K Dub Shine biography
K-Dub Shine (Real Name, Kouta Kagami was born and raised in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan). Waking up to hip-hop in his teens during his 8 year stay in America in 1988, K-Dub drew inspiration from his idols KRS-ONE, Chuck D, Rakim, Run-D.M.C. among others and picked up his pen which changed his life around completely. Coming from a close to poor home combined with his juvenile delinquent nature in his teens, hip-hop worked more or less as an escape from the alternative street life for Dub and before long in 1988 he wrote his first rhymes on the paper in japanese with a dream to build a real hip-hop scene in his own country. Having picked up a more positive lifestyle with the help of hip-hop culture writing lyrics quickly became natural for Dub who had set his eyes on becoming an MC and use the power of them mic to let people know of his opinions in the way his own idols did before him. First going to schools in Florida and then moving to Oakland for further studies, Dub became acquainted with locals acts The Coup & The Hierogplyphics in the early 1990's and in order to collaborate with them Dub met up with fellow japanese students Hideyuki Sakakura and Kou Sakagami who would later be better known as Zeebra and DJ Oasis.
After having appeared on numerous mixtapes followed by the trio selling their own tapes out of car trunks on the streets, the three young japanese mc's graduated from their class and headed back home to Japan in 1993 and finally formed an official group by the name of The Saga Of KG. With K-Dub's vision and Zeebra's unbeatable flow and the smooth production by DJ Oasis the Saga Of KG was quickly after their homecoming crowned as Kings Of The Underground and received great amounts of hype from the big amounts of fans that their fellow group Microphone Pager had gathered to enjoy the music known as hip-hop during their studies in America. After the Saga Of KG name was dropped in 1995 the crew became known as キングギドラ (the legendary space monster from the original Godzilla movies) and with their strong political approach and criticism against the system became pioneers alongside Microphone Pager to have formed a real japanese hip-hop scene with real japanese mentality. In December of 1995 when the trio released their legendary debut album Sora Kara No Chikara marked a change in japanese hip-hop in terms of sound and lyrical approach of the whole nation that encouraged everybody in Japan to be themselves and take freedom of speech in their own hands. Following the release of their sophomore effort the mini album Kage in April of 1996, King Giddra went their own ways due to the huge demand for solo works from each of the members which took K-Dub Shine to sign a solo deal with Cutting Edge Records in the early 1997.
Cutting Edge at the time worked independently without any support from the major labels quickly announced K-Dub's debut album Genzai Jikogu (Released on December of 1997) which was produced by K-Dub himself along with DJ Oasis and featured classics such as [Kinou Teishi (Remix)] and the alltime classic [Parallel World Feat. Zeebra]. Coming off more aggressively than on his group works, Dub was able to pull off a whole album on his own and many considered his solo work better lyrically than the material recorded with his crew. Genzai Jikogu became one of the most succesful solo albums of that time along with Zeebra's Rhyme Animal (released a year later) and K-Dub's political lyrics throughout the album brought his music many hardcore fans even from outside the hip-hop circles. Awarded in various different music shows and magazines Genzai Jikogu and Sora Kara No Chikara on K-Dub's behalf were both lyrical milestones for japanese hip-hop and helped K-Dub build his own label Atomic Bomb Music with DJ Oasis during 1999. A year later K-Dub recorded his sophomore album 'Ikiru' which strenghtened his position as political force and a poet and Ikiru became even more acclaimed than his first with it's attacks against cheap women and japanese lifestyles. With the help of the main tracks [Shining] and [Tengoku To Jigoku] Ikiru also did well on the charts and K-Dub found himself living the dream and still staying real to his roots and lyrical style with no commerciality whatsoever.
Causing controversy with every release became natural for K-Dub ever since his first recordings but probably the biggest sole reason of discussion over his music came when he released [Save The Children], a mini album in September of 2001 which he recorded to fight child abuse and the wrongs that children go through in their daily lifes in Japan. This split his fans in 2 groups with one saying it was too much for him to be serious about (with rhymes such as 'If you see someone beating a child, call me') and the other embracing what he had recorded which was both touching and something that many people in hip-hop had not yet battled against. Regardless K-Dub also went to find an institution by the same name that would be to help the victims of child abuse which brought him a lot of respect even from the people who had judged him before contributing most of the album's profits to the institutions around the country. Teaching hip-hop culture in schools to kids as a side project K-Dub kept a 12 month break from music to prepare a surprise for the japanese hip-hop scene in 2002 when he stepped out to public and announced the return of the legendary space monster after 6 years of silence which shocked the fans that had hoped for their return during those years. 2001 also saw Dub sign Dohzi-T under Atomic Bomb.
King Giddra much like on their first entry to the scene came out with a bang and put out 2 simultaneous single releases on april of 2002, the anthem [F.F.B.] (Fast Food Bitch) and the comeback heavy hitter [Unstoppable]. [F.F.B.] which took shots at homosexuals and the modern day sluts (or cheap women if you prefer) was quickly banned from all the stores in Japan when the gay community raised armies to infiltrate the offices of music business bosses calling it discrimination. Both of the singles entered the Oricon charts (japanese billboard) at top 5 and [F.F.B.] getting banned only raised the popularity of the group and the sales for [Unstoppable]. Coming out with 2 more singles [9.11] and [Generation Next] before their second album's release, K-Dub together with Zeebra and DJ Oasis battled the september 11th attack on the world trade center offering people their views and talking about the problems of today's youth. 'Saishu Heiki' their second album which climbed to number 3 on the charts, continued on the highly political route and attacked the government, the so called pop rappers along with various other topics that unfortunately became their last testament to the hip-hop game when the group announced their break-up after finishing off their tour the following year.
While still affiliated with his group, K-Dub Shine took up on a job at producing the soundtrack for the popular japanese movie Kyoki No Sakura during the later half in 2002 which not only featured music from Dub himself but also from DJ Oasis, King Giddra, Juju and many others. 2003 saw K-Dub and Oasis sign a new act for their Atomic Bomb label, Ja-Hiryu who joined just in time before the deal made with Sony Music Japan for a major distribution deal. 10 years in the game behind him Dub also released his best of collection Sekai Isan in 2003 to celebrate the 'anniversary' and months later a mix cd of his freestyles to accompany the package. In november of 2003 K-Dub announced the plans for his third album 'Riyuu' along with his new single [Ore Wa Ore] which was few months later in the beginning of 2004 followed by the second single of the new album 'Ima Nara'. To prove his love for hip-hop K-Dub released yet another single by the name [Shoshin Shomei] as a tribute to his idols and other hip-hop legends. Riyuu was eventually released in July of 2004.
The above artist description was taken from the hip-hop site "Culture Universal" and was originally written by Jesse Viinikainen. That page can be found here: http://www.cultureuniversal.com/jk/kdub.htm