Nujabes

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Nujabes
Native name 瀬葉淳
Birth name Seba Jun
Born (1974-02-07)February 7, 1974
Origin Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Died February 26, 2010(2010-02-26) (aged 36)
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Genres Instrumental hip hop, trip hop, nu jazz, jazz rap, acid jazz, Japanese jazz
Occupation(s) Producer, DJ, composer, arranger
Years active 1996–2010
Labels Hydeout Productions
Associated acts Substantial, Uyama Hiroto, Shing02, Five Deez, Terry Callier, FunkyDL, Cise Starr
Website Hydeout Productions

Jun Seba (瀬葉淳 Seba Jun, February 7, 1974 – February 26, 2010), born in the Nishi-Azabu district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan, was a Japanese hip hop producer and DJ who recorded under the name Nujabes (ヌジャベス Nujabesu). Nujabes /ˈnudʒɑːbɛs/ was an anagram of his name, being the reverse spelling of Seba Jun. He was the owner of the Shibuya record stores, T Records and Guinness Records and founder of the independent label Hydeout Productions. His style mixes hip hop, rap and jazz samples. Nujabes collaborated with other Japanese artists such as Uyama Hiroto, Shing02 (with whom he created the critically acclaimed "Luv(sic)" hexalogy), Minmi, and was also involved with America's underground hip hop scene through collaboration with CYNE, Apani B, Five Deez, Substantial, CL Smooth, Fat Jon, and Terry Callier. In his career he released five studio albums (Metaphorical Music in 2003, Samurai Champloo Music Record: Departure and Impression in 2004, Modal Soul in 2005, and Spiritual State which was incomplete upon his death released by Hydeout Productions in 2011).[1] One of his most recognizable works is that of the background music for Shinichirō Watanabe's series Samurai Champloo.

On February 26, 2010 Jun Seba died in a traffic accident.[2] Following his death numerous tributes were made by other artists from around the world (including his own label Hydeout Productions).

Career

Nujabes was best known for his approach to hip hop beats, often blending jazz influences into his songs creating a mellow, nostalgic and atmospheric sound. He sampled a wide range of instruments and genres to create a soothing vibe. In addition to Japanese artists like Uyama Hiroto, Shing02, L-Universe, and Minmi, Nujabes collaborated with various underground American hip hop acts such as CYNE, Cise Starr (as a solo apart from the hip-hop collective CYNE), Apani B, Five Deez, Substantial, CL Smooth, Fat Jon, Terry Callier as well as British rapper Funky DL. He was also a member of the production duo Urbanforest, an experimental collaboration with Nao T.[3]

Nujabes was one of the most prolific contributors to the background music and soundtracks of Samurai Champloo, an anime which blends a feudal Japan setting with modern anachronisms, especially in regard to hip hop culture such as graffiti and rapping.[4]

Nujabes collaborated with Shing02 on the critically acclaimed "Luv(sic)" hexalogy. They made parts 1-3 together, but after Seba's death many doubted that the series could ever be completed. However, parts 4 and 5 had already been completed, and were released shortly after Nujabes' death. Although part 6 was not among the previously completed tracks, it was released on February 26, 2013, 3 years after the day Seba had died. According to Shing02's official Facebook page, the instrumental to what would eventually be part 6 was discovered on Nujabes' cell phone a few weeks after his death.[5]

Death

On February 26, 2010, Seba Jun was involved in a traffic accident upon exiting the Shuto Expressway late at night. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Shibuya Ward after efforts to revive him failed.[6][7]

Legacy

Nujabes' death has warranted many tributes from other artists around the world. On Bandcamp, the New York based Digi Crates records have released a series of tribute albums performed by various artists in a style reminiscent of Seba's.[8] In addition, Nujabes' former label Hydeout Productions released a tribute album titled Modal Soul Classics II featuring a number of former collaborators and with lyrics and song titles referencing select tracks from both Modal Soul and Metaphorical Music, such as the track "Music is Ours", which directly references "Music is Mine", the 5th track of Modal Soul.

Frequent collaborator Shing02 has performed at many tribute concerts to the late DJ,[9][10] and has remarked that "Through his soulful music, Nujabes has touched so many people around the world, even beyond his dreams", and "[I] deeply regret the loss of a unique talent and a close friend."[11]

In 2013 Australian producer Ta-ku released the Tribute "25 Nights for Nujabes"[12]

Daniel Hodgman, founder of hip hop culture website BonusCut, in a 2014 highlight of Nujabes' Modal Soul has claimed that, "Nujabes may not be physically with us anymore, but through his music, his legacy and lust for life lives on". Co-founder Gus Navarro remarked that, "The music of the late producer Nujabes is something to hold onto and never let go."[13]

Discography

Studio albums

Album information
Metaphorical Music
  • Released: August 21, 2003
Samurai Champloo Music Record: Departure
  • Released: June 23, 2004
Samurai Champloo Music Record: Impression
  • Released: September 16, 2004
Modal Soul
  • Released: November 11, 2005
Spiritual State
  • Released: December 3, 2011

Compilation Albums

Album information
Hydeout Productions 1st Collection
  • Released: April 23, 2003
Hydeout Productions 2nd Collection
  • Released: November 11, 2007
Modal Soul Classics
  • Released: June 6, 2008
Mellow Beats, Friends & Lovers
  • Released: June 10, 2009 with Uyama Hiroto, Naoki Maeda, Dwele, Golden Boy, Sora, Takagi Masakatsu, Kuniyuki Takahashi and Rei Harakami
Modal Soul Classics II
  • Released: November 11, 2010 A Tribute Album

EPs and Singles

  • 1999: Ain't No Mystery
  • 2002-2013: Luv (Sic) Part 1 - Part 6
  • 2003: Lady Brown 12"
  • 2015: Perfect Circle (With Shing02)

Albums Produced in Collaboration with Other Artists

Official Mixtapes

  • 1998: Sweet Sticky Thing
  • 2002: Ristorante Mixtape: Nujabes

References

  1. "Nujabes, Spiritual State". Sputnik Music. Retrieved 26 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. James Hadfield (February 24, 2015). "Nujabes' friends to pay tribute to the soulful hip-hop producer on the fifth anniversary of his death". The Japan Times. Retrieved May 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. (Japanese) Hydeout Productions Information on Nujabes' Metaphorical Music and Other Works
  4. Shinichiro Watanabe; Kazuto Nakazawa (2007). ROMAN ALBUM: Samurai Champloo. Mangaglobe/Shimoigusa Champloos, Dark Horse Comics Inc. p. 55. ISBN 1-59307-642-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Shing02 (April 2, 2012). "History and future of Luv(sic) series". Shing02's official Facebook page. Retrieved May 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Japanese Hip-Hop producer Nujabes dies". Inquisitir. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Nujabes died in fatal car accident". The Find. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. http://digicrates.bandcamp.com/album/tribute-to-jun-5-midnight-hanabi-nujabes-tribute
  9. http://www.ticketfly.com/event/762421-tribute-for-nujabes-shing02-los-angeles/
  10. http://www.greenteagraffiti.com/honoring-a-legendary-producer-at-the-nujabes-tribute-show/
  11. "Jun Seba aka Nujabes, Rest In Peace - 2010 'til inifinity". empire22. March 17, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/sets/25-nights-for-nujabes
  13. http://bonuscut.com/2014/01/15/album-of-the-week-modal-soul-by-nujabes/

External links