Hip-Hop artist Kirk “Aztech” Yi (Jujutsu Kaisen) releases anime-inspired album Green 21

CD cover for Aztech’s album Green 21 and fan art for Jujutsu Kaisen anime. Pic credit: aztechfromhybirdthoughts1.bandcamp.com/@pinterest.fr

On September 8, 2022, underground hip-hop artist Kirk “Aztech” Yi released an anime-inspired album called Green 21 that conveys his 90s hip-hop roots. Aztech is the most featured hip-hop artist in anime history along with his partner Paranom. He’s appeared on popular anime soundtracks, such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Dr. Stone, BEASTARS, Blood Blockade Battlefront, and Sakugan.

You can listen to his new album here.

Green 21 will be officially released on September 9, 2022, under Osaka-based Navy Clown records.

The hip-hop, lo-fi, rap songs on the album definitely have an edgy anime feel and feature Asian-inspired titles like “Bullet Proof Pagoda” and “Midori” (“Greenery”).

Aztech collaborates with talented musical individuals

The third song “With Me” was a collaboration with singer-songwriter Yukie Dong and rhyme master Paranom (Blood Blockade Battlefront). Yukie is known for having sung anime songs at the Anime Expo AX Dance, Daicon, and Fanime. She also played Hatsune Mikuin the Hatsune Miku Project Diva Game.

Other Aztech’s notable collaborations include those with Stee Nack, Kezvia, Oblivious, Judge the Disciple, DJ Rugged One, and Shiori Kubrick.

Aztech comments on his new album

It’s always “Aztech” as far as the essence of my songs, but sonically I approached this album the same way I would approach handling an entire anime soundtrack. This one was inspired by anime and is definitely for the otaku out there.

Aztech commented at thecryptoonline.com

When did Aztech get into anime and hip-hop fusion?

In 1998, Aztech formed the Boston-based hi-hop group Hybrid Thoughts, which was composed of young people who were passionate about music, rap, and hip-hop. Aztech had his big break when he linked up with a person he knew who became a Japanese producer.

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He had always been a fan of anime and was able to take things further by getting to show his passion for the artistic medium through song.

CD cover for the Jujutsu Kaisen Original soundtrack and CD cover for the Dr. Stone original soundtrack 3.
CD cover for the Jujutsu Kaisen Original Soundtrack and CD cover for the Dr. Stone Original Soundtrack 3. Pic credit: @dr-stone.jp and @jujutsukaisen.jp

On April 21, 2021, the Jujutsu Kaisen Original Soundtrack album was released and four of the songs (tracks 4, 7, 15, 17) featured Aztech’s signature rap elements.

You can listen to the song “Learn The Lesson”, track #17, which features Aztech and Kasper, here:

Jujutsu Kaisen OST 17. Learn The Lesson ft. Kasper and Aztech
Music video for “Learn The Lesson”.

On March 3, 2021, Dr. Stone’s Original Soundtrack 3 was released. One of the most popular songs is “Rising Fire” featuring Aztech. You can listen to the song here:

Rising Fire feat. Aztech
Music video for “Rising Fire”.

On March 25, 2021, the BEASTARS Original Soundtrack 2 was released with music by Satoru Kousaki. One of the popular songs “Between the Soil and Skyline” featured a rapping Aztech. You can listen to the song here:

Between the Soil & Skyline
Music video for “Soil and Skyline”.

Do you enjoy the anime soundtracks where Aztech brings his own unique hip-hop flair? Are you looking forward to the release of his album Green 21 on September 9, 2022? Let us know in the comment section below!

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