Kawasaki Bad Hop Documentary

This Vice documentary really opened my eyes to the types of hip hop movements going on Japan outside of Tokyo. What struck me was how the Bad Hop gang used hip hop and hip hop culture, two non-Japanese constructs, to come to terms with being marginalized in Japanese society. We see the social stratifications in the industrial town of Kawasaki not only along class lines, but also along racial lines, as the Korean area of the town appears isolated. I love how these young artists were able to come together and create really quality rap material, despite the precedent for hip hop being so young in Japan. It revealed to me hip hop’s power to provide confidence and artistic outlet to marginalized youths, even ones outside of the United States.

Leave a Reply