DJ Deckstream is one of the best Japanese DJs out there still producing. His beats are smooth, his collaborators are all great and he never sold out. What more can you ask for?
This is one of my favorite things about Deckstream — you never see him. He’s a DJ, and so he mixes the beats, none of this showboating. Judging from the picture, though, he’s a Ferrari fan; it looks like he’s sitting in a 355, and there’s two 360 Modenas in the background. That’s unimportant, though. The music!
DJ Deckstream is seriously influenced by jazz. His beats are almost always jazzy, with strong piano lines, rhythm guitar and bass, although he has a thing for strings as well. Just like most Japanese hip-hop producers, he prefers melody to simplicity. Play On ft. Pep Love:
You may have noticed that the lyrics were in English. Deckstream collaborates with American rappers often, including Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco. The Lupe Fiasco collaboration also features Verbal, a member of the Japanese hip-hop supergroup Teriyaki Boyz. While Teriyaki Boyz isn’t my favorite group, I have to admit that Verbal dropped a great track, and Lupe was excellent as always. Can You Let Me Know is possibly Deckstream’s most popular track ever.
That track really gets into the jazzy thing, and Verbal references Transformers….awesome. In spite of the fact that he is hardly ever seen, one of Deckstream’s more recent albums debuted at #2 on Japanese iTunes. One of the singles got some attention in Japan and the US because it featured Mos Def and had a really smooth beat. It is Life is Good:
DJ Deckstream is a great Japanese DJ who will remain largely unknown to most American hip-hop lovers because he isn’t a media hog. He’s got some high-quality tracks out and you should check him out further on Youtube — unfortunately, he can’t be found on the American iTunes. This guy does the jazzy hip-hop thing better than Digable Planets or even Gang Starr. He deserves a listen!