Small Body of Work

Perhaps one of the problems with talking about T-X and proclaiming him as one of the best Japanese rappers, is his relatively small body of (solo) work. When ranking the greatest rappers, you must think about not only their ability, but also the amount of times and how consistently they show that ability.

Tokona-X has only one solo album, but he has done a lot of work with DJ Hazu (DJ 刃頭) and performed with his group M.O.S.A.D., so we can still get some idea of his true ability. Even so, there’s no telling where he could have taken his music, both in a positive and negative sense.

For me, his album, Tokai X Teio (トカイxテイオウ) is such a great piece, that it would be really difficult to beat. In a way, I feel it was in part poetic justice that he died after he recorded it. Not because I want him to be dead, but because it’s so good that maybe it was the best he could have done? It’s a really worthy album of such high quality that I think every rapper is trying to reach that level. Tokai X Teio is his ’88 album. We must ask ‘could he have done better?’ And ‘where could he have taken his career from there?’

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