If you are familiar with names such as KOHH, Anarchy, ISSUGI or the likes of them before, you probably already know kiLLa. If you are someone like me who has never had any exposure to Japanese hip-hop, start with kiLLa.
This mysterious rap clique hasn’t made it as a group to the Tokyo hip-hop scene until recently with very limited official works, but already had some thousands of hardcore fans and a 200k view approaching music video which I am immediately infatuated with.
This song “SHINE” is from their first EP ” kiLLa EP vol 1 ”. The video shows all members going bananas on the midnight street by a bunch of dumpsters on camera. Entering with kZm whirling in that stoned face, the strong beat has set the manner of insanity. Then this guy named Kepha who looks like Oshinari Shugo’s brother starts the second verse right off the wall with his unexpected sick flow.
The highlight of the video however, is that Blaise, who appears in the middle of the video with his dope Japanese lines, is a freaking braided African American. Arjuna is the other black member emerged at the end of the video wrapping up with equally perfect delivery.
With all the major labels still pausing and pondering with “real” hip-hop music popularization due to cultural rift and audience orientation reasons, the boost of underground hip-hop has shown us that ditching the mainstream channels did not even result in any withering of the market, but almost drove these musicians to an alternative way to awareness and popularity.
Their second EP “kiLLa vol.2 Summer – EP” is out now.The album work is done by group member, No Flower. Purchase on iTunes Store or stream it via Apple Music, Spotify or other streaming services.
1. The First Track
4. Hell No
5. Mango Juice & CBD
6. Pass The Blunt