Taking a different approach from our last City 2 City video where Japanese BMX rider Hiroshi Uehara explored the world with German street artists, Low Bros, the last part of our video series looks at collaboration in the music industry. A less abstract pairing, producers and musicians are already natural partners in crime with both contributing to create, refine and build a record. The final part of our City 2 City series focuses on that relationship: linking LA-based rapper Ab-Soul with Tokyo-based electronic music producer DJ Taku Takahashi to discuss culture, influences, and the underground music scene in both of their homes.
Even with their professions closely related, West Coast rap and East Asian electronic music are far from similar. But, a closer look at Taku’s background, which includes heavy influence from the old school American hip-hop and his ongoing partnership with lyricist Verbal as half of the Japanese rap group m-flo, reveals why a meeting of minds with Ab-Soul isn’t far fetched. Across the ocean, a quick glance at Ab-Soul’s sleeve of tattoos reveals a Dragon Ball reference and, after he rattles of some of his favorite childhood cartoons and video games with Sailor Moon and PaRappa the Rapper topping the list, it becomes quickly apparent why the chance to explore Tokyo’s music scene was a high priority. Meeting for the first time in the neon glow of Shibuya’s side streets, the two quickly found a mutual appreciation for each other’s work.
Close out our City 2 City series above to see Ab-Soul and Taku explore the differences between Shibuya, Tokyo and Carson, California, while exchanging studio visits in the New Balance 247 Sport. You can see the full lineup of 247 sneakers at select boutiques worldwide, as well as NewBalance.com.