To Japan: Hitotsu (One Love, One Hope)
In the wee hours of one day last week I downloaded the song "Hitotsu," a collaborative hip-hop production made in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The link to the song came by way of a mailing list that I'm on that gives me updates on the current projects of my man Ravage The MeccaGodZilla (a.k.a. Ryu Black), an underground MC from Long Island, NY.
Ravage and I met online about three years ago via Myspace. It was sometime after I'd written a review of another collaborative track that he was involved in at the time; a musical love letter of sorts, dedicated to the Capcom video game character Chun-Li. Featured with Ravage on that intensely catchy tune were rappers MegaRan and Masia One, and Sarasa, a DJ from Japan.
I know that Ravage has friends in Japan and that he spent two months touring there last year. Taking into consideration both his artistic and human connections there, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that he would also be involved in a music project inspired by the events of last month. But it did come as a surprise, and a very pleasant one at that.
The song "Hitotsu" is a touching recorded message of love and hope sent out over hip-hop beats to the people of Japan, and all others affected by the recent tragedy. Produced by Da Otak, the song features the rhymes of six rappers, all thoughtfully rendered in English and Japanese. Featured on the track with Ravage are Root One, Orukusaki, Sum-In-1, RDO, and producer Da Otak.
Recorded by artists whose names most people have never heard, "Hitotsu" is also a deeply inspired production that skillfully blends traditional Asian chords with American hip-hop beats and heartfelt rhymes that reflect the tongues of two nations. The effort behind it shows, and anyone with ears and a heart should be moved by the passion that went into making it.
For the free download, as well as online listens, visit MeccaGodzilla's blog by clicking here here .
– St. Paco, Kung Fu Grip!