There hasn’t been a great deal of East Asian music groups and solo acts that have claimed fame within the US. Korean artist is currently dominating the cross-culture music game. Acts like Jay Park, CL, Keith Ape and so on gaining significant traction within US borders. However, a Japanese supergroup by the name of PKCZ has recently entered the US music domain via their first outbreak singe ‘Bow Down‘. This hip-hop/EDM-fusion banger features the one and only Snoop Dogg – a legendary hip-hop artist serving as an ideal musical ambassador for this inter-cultural mixing. A decade ago collaborations such as this would’ve been inconceivable, but thanks to the ever-expanding cultural intersection between East and West in recent years, a legendary US hip-hop artist and a Japanese supergroup can come together to create a hit record.
[Japanese Rap/EDM trio PKCZ]
What is this Enigmatic Japanese Group?
PKCZ is a Japanese musical and cultural phenomenon made up of emcee ‘Verbal‘ and ‘Exile Tribe’ members Makidai & DJ Daruma. Verbal, its most outspoken member, claims that the group is more of a ‘creative think-tank’ than anything else. He says that PKCZ brings together the best of music, fashion, production and cultural creativity derived from each members’ differentiating experience within those spheres. Their first single ‘Bow Down’ is a celebration of their collective synergy as a crew that elevates one another, he adds.
The group is four years old altogether, however with their new hit single they’re ready to take the music world by storm and go global.
[Still from PKCZ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Bow Down’ Video]
How did ‘Bow Down’ happen?
Normally a Japanese electronic-rap group and a US rapper wouldn’t really take each other into consideration for collaboration. The track was actually weaved together and directed by pioneering East-West hybrid-marketing production 88Rising. 88Rising has been at the forefront of many US/East Asian collaborations, helping East-Asian artists gain a foothold within the US music industry and youth culture. Now they’ve come up with a true amalgamation of Eastern and Western acts, bringing together hip-hop and EDM into one glorious border-defying track.
The track is produced by famed LA-based Hip-Hop/EDM producer Yultron, who is of Chinese-descent. It also features Crazyboy as one of its performers, who is a member of a hugely popular JPOP band known as ‘Sandaime J Soul Brothers‘.
This ensemble of multicultural and multi-genre talents couldn’t have been made possible if 88Rising weren’t pulling the right strings.
88Rising continue to bring together Eastern and Western cultures through their multi-faceted work. Their endeavors greatly help spread the Cultural-Artsy-Nerdy lifestyle and creativity that Ambitious Variety is all about.
[Verbal of PKCZ]
What does this mean for PKCZ?
PKCZ has been going strong touring and creating music since 2014, but this latest collaboration is undoubtedly their opus. The Snoop collaboration is not only a dream come true for PKCZ, but will also serve as a catalyst for their global fame.
Verbal of PKCZ explains: “Growing up in Tokyo, Snoop was an artist that transcended beyond music. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the evolution of his “brand” has strongly influenced me as an artist throughout the years. Having Snoop on our first international release is absolutely our childhood dream come true!”
Verbal also stated:
“He is a very friendly person and the whole experience was fun, and I became an even bigger fan after it!”.
Verbal became initially well-known from his ‘Fast and Furious soundtrack hit single ‘Tokyo Drift’, which he performed alongside the hip-hop group ‘Teriyaki Boyz’. Teriyaki Boyz also featured DJ Nigo as their main DJ – the founder behind the iconic streetwear brand ‘A Bathing Ape’. Verbal is also a part of the producer-rapper duo M-Flo alongside LA-based DJ Taku Takahashi – he is undoubtedly one of the key players behind the East and West cultural intersection.
[88Rising’s Main Acts Higher Brothers, Rich Brian and Joji]