While many Japanese rappers freely mix English in to their lyrics, it’s probably much less common for American rappers to do the same with Japanese.

Enter Kokujin Tensai (lit: Black Genius), who is trying to break ground by making Japanese his language of choice when busting mad, phat or otherwise sick rhymes.

From his alias, you might be given the impression that Genius is all wind and no game, but the moment you hear his raps you’ll know his shit is real.

Genius titles his brand of rap “Nichibei (Japanese-American) Hip Hop” and has made his music available for listening on MySpace. Though most of the songs have Japanese titles, much of the rapping is done in English, and each song is overflowing with creative lyrics that exude an appreciation of Japanese culture:

Akete Uchikomitaize (lit: I want to open you up and drive it in)

Yeah, you know what it is, you know what it’s gon’ be, hotter than wasabi, I’m talking ‘bout your body…

Pour it up, drink it up, I just bought the bar. How many girls can I fit in my car? I need at least two, and they gotta be fit, I like to keep a pair, call ‘em chopsticks.

Other songs include Soushoku Danshi (lit: Herbivore Young Men. Refers to guys that are not as aggressive or competitive as a stereotypical male, often used derogatorily as in ‘spineless males’ or ‘guys with no balls’) Kimagure de Furi-sutaiuru (Freestyle on a whim) and Nichibei Hippu Hoppu (Japanese-American Hip Hop).

Of particular interest is the song Umiyuki Freestyle, which uses the backing track of Umiyuki by African-American enka singer, Jero.

Though most singers of enka, a style of traditional Japanese ballad, wear kimonos when performing, Jero wears hip hop attire on stage. Despite throwing a “shoutout” to Jero in the song, Genius calls Jero out in a video posted to YouTube in June 2008:

I got somethin’ I want to say. Right now, in Japan, there is a famous black guy that can speak Japanese. That person’s name? Jero. Pronounced in English? Jerome.

Jerome, what’s good for ya nigga? I got some words for ya bro. You ready? You feel me? I’m gonna ask a question so Japanese people can understand you.

Number one. Why you dressin’ hip hop when you sing enka? You stupid or something? I don’t get it at all. How about at least wearin’ a kimono? Hip hop equals rap.

Number two. Umiyuki. It’s a sad song. Sad. Makes you cry. Why you dancing hip hop to a sad song? Ughh, Jero. I’m a little disappointed.

Number three. I’m challenging you. Listen to my voice, Jero. A challenge. I’ll make an enka song, you make a rap. The viewers will decide who is the best. Whether you accept it or not depends on if you got the balls, right?

There’s no way you can beat me!

Jero has yet to respond to the challenge, suggesting that he either doesn’t have the balls, or is too busy actually being successful.

In an earlier portion of the same video, Genius also tastefully commands viewers, “kintama o sonkei shiro!” or, “respect my balls!”

Genius made his debut in 2006 and had his first performance in Japan in 2007 at a venue in Shibuya. Genius boasts on his MySpace that this was actually earlier than Jero’s debut, though we’re not sure that’s something he wants to brag about, given that within a year of his debut Jero had released a single that hit #4 on the Japanese charts.

According to his blog, Genius is currently stationed with the US military in the Yamaguchi Prefecture, where he is determined to continue his “hip hop revolution.”

Source: Kokujin Tensai (Myspace)

Translation: Steven

▼Video Blog where Genius challenges Jero and demands respect for his testicles▼

▼Self-intro with fellow Japan-based Afrian-American rappers, Sekenzure Nakama (arbitrarily translated: The Street-Smart Fellows)▼

▼Tensai Kokujin’s Erotic Experiment▼

▼Tensai Kokujin’s Performance in Shibuya▼