Tsubaki A rapper in the center of Japanese hip-hop scenes.

Tsubaki hip hop

Tsubaki A rapper in the center of Japanese hip-hop scenes.

Tsubaki From Okinawa to the brains of the listener.


I don’t know how much Japanese rap music is known in the hip-hop scenes of US, UK and EU countries. I began to digit music at the trigger of US punk rock in the 1990s. First of all, my older brother’s room. Next, I exchange CDs with my friends. When I was a high school student I was digging the sound source of Rancid and Operation Ivy at a used record shop.
While I was doing that, I met US middle school hip hop. Of course I was addicted.

If you are interested in Japanese hip-hop and like the sound source that I introduce, please follow the artist’s SNS and buy albums. Japan’s hip hop is as cool as the US and the EU. There is no win or loss here. Surely, there is only listeners’ likes or dislikes.

※ The translation of lyrics in this article is not by artists. It is my personal translation.

唾奇(Tsubaki)道-TAO- prod by. TNG

I’d like you to listen to this song. This song is one of the reasons Tsubaki was recognized as a Japanese hip-hop listener. Of course, he would have already known his skills and lyrics from local fellows and audiences in local Okinawa. However, this song “TAO” is necessary to tell about his current success.

“TAO” means road or street. Japanese often grasp life as a road. For example, the word “road” is also used for Bushido. The Japanese feel something emotional about the word road. Hip hop is music born on street, culture. In other words, Tsubaki is singing over the road and frustration and suffering in his life.

There is such lyric on the hook of this song.

――Baby, I’m shaken by the cradle and snoozed.
Even if I trip, I’m not interested in BAD. I will return as usual.

In addition to this song, the tracks of Tsubaki’s songs have many chill sounds. His lyric sticks into such a relaxed sound.

Tsubaki hip hop

唾奇(Tsubaki) × Sweet William / Made my day

There is a track maker that is indispensable for talking about Tsubaki.
It’s Sweet William.

The sounds born from Native Instruments and various equipment feel influences from jazz and soul music. The song “Made My Day” samples phrases Sweet William played on the piano and uses those played at high speed. As a result, the piano phrase is like a baroque sound. However, at the hook, the phrase of jazz piano of normal speed is flowing.

Even if I (we) live seriously, my friends also cause troubles in town.
We go through the streets just like unbendable words.
Straight. TRIP with running.
DOPE That time.
I’m wrapped in a deep high and my skeleton is made.
It flows at the speed of sound.
So long.


How was songs of Tsubaki? I am satisfied if you are interested in Japanese hip-hop. I am a journalist, a punk rocker and a hip-hop writer. If you want to know more detailed information, it would be better to digitize Tsubaki’s songs and live footage.

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