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‘Odd Drive’, an Odd Taxi Tribute that Unifies Anime, Video Games, and Hip Hop Culture from America to Japan

Hip Hop duo, Okumura, and producer Shadowbyrd connected overseas with METEOR, a Japanese rapper who plays the voice of Yano in ODD TAXI, and MEEBEE a.k.a. KAZUHIRO ABO, the music composer behind No More Heroes 3 & Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes to create a song inspired by the themes and messages surrounding the anime.

The story of this fusion starts with Elder Maikis, one of the members of Okumura, traveling 10 hours from Virginia to Atlanta to see Suda51 at Momocon in 2019. The reason for the journey was in hopes to successfully hand Suda51 a physical copy of “Garden of Madness”, a hip hop mixtape sampling songs from Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (which also features a song from METEOR). After his conference, Elder caught Suda’s attention and was able to give him the project, and gave him thanks and appreciation for the dedication toward his games.

MEEBEE, the composer of the soundtrack caught wind of this project after the event and contacted Okumura. A huge problem with the mixtape was the music was copyrighted. Through weeks of communication, MEEBEE saw Okumura had their hearts in the same place as his, in the music and their love of video game culture.

Instead of going forward with legal action, he decided to create music with them. MEEBEE remixed “Cybertruck”, an Okumura track originally produced by Shadowbyrd. They worked on a few more songs amongst themselves before MEEBEE decided to include them in the soundtrack to No More Heroes 3.

Months of working on the song passed and the group of artists discussed their love for anime, specifically ODD TAXI and MEEBEE introduces them to his old friend, METEOR. It all came full circle for this song.

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