with many American and Japanese underground hip hop acts. His beats are regarded as cutting edge and very out of the box. He channels some jazz influences in his work.
I discovered Nujabes song Aurarian Dance from the anime “Samurai Champloo”, (its a blend of Samurai and hip hop influences) for which Nujabes provided the sound track. I always knew Samurai Champloo and I always
heard about the shows legendary soundtrack but I never bothered to listen. I have a schedule when it comes to anime and Samurai Champloo was actually scheduled for the end of the year (next week actually) at the time of discovering Nujabes music.
Now here comes the hard part, I discovered Nujabes music in death, he was involved in a car accident and died on the 26th of February this year. I woke up that morning as usual and I decided to read my usual blogs, and there it was in big bold letters “SAMURAI CHAMPLOO MUSIC PRODUCER IS DEAD!”. I clicked on the article and read through it immediately and all that was left to do after was play his song.
I had NEVER listened to that song prior to that day and the moment I finished listening to it, I had tears in my eyes, I have tears in my eyes while I’m writing this to be honest.
Aurarian Dance is such a beautiful song. Its so relaxing to listen to. This is one of those songs you can just put on and feel free, like all the burden in your life is has been lifted away, its only you and the song. This song genuinely makes me happy. This is the song I play when I get home from a very stressful day. This is the song I play when I want to have a good nights rest. This song is so wishful, hopeful and optimistic yet calming and relaxing. The mellow beat coupled with the optimistic Violin and wonderful piano make you realize that life is a precious thing and something you must enjoy.
Of course Aurarian Dance isnt his only great song. There are loads of amazing songs from Nujabes, some gems include:
To Impress the Empress: The song starts with this beautiful piano piece and you hear a voice asking ”so what have you tried lately?” , *the song starts to intensify* “thats a start…thats good” “because here, you can do anything you want, no matter how crazy it is” The drums and beat kick in, its just beautiful.
Mystline: A song primary characterize by this enchanting and haunting piano piece. Listening to this song is like going on a voyage of wonder and discovery.
Counting Stars: The strings in this song are just gorgeous. its such a wonderful and calming melody.
The Space between Two Worlds: The beat on this song comes in immediately, and it comes in hard, its ecstatic yet calming.
Battlecry: This song was used as the opening theme for Samurai Champloo and features rapper Shing02, who can rap in both English and Japanese. This man is a lyrical genius. His word play is on point and the Nujabes beat is the icing on the cake. I’m sorry I just have to post Shin02 lyrics from battle cry so you guys can understand how good the man is
“Sharp Like An Edge Of A Samurai Sword
The Mental Blade Cut Through Flesh And Bone
Though My Mind’s At Peace, The World Out Of Order
Missing The Inner Heat, Life Gets Colder
Oh Yes, I Have To Find My Path
No Less, Walk On Earth, Water, And Fire
The Elements Compose A Magnum Opus
My Modus Is Operandi Is Amalgam
Steel Packed Tight In Microchip
On My Arm A Sign Of All-Pro
The Ultimate Reward Is Honor, Not Awards
At Odds With The Times In Wars With No Lords
A Battle Cry Of A Hawk Make A Dove Fly And A Tear Dry
Wonder Why A Lone Wolf Don’t Run With A Clan
Only Trust Your Instincts And Be One With The Plan”
I suggest you go hunt out these songs……
I honestly cant write anymore or I’m going to start crying.
You can listen to Auraran Dance below.
I only hope this song comes to mean as much to you as it does to me.
Frankly, if you are a fan of Hip Hop, you are a fan of Nujabes