Gliffics, A Breath of Fresh Air

                                 (pictured: illmind, Gliffics and Lenny Harold)

Feb 22, 2011- by: Sara Barton
           On assignment in the Middle East, I had the rare opportunity to meet Hip-Hop‘s newest sensation, Gliffics. Promoting his debut album, “Against All Odds”. His music is pure poetry in motion.
     The single “Call Me Crazy” is an original work of art. A creative innovation featuring a synergy of the artistic talents of: Gliffics, well-known producer illmind, playing an unforgettable guitar solo is Maki along with a catchy chorus featuring the vocals of Lenny Harold. It is truly a musical masterpiece. 


              “Burgundy Walls”, produced by Jay Dilla, is a passionate expression of Gliffics soul; reflecting his personal mantra, ‘Don’t let your past predict your future”. Staring at a Burgundy Wall and having flash back of where he came from. His talent as a lyricist is unsurpassed. They feature a rhythem and flow that are reminiscent of the golden age of Hip-Hop. Listen closely at 1:15, and you will hear the name Langston Hughes, it’s a fine touch. It’s as Gliffics told me he takes his music seriously as Langston Hughes takes his writing.

     Gliffics has added his own personal touch to genre. His songs are organic; cutting edge, while remaining true to the essence of hip-hop. They’re composed by true artist who has poured his heart and soul into each one of them. His album will likely do well both on mainstream radio and the Hip-Hop scene. “Against all Odds” comes out in spring, featuring 10 tracks and will be available on itunes. ( “Burgundy Walls” will not be featured on the album, but can be downloaded for free along with his single “Call Me Crazy”. See links below)


 Gliffics’ Links:

Gliffics Reverbnation Page: 
[Click below for free downloads of “Call me Crazy” & “Burgundy Walls”]
Gliffics Official Facebook Fan Page:  
TheGliffics – Official YouTube Channel:


Hip Hop USA Sneaker Battle At Kinokuniya

Hey everyone, I just wanted to take a look back at an event Samurai Beat Radio took part in, which was the Hip Hop USA Sneaker Battle at Kinokuniya Bookstore on February 12. That day was a lot of fun and a HUGE amount of people came. Hip Hop USA presented a sneaker art workshop and a wide variety of people signed up to draw on sneakers.

Hip-Hop USA representative, Terry Nelson, was the host of the workshop and he brought some wonderful guests, including legendary graffiti artist, James Top. It was pretty exciting to see a whole group of people draw on sneakers to win some good prizes. Seeing kids at Cafe Zaiya draw sneakers on the tables was something to see. The artwork was incredible. I’m amazed at what participants were able to come up with. Although I’m not an artist myself, I can tell what is good and what isn’t.

SBR did a panel on hip-hop in Japan to coincide with the sneaker battle and it was a lot of fun. We had our colleague, May Young of Asian Culture Goes Pop, and a radio DJ who covered hip-hop in Japan, DJ Naomi. James Top & the Rock Steady Crew joined in as well. The Rock Steady Crew talked about meeting female ninjas back in 1983 when they toured Japan, which was hilarious. One funny part was when I had a list of anime references in American hip-hop songs and I read a majority of them. Overall, DJ Naomi was a great guest and she knew a lot of what was going on in Japan.

6 winners were announced that day and they won some good stuff, from graffiti artbooks to anime DVDs. The event was a huge success. A lot of people were interested in drawing on sneakers and there was a nice diverse crowd of people watch the merge of Japanese pop culture and hip-hop. I’m looking forward to see what happens and I believe we only scratched the surface of hip-hop influence in Japan. Thank you to Hip Hop USA & PJ Pop for inviting us and organizing the event!

– Tony

All photos were taken by Tony Yao.