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The news of Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar returning to Fuji Rock, one of Japan’s most celebrated music festivals, was met with excitement from hip-hop fans here as soon as it was announced in February. To leverage the hype ahead of the festival, Universal Music Japan launched a politically tinged campaign earlier this month that has inspired mixed responses.

On July 13, posters of redacted documents from the Moritomo Gakuen scandal with the words #KendrickRainichi (#KendrickComesToJapan) were put up all over Kokkai-gijido-mae Station, home of the National Diet Building, and Kasumigaseki Station, where many of the Cabinet ministry offices are. The blacked out sections of the document are inscribed with the words “DAMN.,” the title of Lamar’s award-winning 2017 album, and the bottom corner of the document contains the rapper’s signature.

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