September 20, 2017 all-day
The Garage
Highbury Corner
London N5 1RA
Live Nation
KOHH @ The Garage | England | United Kingdom

Kohh’s music, his growing influence and presence on the global scene, and his dexterity within his artform has led to being called a pioneer and a figurehead for Japanese hip hop. But, as he says, “I’m only a Japanese artist because I was born in Japan. It doesn’t really matter to me which nationality I am. I’m human before anything.” Does he see himself as a figurehead? “To me, I think that’s interesting,” he responds succinctly, if not enigmatically. Back in 2014, Kohh was the subject of a short documentary, in which he expressed the desire to change how hip hop is consumed, appreciated and seen in Japan. In those two years, his outlook has altered as he focuses on his own work. “To be honest,” he says, “the image of Japanese hip hop, respect or how people see me – none of that matters. And because of that, I don’t really know what has changed in Japanese hip hop. But it seems that freestyling has become quite a thing recently.”

The Bardos, however, like many hip hop aficionados and critics, believe that he’s essential to Japanese culture in general, not just to hip hop. “He wrecks all the underlying codes and rules; it shakes people, wakes them up and it’s necessary,” they say. “Japan is the biggest paradox, so tidy outside but something is definitely happening deep down, it’s something to face and accept. Kohh does exactly that not because he tries too hard, or even wants to change anything, just because he is what he is and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

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