dj honda moved to Tokyo when he was 17 years old to pursue his dream of playing in an American influenced rock band. He started a band called, online “The Clique” as the vocalist and guitarist. However, ed the band struggled and dj honda was forced to seek additional employment. He began djing at the popular nightclubs in a small nearby city, Shizuoka where he was first introduced to hip hop music and various turntable techniques, including scratching & beat juggling. Ultimately, dj honda landed premiere gigs in Tokyo’s largest clubs while he perfecting his turntable techniques. By this time, he had created a popular name for himself as a DJ. dj honda also appeared on Tokyo radio stations and remixed popular tracks for local record companies.
After entering New York City’s New Music Seminar’s “Battle for World Supremacy” in 1992 and placing runner up, dj honda made an international splash. After the success of this battle under his belt, dj honda decided to move to L.A. to make a buzz for himself in the U.S. It was here where dj honda forged notable contacts such as Ice T, Easy E, Tha Alkaholiks, Xzibit & many other West Coast talents. Sony Music Japan then approached dj honda for a recording contract where he eventually released two albums: “h, dj honda” & “h II”. This signing caused dj honda to move once again to New York City. He was ahead of his time in Japan at this stage. After securing this new recording contract with Sony, dj honda launched his signature “h, dj honda” collection including the infamous “h” baseball caps, men’s clothing, accessories such as sunglasses, neck ties, umbrellas, shoe line, wallets, etc. In New York City, he cultivated many valuable relationships with artists like Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Prince Whipper Whip, Universal Zulu Nation including Afrika Bambaata well as some of the emcees who would later be featured on his self-titled debut LP, “h, dj honda”: Common, Redman, Gang Starr, Fat Joe, Biz Markie, JuJu & Psycho Les of The Beatnuts, Brand Nubian’s Grand Puba & Sadat X, & more. With the success of “h, dj honda” album released in U.S. and Japan Versions, dj honda makes a quantum leap from his debut album to his sophomore compilation, “h II” which featured acclaimed emcees such as Mos Def, KRS-One, The Beatnuts, Cuban Link, Keith Murray, De La Soul, Missin’ Linx, & more. “Trouble In the Water”, the first single from h II album was a masterpiece between emcee and producer: De La Soul and dj honda. The second single from h II was dj honda & Mos Def’s collabo, “Travellin’ Man” which became a hit single world wide with having its music video playing from Brazil to South Africa. dj honda is extremely well liked by American emcees. dj honda tours the world after “h, dj honda” & then again after dropping “h II”.
It was at this time that dj honda decided to do his own thing and leave Sony Music Japan behind to embark on opening his own, independent record label, “dj honda RECORDINGS” simultaneously in New York City and Tokyo with Seoul, South Korea branch office opening in 2002. dj honda ambitiously releases two albums on Christmas Day, 1999: “h 2000″, a compliation album featuring all production by dj honda coupled with New York’s prominent emcees and “Turntablist Revolution: I.T.F. World DJ Compilation Album Vol. 1″, a compilation of scratches & beat juggling tracks by the best turntablists from around the world. The first official U.S. & international single, “El Presidente” with Jeru The Damaja was distributed by RED and the music video was in rotation on national t.v. stations such as B.E.T.’s Rap City, MTV 2, and other local cable shows. With the momentum of releasing this independent debut single, dj honda releases his junior, compilation album titled, “h III” in Japan and Korean Versions only. He enlists yet another group of New York’s finest lyricists: M.O.P., Teflon, The Beatnuts, Gravediggaz, Jeru The Damaja, Parish “PMD” Smith of EPMD, Triple Seis, 8 Off Agallah, Black Attack along with Rob Jackson and a pioneer DJ, DJ Alladin, & more. For the first time ever, dj honda collaborates solo with one emcee on an album titled, “Underground Connection” with Parish “PMD” Smith of the duo group, EPMD and is released in Japan and S. Korea with bonus tracks from Korean hip hop artists. Erick Sermon & a few other emcees.
dj honda opens to the general public his U.S. flagship retail store in SoHo, New York City in June 2000 which carries music, his clothing and accessory collection, “h, dj honda”, as well live DJ sessions, events and sake parties. Since music and fashion has a symbiotic relationship with each other, it only made sense for dj honda to open the doors to his long awaiting fans & customers to be able to purchase his high quality merchandise which is manufactured in Japan. Following the footsteps of the “h 272″ Store in NYC, four satellite “h, dj honda” store opens its door in Seoul, South Korea. With the rise of dj honda’s popularity in South Korea, “2002 World Hip Hop Clan Festival” organizers invites dj honda to perform live in front of over 10,000 screaming fans. dj honda surprises the Korean fans by bringing legendary EPMD with him on this Korean tour. dj honda also performs at the subsequent “2003 World Hip Hop Clan Festival” as well bringing Parish “PMD” Smith, Strong Island’s K-Solo, & Headcrack, a bubbling NYC underground emcee. American celebrities such as comedian, Robin Williams, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Haysbert as well as music artists such as Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, Q-Bert, and countless number of hip hop artists.
In April 2004, dj honda launches “dhf Films” in New York City & Tokyo where he produces and distributes numerous documentaries, DJ battle dvds, Japanese hip hop dance dvds, & many more. In June 2004, “The Best of dj honda” double cd with 81 tracks includes all the tracks that dj honda has released world wide. This project was so successful that “The Best of dj honda” was licensed by Atoll/Warm Music in Paris, France.
In March 2009, dj honda & Problemz release “All Killa/No Filla” album (Japan Version) to pave the way for dj honda’s masterpiece, “dj honda IV”. Three singles off of this album has been getting rave reviews and have been playing on the radio throughout the globe: “Da Payback”, “NY/NY”, & “Give It Up”. Problemz, a Brooklyn native, has worked with dj honda extensively since “h, dj honda” debut album. On October 12, 2008, dj honda & Problemz perform live at the International Arts Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana alongside artists such as The Game, Tamia, Lloyd & more.
dj honda is notorious for collaborating with commercial and soon to rise-to-fame underground emcees. This is also noticeable on his upcoming, much anticipated new album, “dj honda IV” set to release on August 2009. Like tradition the line up of notable emcees on this forthcoming album will satisfy the hunger from his loyal fans such as Mos Def, Fred Durst, Kool G. Rap, Rakaa Iriscience from The Dilated Peoples & more.
dj honda has been staying busy with creating soundtracks for QD3 Entertainment’s documentary film, “The MC: Why We Do It”, “Stuck”: independent film starring Mena Suvari & Stephen Rea, “Hip Hop Honey’s” dvd, Namco Bandai’s videogame, “The Fast and The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift”, as well as many of the MTV shows such as “Rob & Big” and “Run’s House”.
dj honda is back to stay and in full force with a slew of projects including “h Mental Vol. 1″ which is an exclusive collection of dj honda beats, All Killa/No Filla (U.S. Version), “dj honda V”, “REASON”, a biographical documentary film about dj honda’s life & career in English and Japanese versions. His true talent lies in marrying the emcee with his undeniable instrumental beats. dj honda is a DJ, music producer, record label owner, clothing line designer & owner, musician, Chapter President of a national Japan DJ battle, and entrepreneur. This is only the beginning for dj honda as he ventures confidently into unknown territories in business ultimately seeking world domination.