Hip hop and anime go way back, and it looks like one of rap’s biggest stars is dipping into Tokyo these days. After all, Cardi B has released a special music video for her song “I Like It”, and it has got some serious anime flair.
Taking to Youtube, Warner Music Japan uploaded an animated music video for Cardi Bi’s hit single. The reel is titled “I Like It [Japan Anime Edition]” and its name is all kinds of appropriate. The colorful music video follows a stylized chibi of Cardi B going around Japan, and the rap star does a lot on her impromptu trip.
The clip begins with Cardi B on the sea with a slew of traditional Japanese folklore characters. She heads to the stage next before Cardi B takes a shot at Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. As the music video continues, the star tries everything from karaoke to to shopping and sushi sampling.
The anime-inspired music video was handled by Ruka Noguchi, and the artist’s distinct aesthetic is hard to overlook here. The director teamed up with animator Yasuhiro Yamashita to bring this reel to life, and it gives an entirely new flavor to Cardi B’s latin-pop track.
Of course, there may be some fans confused by this anime-centric turn, but hip hop has a long tradition of shouting out Japanese pop culture. In fact, artists like Hopsin, Childish Gambino, and many others have referenced anime in their work. Not long ago, Jaden Smith stepped up to release his own tribute to anime with a track called "Goku". The song borrows its name from Son Goku, the iconic protagonist of Dragon Ball, and the EDM track sees Smith rap about how he feels like he's going off like Goku. Smith is just one of dozens to reference the Saiyan in their verses, and other shonen heroes like Naruto and Monkey D. Luffy have been namedropped as well.1comments
While Cardi B doesn’t namedrop any particular anime in “I Like It”, her new music video leans into a culture where hip hop has drawn lots of inspiration. In the past, Kanye West did so as well with his Akira-inspired video for “Stronger”, and it seems Cardi B is helping continue that legacy for future artists.
So, which anime-influenced hip hop track is on your favorites playlist? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!