I wrote about the passing of my heros, COMBAT JACK and ECD recently. Both lost their fight with cancer and although it is sad, they had somewhat lived a full life, or at least 3/4 of their fruitful life. However, Nihongo Rap (Japanese rap) scene took a huge blow few days ago with FEBB AS YOUNG MASON passing away under accidental circumstances.
Not only was FEBB a promising shooting star in the culture full of sheeps and wannabe celebrities, he was hip hop to the core. As a rapper, he had tight rhymes, smooth flow, raw content, and ill delivery, and as a producer his beats sometimes sounded gritty, but at other times silky and catchy. FEBB was a diamond in the rough, waiting to be polished, but for some, like me, loved the raw, boom bap style he effortlessly produced. His love for 90’s New York sound is evident in his raps and tracks, showing there was hope for the next generation of hip hop enthusiasts in Japan and perhaps around the world.
His phenomenal debut as FLA$HBACKS, a super group consisting of fellow young guns, JJJ and KID FRESINO, made an incredible impact unseen in Japan for the past few years. FEBB followed this release with his solo project, THE SEASON, which cemented his authority and greatness as a force to be reckoned with. What was most amazing was his talent compared to his age. He was already making bangin’ beats as a teenager, DJing and making heads nod, while he didn’t really consider himself as a rapper, his skills were way better than peers of his generation.
At 24 years old, his life ended too soon, before he flourished as an MC and producer, but even at this point, his legacy will live on and FEBB will be remembered as one of the dopest MCs and producers to have contributed to the Japanese hip hop culture.
I first learned about FEBB on BLACK FILE‘s show, OTAKU IN THA HOOD, a series that takes a behind the scenes look into the personal life of key personnel in Japanese hip hop scene. In this episode, FEBB is seen sharing a small apartment with his friends, who are also budding rappers and producers. Already, his persona and witty character can be seen in this short show, and his unforgettable smile and jokes. Furthermore, his deep love for New York style hip hop is evident, as he explains about his love for the documentary of Queensbridge rapper, TRAGEDY, and his records sorted out predominantly in New York boroughs and a bunch of records in BOOT CAMP CLIK section.
Even though he does not demonstrate any raps in this show, he gives a preview of the latest beat he worked on, and it is pure fire. He sits on the tatami floor, tapping on his MPC, and jokingly asks for donation for listening to his beats!
Few years passed, and few albums under his belt, FEBB was iller than ever and showed much promise as the next big thing. In the 7INC TREE series by FRESH!, ISSUGI reaches out to him for a collabo on his upcoming song, Scissor Hands. FEBB not only talks about tracks he produced for his third solo project, he has stocked up beats for his fourth project. And again, all of the beats are fire and it is sad we will not be able to hear any of those projects completed now.
We will never know what prompted FEBB to his death, but his legacy will live on and his music will be enjoyed forever.
REST IN POWER FEBB