A couple of months ago, I began obsessively listening to Brooklyn rap duo (slash trio, if you include hypeman Dapwell) Das Racist, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend, who hates dumb rap. They have released two mixtapes to date – Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man – and each of them features one track sampling a Japanese artist.

The first, “I Don’t Wanna Deal With Those Monsters” (featured on Shut Up, Dude) samples Mai Ueda, who isn’t necessarily a recording artist, but “an artist and free thinker who explores her sensitivity and talent in different media.” The sample comes from one of her so-called shower songs, which aren’t songs bogged down with arrangement, storytelling, or even instruments, but rather very short, often one-line ditties repeated a few times before the track ends.


The second song, “Rapping 2 U” (featured on Sit Down, Man) is produced by Sha-leik the Engineer and uses the well-known Nujabes x MINMI tune “Song of Four Seasons” off the Samurai Champloo soundtrack to good effect.



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