Today in Hip Hop History: DJ Krush’s Birthday

DJ Krush on the turntable

July 29, 1962

Hideaki Ishi, better known as DJ Krush, was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1962. DJ Krush is a hip hop producer and DJ, most known for his atmospheric instrumental production, which incorporates sound elements from nature and extensive use of jazz and soul samples.

At an early age, Ishi dropped out of school and joined the yakuza. As an underling, Ishi discovered a severed finger wrapped in paper on his desk, which he later discovered was from his friend. He decided to leave the yakuza and cut ties with the criminal underworld. Ishi was then inspired to start DJing after watching the film Wild Style in 1983.

At a time when hip hop music was dominated by Americans, DJ Krush changed its direction with his experimental beats and instrumental sounds. He remains reluctant to identify his music with any particular genre, for it would place limits on his listeners and on his talents. Instead, Ishi classifies his music as its own genre; “DJ Krush”. He prefers to create unique distance from genres that he is usually grouped into, while maintaining a respectful appreciation for all music forms and styles.

Krush’s career since then has seen him chalk up eight solo albums. He is indubitably considered one of the pioneers of Japanese hip hop, alongside fellow producer Nujabes. On a larger scale, DJ Krush has established himself as one of the most respected and unique producers in the hip hop industry worldwide.

Chill out, study, or find your inner self-consciousness with DJ Krush’s album, Zen, below!