Slept On Sunday: Nujabes

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Rest in peace, to the legendary producer/DJ, Nujabes. It’s Sunday and Nujabes is still slept on.

For those that don’t know, Nujabes was a Japanese producer active in the early 2000s. Though his life and career were short, he left a huge imprint on a big subculture of producers and hip hop fans alike. It’s not often that Nujabes gets the love he deserves in popular hip hop conversations and it’s rare to hear him mentioned in conversations about the “greatest of all time.”

Some of my favorite tracks from him are “Lady Brown,” “Luv(Sic) pt 3,” “Kunomi,” and “and Blessing It.”

Of course, music is subjective, but why is it that such a great producer was so slept on? For one, he existed in a different circle than a lot of our favorites. Nujabes was, and is still, well known in anime circles because he produced the soundtrack for the popular program “Samurai Champloo.”

That show and the culture surrounding it has done a lot to keep his name alive.

He was also a huge influence in the lo-fi Hip Hop scene that has become so popular today. A lot of his work was purely instrumental and his beats are heavily jazz sampled. They’re chill, dreamy, and sometimes venture outside of Hip Hop completely.

He occupied a very similar space to J-Dilla in the Japanese music scene, but in my opinion, he is still often slept on. If you haven’t had the chance to check out Nujabes’ music, now is your chance to wake up. For the lo-fi heads, he might even be your next favorite.

Check out other Slept On Sundays here.

Sam Mandell

Sam Mandell

Guitarist/producer originally from Harrison, New York. Currently based in Queens.

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