Rip Slyme was a Japanese hip hop group. It is composed of 4 MCs; Ryo-Z, Ilmari, Pes & Su, and 1 DJ, Fumiya. Their sound drives its influences from old school hip hop and other Hip Hop such as The Pharcyde, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Jurassic 5, the Beastie Boys, DJ Premier, Leaders of the New School.
- Ryo-Z: Ryouji Narita (成田亮治 Narita Ryouji), b. July 15 1974
- Ilmari: Keisuke Ogihara (荻原恵介 Ogihara Keisuke), b. June 17 1976
- Pes: Masatsugu Chiba (千葉昌嗣 Chiba Masatsugu), b. December 27 1976
- Su: Kazuto Ootsuki (大槻一人 Ootsuki Kazuto), b. November 20 1973
- Fumiya: Fumiya Takeuchi (竹内文也 Takeuchi Fumiya), b. March 14 1979
The group was formed in 1994 by Ryo Z and Ilmari, who were later joined by Pes (he attended the same school as Ilmari). The RIP in Rip Slyme stands for their initials. Slyme was a popular children's toy at that time. Their name is also a pun on the phrase "lips' rhyme". Winning an amateur rapping contest "Young MCs In Town", they started their musical career with their first album Lips Rhyme in 1995. Later they added DJ Fumiya (who had studied under East End X Yuri's DJ Yoggy) and Su (previously a backup dancer for East End X Yuri). In 1998 they released their second album, "Talkin' Cheap" and also took part in Dragon Ash's Total Communication event.
They became ever more successful and signed to Warner Music Group in 2000. By then they had release several indie singles include their EP "Underline No. 5" and "Mata Au Hi Made" which had received the help of Fantastic Plastic Machine (Tomoyuki Tanaka). "Mata Au Hi Made" was released on Warner Music Group's Indies label. Their first major single was "Stepper's Delight" released 22nd March 2001. The title was a play on The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight".
In general, Fumiya composes most of the music, while Ryo-Z, Pes, Ilmari, and Su write their own lyrics. However, before Fumiya became a member, Pes composed most of the songs. Each member except for Ryo-Z has tried their hand at composing music for Rip Slyme, and Pes occasionally plays guitar on some tracks (Such as Home and More & More, for example). Allegedly, Pes was in a rock band before being introduced to hip hop music by Ilmari and Ryo-Z.
In 2002 they received MTV Video Music Awards Japan for "Best Newcomer" and "Best Hip-hop Group".
The same year they released a big-budget album "Tokyo Classic", which became Japan's first million-selling hip-hop album, with a sound compared to James Brown's soul and funk. Two singles from the album, "Funkastic" and "Rakuen Baby" collected MTV awards in 2003. "Super Shooter", featured as a B-side to their single "Galaxy" is the theme song for the anime Gantz.
To date they have released 6 indies singles with 11 major singles. They as well have released 2 indie albums, 5 major albums, 1 live album, 1 indies collection album, and 1 best of album.
From late 2005 (after the release of Good Job in August) through 2006, DJ Fumiya has been on extended break, citing illness. For performances, a friend of the band by the name of DJ Soma has been standing in. Fumiya's break has lead to several interesting side projects and collaborations from other members. Fumiya is supposed to have returned to activity for concerts in late summer 2006.