Otaku Emcees & The Hidden East Influence 1
H I P H O P’s evolution has led to being the world wide leader in pop culture. As the momentum continues, Hip Hop’s growth is also due to Asian customs aligning itself within the culture. This cultural lineage has existed since the early 1960’s and has continued to take shape in the present. No other custom is more prevalent in Hip Hop today, anime may very well be the next step in Hip Hop’s evolution.
East meets Westside can mostly be contributed to the rise of martial art films in the 60’s and 70’s. Black people took such a liking to kung fu movies and Bruce Lee, that there were few blaxplotation films that would incorporate martial arts such as Three The Hard Way, Cleopatra Jones and one of my faves from that genre, Dolemite, played by Rudy Ray Moore.
Quick Question: No one ever wondered why all these drug dealers and pimps just knew Kung Fu, out of no where? A pimp slap is bad enough but a Pimp slap with combos behind it, now I feel sorry for the ho.
The pioneer of Eastern culture fusion to Western boom bap resides in The Rza. Not only did RZA conduct the raw sound that gave Wu Tang their grit but also conceptualized their albums with the Eastern Chinese Martial Arts of Shaolin Monks.
Enter the Wu- Tang (36 Chambers) 1993
The RZA has produced the score for anime, Afro Samurai (2007) Afro Samurai: Resurrection (2009), starring Samuel L Jackson. Do yourself a favor, see both of them. The amount of character originality and visual swordplay that goes into it is well worth your time; especially if you paid to see Batman Vs Superman.
In the early 2000’s, Mainstream Artists, such as Lupe Fiasco, have gone on to name specific works in their verses; comparatively to “Lupin the Third”, an anime which follows the escapades of title character, Arsene Lupin III, who is an international master thief. The character was created on the manga workings of writer Monkey Punch
“Yes, Yes, Yes guess who’s on third?
Lupe steal Like Lupin the Third” (Touch The Sky)
Even Yeezus has used elements of Anime via cover art for his 2007 album “Graduation” illustrated by contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and for his music video “Stronger” which dived into Katshurio Otomo’s classic, Akira.
The duality of Anime and Hip Hop is not exclusive only to Midwest and East Coast Artist. Elements of Anime can even be seen in the artwork of West Coast Artist . Cam Gnarly and Noa James , Both representing the IE, include Dragon Ball Z drops in their music and social media.
Aaron McGruder’s beloved Boondock series (not the final season though, we’ll just put that next to The Chappelle Show Season 3) brilliantly uses Anime characteristics, in most of Huey’s visions or battles, be it battling Stinkmeiner as the blind samurai or taking on Grandpa’s Wolf Bitch at the dinner table.
The Boondocks spoke to a generation through humor but its weapons of influence was in the capability of merging decades of culture into a cohesive motion gallery.
Is this the next wave in the culture to follow the turn up era? Could we one day see an Oscar nominated animation of a 2D love story about a foreign warrior trying to return home. Orchestrated by Mustard On the Beat Ho! I don’t know but I’d pay to see that, especially since I paid to see Batman vs. Superman.