Japan has its own hip-hop scene that differs from the American scene in almost every way. Some of the obvious differences include language and musical influence; while American hip-hop artists grew up listening to earlier forms of music and draw on that in their work, Japanese artists and DJs tend to base their material on American styles.
Because Japan is devoid of ghettos and minority groups, there is no association between hip-hop and any form of oppression, nor is it a matter of class distinction. Rather, hip-hop culture is an expression of international fashion, and the hip-hop hotbeds in Tokyo are the same places considered to be the centers of youth fashion in Japan. It can be argued that rather than the music itself, fashion is Japan’s most significant hip-hop cultural export; brands like A Bathing Ape are often seen on American hip-hop artists as well as others around the world.