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Classic Album Review

Metaphorical Music Review

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My favorites: Lady Brown, Beat laments the world, Peaceland
Listen if you like: The Deli, Tomppabeats, Schlomo

Nujabes, also known as 瀬葉 淳, or Jun Seba was a Tokyo-born producer, DJ, and composer. Nujabes is mainly celebrated for his influence in the “anime beats” genre as he was the first artist to begin composing simple beat tracks, and with the development of the genre he has gained prominence among fans. His work ranges from sampling hip hop and jazz to producing his own atmospheric instrumentals. He also owned two record shops and founded his own independent record label in 1998, Hydeout Productions; his passion for music is obvious. 

“Metaphorical Music,” a breakbeat album created in 2003, is one of the best albums in his discography. because of the many different artists it features, rapping and singing over the incredible instrumentals created by Nujabes. His production dips into many different genre influences and this is exemplified beautifully in “Metaphorical Music”.  The album flows seamlessly between jazz notes, hip hop beats, and Eastern elements. The album begins with jazzy tracks overlaid with rap verses by Substantial, Pase Rock, and Cise Starr. My favorite of these is “Lady Brown”, a beautiful love song. The verse “She smells like a Happy Birthday/On a Thursday” is one of my favorites out of all the love songs I’ve heard. It’s really a great song. You can get a glimpse of Nujabes’ foray into “chillhop” (before the genre was even created) in his track F.I.L.O. which features artist Shing02. The album finishes with some more simplistic but exquisite instrumental tracks, like “Peaceland.”

Jun Seba tragically died in 2010 in a traffic accident. Following this, artists worldwide performed tributes in his musical style and many modern artists like Otakon and Logic have credited him for his influence in their work. His label posthumously released his album “Spiritual State,” another amazing work. Despite his passing he continues to bring music fans together through his touching, soulful works. 

Give “Metaphorical Music” a listen, with the newfound appreciation of Nujabes and his musical impact. 

– Miranda

By Miranda

I am a senior in Political Science at NC State and lover of R&B, rap, international, and electronic.