Friday, August 31, 2012


Recently I had the opportunity to interview American-Born, Hip Hop artist living in Japan, CRAZY-T. I can't say how much I appreciate him taking his time out of his busy schedule to do an interview, it was via email, but he replied just a few hours later and that I am very grateful for. Where was I? Oh right! On to the interview!

RSF - Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

T - Good Day/Afternoon/Evening all. I am an American MC in Japan, people call me CRAZY-T (I know it's kind of a corny name, it's just what people have called me since I was young). My mother is American, my father is from Belize. So basically I'm a half latin/half white American dude rapping in Japan.

RSF - You're from America, but you live in Japan, what inspired you to make such a major choice in life and move to Japan?

T - Actually I didn't move to Japan for anything having to do with music. My wife is Japanese so that's why I ended up here. I learned Japanese in the states though.

RSF - You recently released an album called 開眼 (Kai-Gan), could you please tell us a little about the album?

T - Kai-Gan (開眼) literally means to "awaken" the first character (the "kai" part) means "to open", the second character means "eye". It doesn't mean awakening in the literal sense though. It has more of a spiritual connotation. The word is used often in Japanese Buddhism to describe enlightenment.
My grandmother is of Mayan decent, and ever since I was a kid I heard about the "2012 prophecy", it always fascinated me so I have been reading about all of the various theories about 2012. There are all sorts of ideas from "the apocalypse" to "human consciousness going to the next level" to "contact with aliens". Since it's something i've been hearing about since I was a kid I felt like since this year is 2012 I had to make an album based on this concept.

I definitely don't believe that the world will end, and I don't think people will magically evolve into a higher species- but I like the idea of humans evolving. The name of the album is about just that- people realizing that the current state of the world is unfair and uncivilized...people realizing that it's not fair that the 1% of humans live lavishly while others starve...people realizing that we are destroying the planet we live on, etc. It describes everything I want to see happen in the world in 2 characters: people "awakening" to reality and making a change.

For the album art we got one of the dopest graffiti crews in Japan "shizentomotel" to do a cover for us. They really summed up the concept in one picture really well and we were REALLY happy to get to work with them...If you are into graffiti or just art in general check them out at

RSF - Your producer almost always if not exclusively is WARDRUMZ. Why him? Do you like his style or is it much deeper than that?

T- To make a REALLY long story short, it's much deeper than that. WARDRUMZ is basically my brother, one of the best guys I know. We met awhile back and he is one of the people I trust the most. Besides music, we are just really good buddies, which makes the chemistry a lot better when we are making music. If he sends me a beat and I don't feel it - I can just tell him "this beat sucks, make something better" and after he gets really pissed off at me he always hits me with a beat 10,000X harder a few days later. He has a lot of passion and ambition-which I really respect.
We actually recently just started a label together called "RIZING SONS ENTERTAINMENT", you can check it out at

RSF - Who would you say are your biggest influences in Japan and the states?

T- In Japan my biggest influences are some of my best friends. 田我流(Dengaryu) (stillichimiya) for example, is someone I really respect as a person and is a really good friend of mine. We live really close so we chill a lot. He keeps consistently making better music than me, so he motivates me to keep working on what I do and improving my craft. Basically everyone I work with is someone that I have a personal connection with-and their skills inspire me to keep practicing my own.

In the states, just to list off a few artists, I like stuff like Dilated Peoples (particularly Evidence), ILL BILL (who I actually got to work with on a WARDRUMZ E.P.), Jedi Mind Tricks, The Fugees, Immortal Technique, R.A. the rugged man, Wu-Tang...just to name a few, I could go on all day.
I also listen to a lot of Reggae and a lot of music from Korea, Mexico, and many other countries as well.

RSF - You've worked with artists such as DABO (BABY MARIO PRODUCTION) , NORIKIYO (SD JUNKSTA) and AXIS (LIBRA RECORDS). How did you come to be so fortunate to work with such amazing artists?

T - Like I mentioned above, everyone that I work with I have some kind of personal connection with before the music is made. I have known DABO for a few years, we often performed at the same shows in Tokyo etc. and got a long really well. It was really surreal to do a song with him though.
NORIKIYO  I met through my label president, I've actually worked with a lot of members of SD JUNKSTA . They are also closely affiliated with shizentomotel - the group that did my album art for Kai-Gan... both are from Kanagawa and shizentomotel does a lot of art for SD JUNKSTA  as well. The whole scene in Kanagawa is dope. Real core hip-hop, all 4 elements. AXIS and I just get along well. We think alike and have similar goals as far as the direction we want to see Japanese hip-hop move in etc. We are working together on a lot of things right now.

RSF - You come from KC, a place known for some of the best food in America. Which would you say has the best food? KC or Japan as a whole?

T - As a Kansas City native I have to say nothing beats a KC strip (if anyone tries to talk about a NY strip- it's not a NY strip- it's a mislabeled KC strip), or KC BBQ. I miss KC food a lot in when I'm in Japan. However, when I go back home I miss Japanese it's kind of a toss up honestly, both are great.

RSF - If you could work with anyone in Japan that you have not already worked with, who would it be?


RSF - I ask this to everyone I interview. Are you single?

T - No.

RSF - Are you currently working on any projects at the moment, collabs perhaps?

T- Right now WARDRUMZ and I are working on the sequel to the Shell Shock EP. There are some things in the works I can't announce yet, but expect some verses from ISH-ONE, ZEUS (YELLOW DIAMOND CREW) , Dengaryu (stillichimiya) and some other big surprises.

RSF - What would you say is the main message behind what you do as an artist?

T- Be yourself! as corny as it sounds, that is the true essence of hip-hop.

RSF - Before we go would you like to say anything to our readers?

T - Be open minded when it comes to music, Hip-Hop has become a world-wide culture, don't dismiss hip-hop from Japan as a cheap imitation, because there are many people out here that understand the true essence of hip-hop more than anything you hear on the radio in the states.

Also, I would like to clear this up for some of you. "Train Rape" porn is STAGED!.......unfortunately I can't say the same for tentacle rape!!!!


We would like to thank CRAZY-T for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us! You can purchase his latest album 開眼 (KAI-GAN) at JET SET RECORDS , HMV and other various online stores that sell Japanese Hip Hop music.

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