So Will Pace beat me to it by publishing a Preemo article entitled “Top 30 DJ Premier Cuts” and I admit it infuriated me. I wanted to be first to write an article about Premier, however, the article was awesome and got me thinking. If he could do an article like that, I should respond.
Nujabes was unfortunately taken before his time. I discovered his music, like so many others, through the incredible anime Samurai Champloo and found my 16-year-old self-entranced by the soundtrack. My love for Nujabes began that day, and it is a great sadness that he has since passed in a car accident.
Here is my Top 15 Cuts from the man himself.
1. 624 (Parts 1 and 2)
Initially, I heard this particular beat (part 1) in a video of a dancer who was really influential to me (initially called Bboy B.Yu). I then discovered Part 2 and I’ve been in love with them both ever since.
This beat was really nice but it was taken to another level by the uplifting lyrics of Cise Starr and Akin. This became one of my primary pick-me-up songs for a long time.
The theme song to one of the greatest anime ever – Samurai Champloo – and the first time I heard Nujabes and his long time collaborator, Shing02. Undoubtedly my favourite theme song ever.
4. Shiki No Uta
It only makes sense to follow the opening theme with the closing theme right?
5. A Space In Air In A Space In Air
One of my favourite interludes out there…
6. Sanctuary Ship
Another great from the Samurai Champloo soundtrack.
7. 1st Samurai
One of the reasons I love Nujabes is how many of his songs I could break to when I was first learning, and this is still one of my favourite to throw down to.
8. Imaginary Folklore
I’m an autumn baby and it’s actually my favourite season. This is one of the most played songs in my autumn playlist. Yes I have seasonal playlists…don’t ask.
I have spent maybe 6 years writing to this song and I’m still not satisfied I can do it justice.
10. Counting Stars
One of his more well known songs, and one popular amongst his fans.
11. Reflection Eternal
Probably one of his saddest sounding songs for me, but in a nice, reassuring kind of way.
12. World Without Words
Interestingly this is also Joey Bada$$’s favourite track.
This one makes me salsa… And I’m actually semi-decent at that. No really I am.
14. Lady Brown
A nice romantic one for you guys, with cuffing season approaching and all that. Cise Starr yet again.
15. Love Sic (Parts 1-6)
This 6 song set is incredible. Part 1 is my favourite. They all speak to me though.
So there you go, my top 15 Nujabes cuts. I truly hope more people see the gift you were to us and allow your music to inspire them as it inspired me as a musician and dancer. You were taken far too soon.
“Nujabes has his distinctive way of creating his sound whether it be the way he spins sounds, or the way he samples it. There’s a nostalgic feeling to it and there’s a place where you look back, there’s this feeling of always looking forward yet looking back”
Thank you Jun Seba, you are truly missed.