Inheriting his name from the popular animation series gundam, Big Z made his recording debut on P.H. Fron's Kabaki '92 in 2000. As the last member to join the the supergroup Nitro Microphone Underground just before their debut albums release, Big Z only recorded verses for 2 songs "Nitro Microphone Underground" & 45 fingaz of death" and at that time he remained invisible for even the fans of the group. Trailing the huge success of his group, Bigzam finally went solo with the analog single "Propaganda" produced by DJ Yakko in january of 2002.
The style on his first solo effort was far more aggressive compared to his 2 verse fame on nitro's self titled album but showed that he had grown over the past 2 years. Continuing with his new style, Big Z released yet another 12 inch single just after 3 Months "New Generation X" produced by once again by DJ Yakko. Both of the singles and many featuring works such as DJ Masterkey's "Nitemare with NMU" & Muro's XXX-Large part. 3 took Bigzam to support Dabo on his national tour for Dabo's second album, the hitman.
Following the supporting role for the other Nitro MC's on their tours, The Bigman announced his cd debut mini album No. 1 Draft Pick under BB INC for release on december 2003. Mostly produced by DJ Yakko, the album went back to Bigzam's old less aggressive flow but stayed on the tracks of more hardcore lyrical style. Apart from his solo career, bigzam took part in the comeback of his group Nitro Microphone Underground in 2004 with a new mini album, a new full 15 track effort and even collaborated with the westcoast MC from America, Suga Free, on the vinyl single "Cool".
5 years and 3 solo releases behind him, Bigzam has showed progress through every work on his career, flow and lyrical wise and when it comes to the new generation mc's in the mainstream, Bigzam is one of the soldiers in the front line with many years ahead of him
Dabo alias Mr. Fudatzkee started out in the mid 1990's as a member of the legendary underground crew "Channel 5" performing at clubs and events with the fellow mc's of the group K-Bomb, Suiken & DJ Hazime. With the group Dabo also performed occasionally on the only japanese hip-hop radio show at that time "Street Flava" (known later as J-Wave Hip-Hop Journey To Da Cypher) mostly as a freestyler and spreading the knowledge about hip-hop to the shows listeners.
When K-Bomb went to form his own crew Think Tank in 1997 (which 2 years earlier had lead to the disbanding of Channel 5), Dabo pursued a solo career and went on to appear on Shakkazombie's Tomoniyuko along with Gore-Tex, Suiken and Macka-Chin. The song was an instant underground classic and gained Dabo a name of one of the most promising new talents in the game. Continuing his career warming up for Shakkazombie and appearing on their works for the next 2 years, Dabo finally got signed to Reality Records in 1999 when he joined Gore-Tex, Suiken & Macka-Chin to form a new group Nitro Microphone Underground during the same year.
To succeed his new record deal, Dabo released his debut 12 inch single "Mr Fudatzkee" in 1999 and the follow-up CD single "Supadondada" to start out the new millennium. Attending the Nitro tour in 2000 for sold out venues brought Dabo into attention of Defjam Japan, the legendary american hip-hop label who ended up signing him as the first artist to their japanese roster. Acquiring his first major label deal and celebrating that with new single releases "Hakushu Kassai" & "Zero", dabo skyrocketed from the streets to the allstar club.
Releasing his first solo album few months later, "Platinum Tongue" was a classic and was awarded as the best album of the year by the respected hip-hop magazines in Japan such as Blast! The album eventually went on to reach number 15 on the charts (which was huge for a domestic hip-hop album at that time) and the album spawned 2 more singles Pinky featuring Tyler & Lexxusguccie which took Dabo from an allstar MC to a superstar fame. Afterwards releasing few singles and an album per year with the defjam standards, Dabo has easily been one of the busiest people in the Japanese hip-hop world in the past few years.
3 successful tours and 3 albums behind him, Dabo also started his own record label Baby Mario Productions in 2003 and helped artists such as the r&b singer Aile as a producer. Dabo has proven over the years that he is one of the mainstreams finest and he has shown that he's still got game on many of his underground featuring works. Haunted only by his label's need for constant releases throughout his major career, Dabo is also often credited of clever wordplay and his ability to stay on top of the mainstream with his every release. a New single on the works scheduled to drop on november of 2004, Fudatzkee as one of the biggest names in Japanese hip-hop today shows no signs of slowing down.
Starting out from his hometown of Chiba, Deli first started his career as a DJ on local clubs. Quick to pick up the mic between the sets, Deli teamed up with his friends Yohey & Bass to form a group called The Hot Connection in the mid 1990's and the trio went on to arrange many hip-hop events and performed at numerous clubs in the area. Working as a producer, DJ and an MC at the time, Deli decided to leave the group behind in the late 1990's to hook-up with his old friend Gore-Tex to become a member of the new Tokyo based group Nitro Microphone Underground.
Joining the supergroup in 1999 after Gore-Tex, Macka-Chin, S-Word and DJ Watarai officially formed the group, Deli got signed to Reality Records which was also the home to most of the MC's on Nitro. When they changed the game with their self titled album the year after, Deli pursued a solo career with the analog single "Burnin", teaming up once again with Gore-Tex and the new producer from Chiba DJ Yakko. The single became an underground hit and after the success Deli and Yakko decided to join forces and created a production unit called Aquarius.
Burnin had such a huge impact on the underground scene in Tokyo that at the time of Deli's solo album debut "Aquarius" later on that year all of the 20 000 copies pressed were instantly sold without any promotion. Kicking off the new year with a new single "Akalien", Deli spent most of 2001 with feature works and preparing new tracks for a follow-up album which was finally released in 2002. The mini album titled "Kuchiguruma" featured the smash hit "Pass Da Popcorn" which ended up in popular commercials and got Deli into the attention of Cutting Edge who ended up signing him with a major deal. Debuting as a major artist with "Delta Express Like Illusion" few months later, Deli earned himself a place among the all-stars in the game through the albums success and formed his own label Chika Chika Productions in the following year.
Deli & Yakko re-united as Aquarius for their first album together in 3 years in 2003 with "Oboreta Machi". Going to even higher level in success the album showed a far angrier Deli and took his flow to almost melodic directions but remained true to his original style lyrically. Most recently in 2004 Deli launched the career of his prodige/friend Mikris, took part in the Nitro Microphone Underground comeback and also released a new mini album with the american producer 327 titled "Otakarasagashi". Being one of those rare people who make any production shine and equipped with one of the most vicious voices in the world of hip-hop, Deli is all about personality and consistency on the microphone.
In the beginning of his career in the early 1990's, Gore-Tex warmed up the crowd for artists such as Kaminari Kazoku, Shakkazombie and Muro and became many crowd's favorite with his ogre style voice. Muro who had just started producing full time took Tex under his wing in 1996 and introduced him to the masses through the most legendary hip-hop event in japan Thumpin Camp during the same year. The duo who recorded the underground hit Sansha Bontai just before the event were chosen to represent Japan on one of the oldest international hip-hop compilations known called "Bomb Worldwide". The album showcased hip-hop from the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, Canada and the USA and was eventually released in 1997 on the international markets.
During that year Tex continued to work with Muro and appeared on his XXX-Large Part 2 and collaborated with his old friends Shakkazombie on Tomoniyuko (Version Pure) which also featured his future group members Suiken, Macka-Chin and Dabo. Both of the songs brought Tex a lot of respect from the underground and also a lot of demand for any solo releases from him. The 12 Inch single "Water Proof" worked as Gore's debut in 1997 and due to increasing demand the track got remixed by DJ Watarai and it saw a CD release the year after on the independent hip-hop label Guntez.
Instead of releasing his highly anticipated solo album, Gore-Tex became one of the 4 founding members of Nitro Microphone Underground in the year 1999 when the group was officially formed on Reality Records. Tex's effort on the various Nitro releases including their self titled hip-hop bible were no less than remarkable and Tex's ogre voice had become more vibrant and diverse than ever. Often credited as the most talented MC without a solo album after the release, Tex continued to appear on Muro's and the fellow Nitro MC's works for the next 4 years before finally re-launching his solo career with his debut album "Reload" on October of 2004.
The album even with a 7 year break in between his solo releases, stayed in the roots of his raw and straight from the basement style delivery. Remaining on the street level through his whole career, Tex has always been more of a performer and a guest artist thus being highly underrated. a Voice like thunder combined with organic hip-hop productions has been his trademark since the beginning and Gore-Tex as the only MC from Nitro Microphone Underground has remained underground since the groups formation.
Chin Attack! Born and raised in Adachi-ku, Tokyo Macka-Chin discovered his love for hip-hop at the age of 19 while experimenting with a microphone in a music shop where he used to work. Starting his professional career in 1995 as a guest performer, Macka made his rapping debut on You The Rock's legendary track "Black Monday 96". Moving on to work with the MC/Producer Muro shortly after his debut, The Chin finally became known to the public on Thumpin Camp, the unforgettable japanese hip-hop event that took place in 1996. Macka-Chin as a natural talent for both producing and rapping appeared on many people's work as a result of his 5 minutes of fame on Thumpin Camp and became a wanted guest artist in the scene.
Producing and appearing on other people's work for the next 3 years Macka finally decided to concentrate on his own career and invited the fellow MC's Gore-Tex & S-Word to record his debut 12 inch single "Requiem". The release received huge attention from the hip-hop scene and eventually lead to the birth of Macka's group Nitro Microphone Underground in the early 1999. The year after saw Macka rapping and producing for his groups self titled album and after the huge success which ended with a very popular live tour, Macka started producing for his own solo album. The release of his debut saw daylight on August of 2001 under Reality Records and the album "Chin Attack" like the other N.M.U. solo works was a hit in the underground.
The legendary Hip-Hop Magazine Blast! awarded Macka-Chin as the producer of the year in Japan and the original sound of his productions were highly acclaimed by the fans. Receiving lot of support and respect from the whole scene, Macka was hired for production/rapping spots by not only his Nitro family but also by such artists as Moomin, Muro and Shakkazombie. Ending the year by producing one of the biggest anthems in japanese hip-hop history GK Maryan's "Tokyo Relax", The Chin was approached by JVC who signed him with a major deal in the early 2002. Working on the album the whole year after getting signed Macka released his follow up to "Chin Attack" on december of 2002 with "Chin Near Here" which strenghtened his original mix of street/abstract sounds.
Finally becoming a household name as a producer/mc in the game after his second album, Macka-Chin has always worked as a mentor and an innovator in the scene always experimenting with new flows and new styles of production. Recently he can be heard on Nitro's comeback album and just like any other genius producer of our time "The Chin" always evolves. Constantly underrated Macka is one of the allstar producers in Japan and while he might not be enjoying huge respect on the mic he is gettin all the love in the world on the streets as a hip-hop artist.
Suiken which roughly translates to Drunken Master in english spent the early days of his career as a member of a group called Channel 5. The Crew consisting of Suiken himself along with Dabo, K-Bomb & DJ Hazime were popular performers in smaller clubs, doing weekly shows and appearing on radio telling the youth about hip-hop culture. The group disbanded when K-Bomb pursued a solo career in 1995 and Suiken followed him by appearing on KB's debut single "Level 5" the next year. Gaining the attention of the allstar Producer/MC Dev Large after his performance on the single, DL took Suiken under his wing and the duo made many notable appearances on mixtapes and the materials of Buddha Brand (Dev Large's Crew) & Shakkazombie during 1997. Getting fame from his energetic and powerful live performances, Suiken became a media favorite and appeared on many TV shows, radio, magazines and even on events as a representative of the underground hip-hop culture.
When Dev Large took part in building Eldorado Records in 1998 he signed Suiken to the label's roster and the 12 inch release "The Sense" which worked as Suiken's solo debut became the first release ever on the now legendary and buried label. Working with old friends Macka-Chin and DJ Watarai for his second single "Saturday Night Mongol", Suiken managed to create his first underground hit releasing it around december of 1998. Starting off the new year by joining to form a new group Nitro Microphone Underground, Sui still continued his works with Dev Large on Bird's hit single "Realise" and took part in the project GOD INC that combined the talents of Buddha Brand, Lunch Time Speax, Osumi from Shakkazombie and Suiken. Dropping his third solo single "Double Trouble" before the end of the year, Suiken decided to leave Eldorado Records when he received a major contract from Sony in the early 2000 and recorded his new single while working with his group for their debut album release.
Returning as a solo artist at the same time of his group's albums release, Suiken put out "Alkman" produced by Dev Large on August of 2000 which like his groups effort became a classic release and went high on the national charts. As the first Nitro member to score a major label deal and even though he was busy touring with his group, he released 2 new singles before finally dropping his first solo album on april of 2001 "Suiken Presents Sixteen Stars". Riding the big success he had with the album a new single was announced only 6 months after the album's release which showcased a big change in his style and also a more serious approach to his music. Toning down his voice and exchanging his energetic flow to more relaxed / concentrated one for his second album "Score", released only 12 months after his first, showed a more serious side of him with his lyrics while still keeping his topics true to his older works.
Teaming up with Macka-Chin to create another group Mongol in the end of 2002 with the single "Brasil Brasil" lead him to take a break and only contributing as a guest performer on other people's work throughout 2003. Mongol changed their name to Montien when the R&B singer Tina joined the crew in 2004 for their self titled mini album which worked as Suiken's only testimonial to the rap game aside from the Nitro Microphone Underground comeback in the year 2004. Suiken has always had more charisma than your average MC and he has the ability to come off correct with his raps regardless of the quality of the production. As an all time ladies favorite and as one of his generations finest, Suiken continues enjoying his spot at the top of the game.
Raised In Kumamoto Area the now Tokyo based rapper S-Word first emerged as a part of the legendary K.O.D.P. (King Of Diggin aka Muro Productions) after handling the job of a sales clerk at muro's own hip-hop shop savage down at shibuya, tokyo in the later half of 1990's. Influenced By Muro and fellow sales clerk at the time by the name of Gore-Tex, S-Word discovered his passion for rhyming shortly after and started performing alongside the members of K.O.D.P. in various underground clubs at the time such as the legendary club citta in kawasaki. While Polishing his skills with long term friends Macka-Chin and Gore-Tex (latter who had already got a name for himself on the scene thru Muro's "Young Talent Program") it was time for Muro's new single which was also to become S-Word's record debut in the year 1998.
Muro featuring Tina, G.K. Maryan from Kaminari, Boo the new Funk singer/rapper from K.O.D.P., Gore-Tex and S-Word himself, the single "Weekend Funk #7" for Incredible Records magnificently showcased the newcomer's talent and S-Word's flow combined with his smoker voice instantly became popular amongst the fans. The road to underground star status was short for S-Word who was invited by the ex - b-boy DJ Watarai to join him and 2 old friends Macka-Chin & Gore-Tex in 1999 to record the classic track "Requiem" which also became the foundation for S-Word's group Nitro Microphone Underground during the same year. Requiem was a huge hit in the underground and its violent urban neighbourhood/kaminari influenced lyricism shocked the japanese scene with hardcore hip-hop settings that you had only heard on a couple of releases before.
During the later half of 1999 S-Word was concentrating mostly on touring with his group and recording for their first CD release "Nitro Works" under reality records that had signed the group and also the group's mc's as solo artists for an impressive line-up. As the biggest new name in japanese hip-hop since legends like microphone pager and king giddra, the 8 mc's of nitro started planning on solo careers while also preparing for their debut self titled album to be released in 2000. S-Word following his fellow group mc's Deli, Gore-Tex, Dabo and Suiken who had already released their own solo singles for high demand also released his solo debut during the year 2000 with "Neophyte One Da Hoo" with productions from friends DJ Watarai & Macka-Chin. On this release as a solo artist S-Word stayed true to his flow with darker futuristic and laid back style beats that also changed his music to more abstract rather than the pure hardcore / street styles heard on the alltime classic album with his group.
Gaining recognition from his original voice and from undoubtedly one of the best flows in the game at that time, S-Word following the highly acclaimed Nitro Tour in 2000 and the early 2001 was ready for his second single release under reality records after the group decided to concentrate on solo careers on the years to come. "Made In Tokyo" produced by DJ Yas from Kaminari Family was released under reality records in the year 2001 continued on the deeper style S-Word had established on his first single and featured the now classic Smokin Bleff as the b-side that is still considered as one of the highlights on S-Words career. From the more abstract main track (Made In Tokyo) to the up tempo funky piano driven b-side smokin bleff, S-Word proved of being capable of creating his own style and flow like his fellow group members before him.
As Hip-Hop in Japan went mainstream with hip-hop veteran labels such as defjam landing to its shores in the year 2000 and after the label already signed Dabo from Nitro Microphone Underground it was time for S-Word to move on from his independent deal with Reality Records for a major deal at Def Jam Japan as the second artist to do so. S-Word's long-awaited major debut on Def Jam was released in a form of a new single on march of 2002 featuring a whole new style from the artist in forms of flow and productions. "Kross Ova" the name of the new single well described S-Words jump from the streets to one of the most recognized rappers in the game. Keeping the futuristic space style heard on the first 2 singles with his old label S-Words new flow caused confusion amongst the fans but also gained a new fanbase through more catchy hooks heard on the song combined with the new flow that was less aggressive and laid back. The main track also introduced a new side of S-Word since it was more of a dance track but also showed his potential to be the next superstar reaching as high as the 27th position on the japanese version of the billboard charts.
Def Jam teamed up S-Word's labelmate Dabo with the legendary Def Jam USA rapper LL Cool J to boost the profile of Def Jam Japan and continued the USA - Japan collabos when S-Word announced his second single few months later with the help of another labelmate Christina Milian. The second single for Def Jam "The Answer" featured a beautiful piano melody with very sensual love style lyrics with both of the artists voices working together as one. The collabo was even a bigger success than the first single "Kross Ova" and entered the charts at number 24 position which at the time was very good for a hip-hop release. Shortly after the release of the second single, "One Piece" S-Word's debut album was finally announced and released a month later in June of 2002.
The Debut album kept S-Word's style mostly in the futuristic and dark soundscapes before the time of his major label contract excluding few of the albums more commercialised bounce anthems that showcased S-Words new melodic side of rhyming. 4 Minutes Of Yell (Remix) and Extra Negotiation Part. 1 also continued the quality of Nitro Microphone Underground collaborations featuring XBS and Deli showing the amazing chemistry between the group members even outside of the groups releases. Entering the charts as the 7th biggest selling album at the time of release sealed S-Word's status as the next superstar in Japanese Hip-Hop scene and spawned one of the most succesfull hip-hop solo artists tours in the short history of mainstream hip-hop in Japan.
Riding the success of the first album and the tour that followed, S-Word found time to Release his new single / dvd "Fortune" (the main track produced by Lord Finesse from D.I.T.C. Fame) on december of the same year (2002). The 2 discs of the new release included remixes and video material from the Kross Ova Tour 2002. Gainin fame from his original style and voice, S-Word also established a status as one of the leading fashion figures in hip-hop with his original style that later became known as NitroW a clothing line designed by the members of the group. Always a workaholic S-Word continued keeping himself busy appearing on the Def Jam tribute campaign in 2003 performing the classic Beastie Boys track "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" that was released as the first single for the announced second album to follow during the later half of the year. The cover track though only remained true to the original with the same hook and the beat while S-Word re-wrote the lyrics in japanese performed it in his own original style. The Bonus track of the release "Devil May Kry" gave S-Word's fans what they had been expecting all along with the dark backing track produced by abstract extra-ordinaire DJ Yas and the help of the dramatic style singing by the Def Jam Japan singer HI-D to create an athmospheric track well fit for S-Words smoker voice and his new flow.
Second single release from the second album "Wrap Muzik" showed a more positive side of S-Word with a message and also departed from the usual style of S-Word's works by being a relaxing piano track with female back-up vocals while the producing honor was on the hands of Hiroshi Fujiwara. Wrap Muzik came as a surprise for most of the fans but expanded S-Words fanbase on a broader scale bringing him more fans from outside the hip-hop scene as well. The Evolution in S-Word's presence on the mic after being signed to Def Jam became much more visible on the release of his second album "Star Ill Warz" in july of 2003 and finalised the transition from his old faster flow to a new slower, more laid back and melodic flow.
Star Ill Warz produced by allstar producers Macka-Chin, Muro, Just Blaze & DJ Watarai featured artists such as Double, Hi-D and the whole Nitro Microphone Underground on the opening track of the release. The Sound of the second album in S-Words short but profilic career only brought changes to the stars music with couple of slower paced abstract tracks produced by Macka-Chin and Hiroshi Fujiwara showcasing some singing style rapping that creates a more relaxing twist. On the charts the album did even better than the first and S-Word went on to launch a very successful tour along with the friend from Nitro, XBS to promote the release of both of their albums around the same time.
Since the touring days S-Word re-united with his old friends Nitro Microphone Underground in 2004 to create a new Mini-Album "Uprising" for Acehigh Records that was the groups first major label release. Originally planned as a full album "Uprising" only worked as a showcase of what was to be released on August of 2004 when the group released their follow-up album to the self titled one from 2000 called Straight From The Underground. S-Word as a solo artist has been keepin a break from the scene since the release of the second album but can be heard on a compilation album "Phat Waxx" released earlier this year which throws some of the best electronic musicians in japan against many talented MC's to create an unique mix.
S-Word has always been recognised because of his strong voice and he continues to be one of the biggest fashion icons in japanese urban music.
XBS alias Xtra Bass Speaker first launched his career in the underground around 1996 performing in various clubs in Tokyo with his friends Macka-Chin and S-Word. Aside from live performances, XBS made a name for himself also by appearing on DJ Hazime's & DJ Missies tapes as a freestyler. The Big break for XBS came in 1997 when he delivered unforgettable performance at an event called "High School High" with his future crew members Gore-Tex, Dabo, Suiken & Macka-Chin. The event held in Shibuya, Tokyo was a big success for XBS and his friends and eventually lead to lot of interest among the older generation rappers being one of the key points of launching his career.
The Recording debut for XBS came 2 years later when he layed down a memorable performance on Shakkazombie's "64 Bars Relay" and instantly became a new underground favorite because of his voice and delivery. Not long after XBS joined with his old friends to form Nitro Microphone Underground and following their huge success the next year, XBS just as the other members of the crew pursued a solo career. Before his solo debut, XBS appeared on the works of his Nitro friends finally releasing his own effort on december of 2001 with the mini album "MegaBassXpress". The Leading single "Guidance" was a hit and helped the album sell over 15 000 copies to date without any promotion.
Succeeding with launching his solo career, XBS next appeared on classics like "God Bird" by Nipps and recorded "Extra Negotiation" with S-Word which became a very popular song during S-Word's live tour in 2002. Impressive guest works, his supporting role on S-Word's live tour and the success of his first solo album got XBS into the attention of Cutting Edge, a famous hip-hop label under Avex Trax Japan, who signed him in the end of 2002 with a major deal. Throwing himself back into the studio after receiving his new contract, XBS released his major debut EP "Radical X" in the early 2003 as a prequel for what was yet to come. In July of 2003 Exclusive Benefit Story, XBS's first full album saw it's release and went on to become one of the most succesfull Nitro solo efforts with it's smash hits such as "One", "Life In Memory" and "Survivin".
His first full album behind him, XBS showed huge improvement on the mic after launching his major career not only with more refined lyrics but it also added to his charisma and confidence on his music. Spending the rest of the year touring again with his good friend S-Word on a joint tour to celebrate both of their new albums, XBS still had time to release his third effort during a 1 year period the EP "All Day All Night". 2004's Nitro comeback working as his most recent display of skills, XBS coming from an underrated status before his solo career to one of the most promising and charismatic new talents in the mainstream, this cat right here has always hold his own ground on his group, as solo and also as a guest performer.