New Blood: Japanese Cartoon

Did you know Lupe Fiasco has a post punk band? Well under his real name Wasalu Muhammad Jaco he is one quarter of Japanese Cartoon, along with producer Graham Burris, Matt Nelson & streetwear designer Le Messie. The band also have a merchandising partnership with Nathan Cabrera, the artist that also does most of the art on all Dr. Romanelli projects.

Bit of departure? Your damn right, if your experience of Lupe is his biggest hit ‘Superstar’ or even if your deeply familar with his career & label struggles over his massively delayed album ‘Lasers’; Your probably just as suprised by this move in direction as we are. When the band was first concieved, unsure of this new direction and the reception he would get Lupe intially denied his involvement with the project and that the bands mysterious frontman was him. In fact Lupe furthered the ruse by singing in a fake British accent for most of the early demo’s. A decision made by Lupe to both further the mystery and show the influence British bands like The Ruts, The Clash, The Prodigy & Joy division have had on this project; Which is a tight package of scuzzy electro, hip-hop & breakbeat inspired rhythms with a distinctly post punk vibe.

They have decided to release their first album ‘In The Jaws Of The Lords Of Death’ for free via their site Its a mix of the earlier demo’s featuring the fake British accent and a distinct simplicity and DIY feel and the more recent, more realised production, where frankly its seems like Lupe has relaxed into the role and become more sure of himself, and it shows through.

‘In The Jaws Of The Lords Of Death’ is out now via along with an assortment of distinct merchandise. You can check out my favorite track from the album below.