Believe Gets Even Bigger in Japan with New Hip-Hop Imprint, Playcode

PLAYCODE Believe Japan imprint for hip-hop launched
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PLAYCODE Believe Japan imprint for hip-hop launched
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Photo Credit: Believe (Sylvain Delange)

Believe is continuing its expansion in Japan with a new imprint dedicated to Japanese hip-hop music called Playcode. They’ve also established partnerships with Japan’s hip-hop artists including ¥ellow Bucks, Red Eye, and Issei Uno Fifth.

Believe says this launch marks a new step in the company’s expansion in Japan, coming less than a year after it began operating in the country. In October 2023, as part of Believe Japan’s Artist Services offering, ‘Playcode’ aims to nurture the local hip-hop music scene.

It will combine Believe’s unique digital artist development capacities—strategic, marketing, and financial support—unrivalled local hip-hop expertise, and long-term partnerships with key digital players to accompany its artists at all stages of their careers. Believe aims to help its artist reach wider audiences and grow their careers both locally and internationally.

With 450K+ monthly listeners on Spotify and 66.7K followers on YouTube, ¥ellow Bucks is one of the most influential hip-hop artists in japan. The breakthrough hit “YESSIR” has achieved 36 million views on YouTube and 25 million listens on Spotify.

Meanwhile, Red Eye won the 16th High School Rap Championship in 2019, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop music scene. They’ve cumulated over 500,000 followers across all social platforms, with his ‘Pocket’ series reaching 8 million streams.

Issei Unio Fifth’s massive hit “Slide” has gained huge popularity on TikTok, reaching 1.6 million streams on Spotify. He was also featured as one of TikTok’s Spotlight Program winners.

After creating a series of hip-hop focused imprints in Thailand (bYOND), Italy (Mast), and France (Avant-Garde, AllPoints, and Morning Glory), the launch of Playcode in Japan confirms Believe’s long-lasting commitment to nurturing hip-hop independent artists across the globe, giving them full control of their creative freedom and careers.

“Only a few months after the launch of Believe in Japan, we are proud to unveil ‘Playcode,’ with the aim of supporting the growth of a healthy, professionalized and industry-leading hip-hop ecosystem in Japan,” shares Sylvain Delange, Managing Director, APAC, Believe (pictured). “We could not dream of better ambassadors than ‘¥ellow Bucks’, ‘Red Eye’, and ‘Issei Uno Fifth’ to join forces with us and ascend Japanese hip-hop to mainstream acclaim.”

“Coupled with mari’s unparalleled exeprtise, deep-rooted passion for Japanese hip-hop and visionary leadership, we are condient that Playcode will serve as a beacon for the entire Japanese hip-hop community, fostering creativity, collaboration, and innovation.”

Mari Ochiai, Head of Artist Services, Believe Japan, adds: “Hip-hop in Japan is undergoing a massive shift, with more and more artists reaching growing audiences, both locally and beyond. The level of talent is outstanding and the potential for growth is massive. I am convinced that the launch of ‘Playcode’ will open a new chapter in Japanese hip-hop’s history. I look forward to joining hands Japan’s very best hip-hop talents, putting Believe’s unrivaled digital artist development expertise at their service to create the future of Japanese hip-hop!”