Last night brought sad news for the underground hip hop community; it's been confirmed that Nujabes (née Jun Seba) died last month in a car accident in Tokyo. The Japanese hip hop DJ and producer was a mere 36 years old, and passed the same day the 7.3 earthquake hit the coast of Japan on February 26th. News of his death was not made public until yesterday when his label Hydeout Productions issued a statement online. Nujabes' family held a private burial in Japan.
Nujabes was known around the world for his jazz-infused, sophisticated take on hip hop beats, and a melancholy, nostalgic undertone to his music that has made for some of the most beautiful tracks to emerge from the underground. In addition to making music and founding a record label, he also owned influential record stores in Tokyo (Guiness Records, T Records) and worked on the soundtrack of Samurai Champloo, a famous anime about samurai and hip hop culture.
A few of the innovative beatmaker's most beloved tracks, below: