Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Simply, the illest.

glisten: ill mariachi

Ill Mariachi - The Masta Blusta

Ill Mariachi - "Nagoya, Queens"

Ill Mariachi with Shigechiyo and Kent - "Young Gunz"

Ill Mariachi - (Title Untranslated)

Ill Mariachi with Equal - "For Da Bad Boys and Ladies"

I found Ill Mariachi utterly by accident at a record show. The remarkable cover of the Masta Blusta convinced me to take a five buck chance and buy the album unheard; little did I realize that I was picking up a disc of Japanese underground hip hop. Imagine my surprise after a first listen as I began to realize that these muthas were DOPE; the beats are ol skool hotness and disjointed as hell and the emcee's lazy, swinging flow was strong and utterly unique. Nipponese or not, these guys have some street skills.

Ill Mariachi are MC Takona X and DJ Hazu out of Nagoya, Japan. Their sound is very old school and heavily reliant upon beats from New York's Juice Crew; as one fan points out, "early in the album, Tokona X says (in Japanese) that Hazu is Nagoya's Marley Marl!"

I've picked out five cuts from the fourteen track album to share with you: the titular "Masta Blusta" is (I think) VERY Def Jux; "Nagoya, Queens" bites directly into MC Shan's "Bridge"; the outstanding cut "Young Gunz" offers hotness from Dj Hazu and some great mic clashes with Takona X and friends; the Untitled cut features Takona at his tightest and the closer "For Da Bad Boys and Ladies" showcases an evergreen sample ("Daisy Lady") and some great, semi-absurd Engrish boasting and toasting.

IM are difficult to properly research online; most of the net material on the band is in Japanese and the '97 Masta Blusta album has definitely passed out of print and was never available in America to begin with (hence my willingness to post so many tracks), however:

Here's a discography of Ill Mariachi's work and here is DJ Hazu's homepage where you can sample a number of other (and more recent) Ill cuts.

Japanese readers are invited to submit any and all salient information on th' Mariachis; I loves em and would love to learn more!