NENE from Yurufuwa Gang is definitely the most trippy, psychedelic artist on this list and is probably the most detached from Japan’s current hip-hop boom. The name comes from a combination of the word “yururi”, which means “leisurely”, and the word “fuwa”, which means “light” or “fluffy”.
The pair of Ryugo Ishida and NENE writes all the lyrics and producer, Automatic, makes all the wavy, pseudo-trap beats. NENE, who is 23 years-old and used to go by the name Sophiee, grew up in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward and the duo met at a hip-hop event in Tokyo in 2016.
Their 2017 debut album, “Mars Ice House”, was put out on Mary Joy Recordings and was influenced by the films of Quentin Tarentino. NENE released a solo album called “NENE” in December 2017 and the duo’s follow-up album, “Mars Ice House II”, just dropped in July of 2018. They released it with a music video for the track “Palm Tree”. They’re also getting props abroad with Diplo giving them a shoutout on Twitter and The New York Times Style Magazine featuring the duo.
You can find their music on Spotify, Apple Music, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.