This summer’s slate of music festivals are putting more of a spotlight on American hip-hop. Fuji Rock Festival announced Kendrick Lamar and the group N.E.R.D as headliners, while Summer Sonic features Chance the Rapper on its main stage. It’s a considerable showcasing moment for a genre having an up-and-down year in Japan.
U.S. rap has become the dominant sound globally, but has remained somewhat niche in Japan with domestic artists getting far more attention. The last Western rap-heavy album to perform well on charts here was the soundtrack to the eighth “Fast and the Furious” film, its success probably owing more to Vin Diesel than Lil Uzi Vert.
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