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About Nujabes

Japanese DJ and producer Nujabes created chilled-out songs from vintage jazz and soul samples and became a pioneering figure in the lo-fi hip-hop movement. • Born February 7, 1974—the same day as famed American producer J Dilla—Nujabes arrived at his stage name by spelling his birth name backwards. • Nujabes began taking beatmaking seriously in 1998, the same year he founded his Hydeout Productions label. • In 1999, Nujabes released his debut single, “Ain’t No Mystery,” featuring Japanese rapper L Universe. • Rising NYC rapper Substantial traveled to Tokyo in 2000 to work with Nujabes on the collaborative album To This Union a Son Was Born, released the following year. • Nujabes dropped his solo debut, Metaphorical Music, in 2003, followed by Modal Soul two years later. • In 2000, Nubajes teamed up with Japanese American rapper Shing02 on “Luv(sic),” which wound up being the first song in a six-part series. • Nujabes created music for the popular anime series Samurai Champloo, which ran from 2004 to 2005. The show mixed hip-hop culture with a feudal Japanese setting. • Nujabes was killed in a traffic accident on February 26, 2010, at the age of 36. • Shing02 released the final three “Luv(sic)” installments after Nujabes’ death. The “Grand Finale” was built from a finished beat discovered on the late producer’s phone. • Since Nujabes’ death, rappers like SahBabii and Joey Bada$$ have name-checked him in songs.

Tokyo, Japan
February 19, 1974
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