Shing02 – 400 Review

I only knew Shing02 from his work with Nujabes. Then when I started listening to his own releases, I realized that his own work was much more similar to my preferred hip-hop, relying on samples and beats rather than tons of overlaying and flourishes that took away from the actual performance.

400 is from 2002, much earlier than I though his work was from and I see the great ability to flow between beats and meet each quarter note with purpose. The album is long at twenty-three tracks, though there isn’t a big standard on song length.

The album is a great listen in two ways. The first is that it’s an older Japanese hip-hop album that wasn’t pushed in the mainstream industry and shows that unknown hip-hop had a sound that was all its own. The second is that Shing02 has been making music for a long time, beyond his guest spots on other albums and the Samurai Champloo soundtrack.

He’s a talented hip-hop artist with a distinctive voice and hopefully he keeps making music because it only gets better over time.