According to an announcement posted today on Hydeout Productions, DJ and hip hop producer Nujabes passed away late last month in a car accident at the age of 36.
Nujabes, whose real name is Seba Jun, is remembered as one of the premiere producers in the underground hip-hop scene. His philosophical, atmospheric music spanned beyond his native Japan. He has done collaborations with British and American artists such as CYNE's Cise Star (Lady Brown) and Substantial (Think Different). He is perhaps most widely recognized for his work on the soundtrack of Samurai Champloo.
His production company notes that he had been working on several tracks, which they hope to piece together and release as his final work.
Oakland-based music artist and collaborator Shingo Annen, known as Shing02, was among the first to break the somber news to the American hip-hop community. His post can be read here.
Whatever may have been lost in Google's Japanese to English translation of Hydeout's announcement, the text somehow poetically describes his passing: Without having to raise the heartbeat again, took off into the sky.