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Hideaki Ishi (? ,Ishi Hideaki, born July 29, 1962), better known by his stage nameDJ Krush, is a record producer and DJ. He is known for his atmospheric instrumental production which incorporates sound elements from nature and extensive use of jazz and soul samples.
Ishi was born in Tokyo in 1962. He dropped out of school at an early age and joined a local gang and, a few years later, the yakuza. Early in his career as a yakuza underling, Ishi discovered a severed finger wrapped in paper on his desk. Later, after discovering that it had belonged to his friend, he decided to leave the yakuza and cut ties with the criminal underworld. Ishi was inspired to start DJing after seeing the film Wild Style in 1983. "When I discovered the film Wild Style in 1983 I found what I really wanted to do, to express myself," he said in a 2015 interview. "Breaking, grafitti [sic], rap, DJ... I always liked music so I chose DJ. My body wasn't built for breaking, DJing was the thing for me."
Aside from being considered one of the pioneers of Japanese hip hop, Ishi has established himself as one of the most respected artists and producers in the hip hop industry, both in Japan and abroad. Upon entering the industry, Ishi, with his experimental beats and instrumental sounds, changed the face of hip-hop at a time when it was dominated by the American rap scene. He is reluctant to identify his music with any particular genre, for it would place limits on his listeners and on his talents. He has been regarded as ambient, trip hop, some combination of the two, and hip hop. DJ Krush prefers to exercise an ideological distance from the genres he is usually grouped into, while maintaining a healthy appreciation for all music forms and styles. Still, in general, he admits to having more affinity to the musical underground than the mainstream. "Hip hop in Japan is divided in two parts. Mainstream and Underground," he says. "Underground is more interesting and I feel comfortable here."