Rip Slyme are in a class of their own, with a jazz-inspired sound that has evolved into something that is both entirely hip-hop and entirely unique, feauturing fast tempo, good beats and great rhymes from the MCs who range from the boisterous ragga-style of Ryo-Z to the smooth bass Su, and everything between. They started young (when they got together in 1994, DJ Fumiya was 15 years old, and the others weren’t much older) and keep getting better and better; each album they come out with is even more fun to listen to than the last. They’ve developed a great deal as musicians, so much so that, to be honest, I have to confess that I hate their pre-2001 work as much as I love their later stuff — the difference is that big.
Rip Slyme’s Masterpiece marked the first time in my life that I liked every single song on album. But don’t take my word for it — if you listen to no other Japanese music, please listen to Rip Slyme.
Recommended albums: Masterpiece (2004), Five (2001), Tokyo Classic (2002), Time To Go (2003)