The one-of-a-kind sound that transcends genres. Nujabes is notable for his choice of modal jazz samples. His music is based on instrumental hip hop, with a distinctly mellow, soulful, and atmospheric approach to sample-based beat making, and with a melancholic, nostalgic touch.
Based in Shibuya Tokyo, Nujabes was active from 1995 to 2010. One of his first significant works was producing the soundtrack of the cult anime series "Samurai Champloo", a series which was a unique mash up of hip hop, street, and graffiti culture, blending a feudal Japanese setting with modern anachronisms.
He was also a record label founder with the independent label Hydeout Productions, as well as a record-store owner with GUINNESS RECORDS founded in 1995 in Udagawa-cho, Shibuya. In March 1999 he opened Park Avenue Studios in Jinn, Shibuya.
After releasing many 12inch singles, he released two studio albums during his lifetime: Metaphorical Music (2003) and Modal Soul (2005), while the album Spiritual State was released posthumously in 2011.
Nujabes set up numerous collaborations by scouting for domestic and foreign artists who would fit his music. He collaborated with Japanese artists like Uyama Hiroto and Shing02, and with various American hip hop acts such as CYNE, Cise Starr (as a solo artist separate from the hip hop collective CYNE), Apani B, Five Deez, Substantial, CL Smooth, Fat Jon, and Terry Callier, as well as with British rapper Funky DL.
Although relatively niche during his music career, Nujabes has since achieved posthumous acclaim.