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Bushido Beats: The Art of War in Hip-Hop Production

By: Adisa, The Bishop




There is a powerful trend in Hip-Hop production growing outside of the rap industry. It is happening organically in the free landscape of the internet. I call it Bushido Beats.

Back in the early 1990’s, I was in a rap group called Freedom T.R.O.O.P. 187. I used to be obsessed by studying Taoism, Buddhism and Confucian scholarship. I used to go with my friend MC Hi-Low to Shambala Books on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, CA. We would buy whatever we could find. Once I bought a tape of some Japanese flutes and another of a Japanese harpist (sadly both their names escape me now). Back then Hi-Low and I always said we were gonna put the melodies to a beat. We never did. Luckily a lot of other rap artists emerged with Eastern-themed music. DJ Premier did a lot with Jeru and Afu Ra, and of course the Wu Tang Clan.
Many years ago I interviewed Shaolin Monk Shi Yan Ming (Kung Fu teacher and mentor of RZA)  for the Yoga Journal for a story about rap artists who practice medit…

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