Jun Seba, better known as Nujabes, was a highly respected and influential Japanese music producer, DJ, and composer whose innovative fusion of hip-hop, jazz, and soul left an indelible mark on the music world. Born on February 7, 1974, in Tokyo, Japan, Nujabes began his musical journey at a young age, immersing himself in the vibrant and diverse music scene of Tokyo. Drawing inspiration from genres as varied as jazz, classical, and electronic music, he developed a unique style that would later captivate audiences around the globe.


In the late 1990s, Nujabes founded his independent record label, Hydeout Productions, becoming a central figure in Tokyo’s underground hip-hop scene. His stage name, “Nujabes,” was a reverse spelling of his real name, Jun Seba. Under this moniker, he started creating music that seamlessly blended hip-hop beats with smooth jazz samples and ambient textures, creating a distinctive and mesmerizing sound that resonated with listeners.

Nujabes gained widespread recognition for his ability to craft emotionally rich and introspective tracks. His music was characterized by its soothing melodies, intricate drum patterns, and soulful instrumentation. He released his debut album, “Metaphorical Music,” in 2003, which received critical acclaim and established him as a pioneering force in the instrumental hip-hop genre.

However, it was his involvement in the anime series “Samurai Champloo,” which aired in 2004 and 2005, that catapulted Nujabes to international fame. He composed much of the show’s soundtrack, seamlessly blending hip-hop beats with traditional Japanese instruments. The soundtrack not only enhanced the series’ atmosphere but also introduced Nujabes’ music to a global audience, earning him a dedicated fanbase outside of Japan.

Tragically, Nujabes’ life was cut short on February 26, 2010, when he died in a car accident in Tokyo at the age of 36. His untimely passing sent shockwaves throughout the music community, leaving fans and fellow artists mourning the loss of a true musical genius. Despite his death, Nujabes’ influence and legacy continue to thrive. His albums, particularly “Modal Soul,” released in 2005, are considered classics in the instrumental hip-hop genre, celebrated for their timeless appeal and emotional depth.

Nujabes’ impact extended beyond his discography; he inspired a new generation of artists and producers, shaping the direction of contemporary hip-hop and electronic music. His music continues to be sampled and referenced in various genres, testifying to its enduring relevance and significance.

In summary, Nujabes’ story is one of artistic brilliance, innovation, and the enduring power of music to transcend cultural boundaries. Through his pioneering work, he left behind a rich musical legacy that continues to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide, ensuring that his influence will be felt for generations to come.



Nujabes Discography


Metaphorical Music (2003):

This was Nujabes’ debut solo album, featuring a mix of hip-hop, jazz, and ambient elements. It received widespread acclaim and set the tone for his future work.

Modal Soul (2005):

One of his most celebrated albums, “Modal Soul” further solidified Nujabes’ reputation as a master of blending genres. The album featured collaborations with various artists and remains a classic in the instrumental hip-hop genre.

Samurai Champloo Music Record:Departure (2004):

This album served as the soundtrack for the anime series “Samurai Champloo,” featuring Nujabes’ signature style of combining hip-hop beats with traditional Japanese sounds. The soundtrack gained immense popularity and introduced his music to a broader audience.

Impression (2004):

Second part of the “Samurai Champloo” soundtrack series, featuring additional tracks and collaborations in the same vein as the first volume.

Hydeout Productions 2nd Collection (2007):

This compilation album was released posthumously and featured tracks from various artists associated with Nujabes’ Hydeout Productions label, showcasing the talent nurtured by Nujabes himself.

Spiritual State (2011):

Released after his passing, “Spiritual State” was the final studio album by Nujabes. It continued his tradition of blending hip-hop with jazz and featured collaborations with artists like Uyama Hiroto and Shing02.

Nujabes, in addition to his studio albums and soundtrack work, was involved in various singles, EPs, and collaborations throughout his career. Here are some notable ones:


Aruarian Dance” (2003):

A standout track from his album “Metaphorical Music,” released as a single and widely recognized for its soothing melody and intricate production.

“Hydeout Productions 1st Collection” (2003):

An EP featuring tracks from various artists under Nujabes’ Hydeout Productions label, showcasing his collaborative efforts.
Collaborations and Features:

“Luv(sic)” Series with Shing02:

A beloved collaboration with rapper Shing02, the “Luv(sic)” series consists of multiple parts, with each installment featuring Nujabes’ production and Shing02’s lyrical talent.

“Battlecry” (with Shing02) (2004):

The opening theme for the anime series “Samurai Champloo,” where Nujabes and Shing02 combined their skills to create a memorable track.

“Modal Soul” (featuring Uyama Hiroto) (2005):

The title track from Nujabes’ album “Modal Soul,” featuring the talented trumpeter and producer Uyama Hiroto, capturing the essence of Nujabes’ signature style.

“Feather” (featuring Cise Starr and Akin) (2005):

A collaborative effort featuring rapper Cise Starr and vocalist Akin, known for its soulful vibe and reflective lyrics.

“Lady Brown” (featuring Cise Starr) (2005):

Another collaboration with Cise Starr, this track exemplifies Nujabes’ ability to blend hip-hop elements with smooth jazz influences.

“Counting Stars” (with Nujabes featuring Pase Rock) (2007):

A lively track featuring rapper Pase Rock, known for its upbeat tempo and catchy rhythm.

“The Space Between Two Worlds” (featuring Shing02) (2011):

A posthumously released track, showcasing Nujabes’ timeless production style and featuring Shing02’s introspective lyrics.

Please note that Nujabes’ discography is extensive, and he collaborated with numerous other artists, leaving behind a rich musical legacy that continues to inspire fans and aspiring musicians alike.

By Chill