San Francisco, CA-born Hip-Hop Group, NjS, Releases Debut Album Titled "Back to Square One" with a Live Performance in Tokyo, Japan

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The Unsigned Hip-Hop Duo, NjS, Comprised of a Half-Japanese Rapper and a Full-Japanese Rapper who were Both Born and Raised in San Francisco, CA, Put on a Release Party in Tokyo, Japan, which Included a Live Performance, to Celebrate Their Debut Album Release on iTunes and on June, 9th. NjS's Lyrics are Mainly in English, but They Both Can and Do Use Japanese in A Few of their Songs on the Album to Appeal to their Japanese Audience.

NjS - Photo by Alexis Wuillaume

American hip-hop and Japanese hip-hop have very different sounds and feels to them, but we strive to find the middle ground between the two that everyone can listen to and vibe to.

NjS, an up and coming hip-hop duo from San Francisco, CA consisting of Flow Zen (Rob Myers) and Kuga (Aki Shimo), just released their debut album entitled Back to Square One on June 9th. To mark the release, they hosted a release party at Club Amate-Raxi in Tokyo. Both Rob and Aki were born in San Francisco and lived there until they graduated high school in 2007. Rob then went to UC Irvine, and Aki went to Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. They are both currently living in Tokyo, although Rob is moving back to California in August 2010 to finish up college, and Aki plans on going back once he graduates from Sophia University in 2012.

Their debut album is actually a double album consisting of 22 songs. 8 of the 22 songs received Auddy Awards that can be viewed on the NjS Profile. Rob and Aki not only wrote and recorded all the lyrics for the album, but they also made 21 of the 22 instrumentals used. We strive not only to be lyricists and recording artists, but we also want take on the production side of things, too," says Kuga, one of the two members of NjS.

Both artists have spent several years perfecting their unique style, which blends not only the English and Japanese languages, but also American and Japanese hip-hop cultural influences. "American hip-hop and Japanese hip-hop have very different sounds and feels to them, but we strive to find the middle ground between the two that everyone can listen to and vibe to. We want to make great music that you can dance to or chill out to, and that crosses language and cultural barriers and brings people together, because that's what we believe hip-hop is truly about," says Flow Zen, one of the two members of NjS.

Flow Zen and Kuga can both use English and Japanese in their songs, but usually use English unless they are making a song to be released solely in Japan. While in Japan they got to work with a few people, including Remi Desroques and his Wavereader Productions, and the management company, Zodia'c International, who said that the rhythm and flow of their words is like that of Japanese rappers, but what makes them unique is that they can do that with English as well as Japanese. They pride themselves on their rhyming and lyrics, which cover diverse topics ranging from upbeat dance songs to serious, more meaningful songs. They have performed at clubs around Tokyo, including Vuenos, Club Axxcis, Club Asia P, Club Hazard, Club Amate-Raxi, and Studio NOV, among others.

They have made their biggest strides in music while in Japan this past year by establishing a fan base and a foundation there, but both artists are very excited to move back to California - where they started - and to begin making a name for themselves in the US, as well.

NjS is working on building a website right now, and until then, their main band pages are the NjS Facebook Page, and the NjS Page.

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Robert Myers and Aki Shimo
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