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DJ Krush

It was films like Wild Style, centered on the early '80s U.S. hip hop movement, that inspired DJ Krush to try his hand at DJing. Having built a formidable reputation as a turntable wizard on the streets of Tokyo, Krush formed the rap unit Krush Posse in '87. Heralded as the best hip hop act by the Japanese media, their subsequent breakup five years later prompted Krush to begin a solo career. His '92 solo debut, Krush, caught the ear of Mo Wax's A&R guru James Lavelle. The same year, Lavelle released Krush's Strictly Turntablized, a massive hit throughout Europe and Japan. Two albums were to follow -- '95's Mei-So and '97's Mi-Light -- before Krush was signed to major label Sony.

Kakusei, his '99 debut for the Japanese music monolith, was followed shortly thereafter by the jaw-dropping mix album Code 4109. Both established Krush as a premier league hip hop producer, and led to collaborations with the likes of DJ Shadow, The Roots, Guru (Gang Starr), Mos Def, and DJ Cam. His '01 album Zen is a truly international affair, featuring the talents of Belgium's Marie Daulne (as Zap Mama), MC Black Thought and drummer Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson of Grammy-winning hip hop act The Roots, acclaimed Nigerian percussionist Tunde Ayanyemi, and Company Flow (their last recording before parting ways). The deep and dank rhythms of "With Grace" are complimented with N'dea Davenport's smooth and sultry vocals. Let the British songstress, who made her name with Brand New Heavies, stroke your soul with her sweet lyrics.

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