DJ Hasabe

Selected by
Don Crispy

Japanese hip hop ambassador

"I want to put Japanese hip hop in the international market," says hip hop force DJ Hasebe. In an upcoming installment of his new Tuesday night event at Yellow, fowl, old skool MC Doug E. Fresh will help Hasebe celebrate the international release of his debut full-length, Hey World (WEA Japan).

With a cast of talents ranging from Les Nubians, Speech and Rahzel, to Jamaica' Beenie Man and Japan's Sugar Soul and Zeebra, all laying down raps 'n' rhymes over DJ Hasebe-produced tracks, the old skool party vibe of Hey World differs markedly from the J-rap of Dragon Ash, or the abstract beats of DJ Krush. It's the result of a long and varied career that has taken the 29-year-old Hasebe from the clubs of Tokyo to supporting stints for major Japanese and foreign artists.

MC Doug E. Fresh

Relocating to Tokyo as a young adult, Hasebe launched his career in earnest in 1993 with the event Fat Rat at the legendary club Gold. At the time, he also began to produce mix tapes that he sold through Cisco in Shibuya. Growing name recognition led to high-profile stints opening for US rap star Busta Rhymes and, oddly enough, J-pop idol Namie Amuro.

Hasebe's big break came in 1996, when he produced the sensational underground single, "Ice Pick," featuring J-rappers Zeebra and Mummy D. In 1997, Hasebe began what was to become a three-year stint at hip hop ground zero, Harlem in Shibuya. But this January Hasebe decided to move to Yellow and launch fowl, saying the audience at Harlem had become too young for his tastes.

DJ Murray Richardson

Hasebe's special guest next Tuesday at Yellow, Doug E. Fresh, is known as "The Original Human Beat Box," and is from Harlem in New York. Creating the track "Ladidadi" (remember?), the rapper has toured with artists from Prince to Snoop Dogg, and is also known recently as a regular host of the world famous Apollo Amateur Night.

Meanwhile, this Monday also sees upstart Tokyo tech house promoters Electricollective invite emerging UK house DJ Murray Richardson to Loop in Aoyama for a night that will also showcase Electricollective DJs Jun, Natsu, Jaybee and Patrick Oancia. Now a resident of the Scottish capital Edinburgh, Richardson hosts his own deep house night, Rebel Waltz, at the city's City Caf club, and has recently cut tracks for London's Low Pressings and Creative labels.

fowl: Yellow, 5/1, 10pm, 2500 w/1d. Tel: 3479-0690. Electricollective Presents: Loop, 5/1, 10pm, JY2000 (w/flyer), JY2500 (door) w/1d. Tel: 3797-9933.

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