New Artist Alert: Chief Takinawa

There is a special place in my heart for artists that are able to combine two separate entities and fuse them together to make something exponentially greater. Growing up I was always a fan of hip-hop, it’s something my elders exposed me to, showed me the classics and eventually, I grew to develop my own tastes. But anime? That’s a treasure I found all on my own.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, the animes at my disposal were Yu Yu Hakusho, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball Z. It wasn’t until later that I was able to truly explore in-depth all the vintage shows that premiered while I was a child. But what do you get when you combine those two distinct worlds? Well, hip-hop and anime go together like chocolate and peanut butter. 

Chief Takinawa, a budding DJ who has been around since 2018 has managed to combine my two childhood (and adulthood) obsessions.

After perusing their catalog, Chief Takinawa has established a style by sampling moments from classic anime and video games. Combine that with their chill beats and melodic rhythm, and it’s a recipe for success.

Their latest release, Bounty Hunter (Beboppin’ on Heaven’s Door), is a collaborative effort with fellow artists Säge and The 64th Wonder. The title, lyrics, and samplings all reference the 1998 classic anime, Cowboy Bebop. Released on Oct.30, this is the latest track we’ve seen from Chief Takinawa in over a year, and what a welcome back!

Now, the anime/hip-hop combo is not new by any means, but it’s also not easily done. It takes some serious skill to perfectly boil down the essence of something and incorporate it into a new form. When I listen to the instrumental version, I am treated with perfect crisps sounds.

On the version with the melodic bars and catchy chorus given to us by Säge and The 64th Wonder, the rhymes are so cohesively aligned with the beats, it creates a wonderful harmony.

But there is one thing that needs to be made clear: There is no one version that is greater than the other. The instrumental track operates as a fantastic standalone lo-fi chillhop experience. Säge and 64th Wonder lay down absolute butter with their voices, combine these two together and this track is the musical equivalent of a Rootbeer float, something entirely new and wonderful.

But there is one thing that needs to be made clear: There is no one version that is greater than the other. The instrumental track operates as a fantastic standalone lo-fi chillhop experience. Säge and 64th Wonder lay down absolute butter with their voices, combine these two together and this track is the musical equivalent of a Rootbeer float, something entirely new and wonderful.

The Youtube AMV is nothing short of a love letter to the anime. With cuts from the show and expertly placed edits, the video makes me fall in love with the show all over again.

In the future, I’d like to see more collaboration with these three, maybe even an EP?

Keep up with Chief Takinawa on Instagram, Twitter, and Bandcamp!

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