TikTok Japan Hip-Hop Content Opportunity Analysis™ 2019-2022

July 8, 2022

Content Opportunity Methodology

  1. Measure & Categorize. Sample a large number of social posts to find ones that are significantly outperforming the average.
  2. Identify Top Themes. Identify the themes that are resonating most with the audience by sorting the themes by their aggregated performance metrics.
  3. Identify a Benchmark. Identify content themes that are performing above and under an average benchmark for the industry based on views & engagements.
  4. Identify Opportunities. Look at the data and find the content themes that are resonating with the audience based on a set of top creators.
  5. Repeat For Each Platform. Repeat the analysis for every platform that matters to your brand and audience to find platform-specific opportunities.

TikTok Content Bucket Definitions

  • Duet Battles: Two videos on a split-screen with rappers freestyling to a beat in an alternating fashion.
  • Freestyle Replies: Using audience comments to inspire new freestyles and hype verses.
  • Sample Challenge: Content creators filming themselves throughout the day while they capture everyday sounds to sample in music they make.
  • Freestyle Rap: Videos featuring individual rappers performing freestyle raps.  
  • One-Take Performance: Clips taken from “First Take” a series where artists perform a song recorded in one take in a white studio with a microphone.
  • 10 Things: A series by GQ that invites artists to share 10 things they can’t live without.
  • Rap Battle: Top rappers battling it out on stage with freestyle raps incorporating boasts, insults and wordplay to see who has the best verses.
  • Remixes: Rappers or producers reworking or jumping on existing songs.
  • Cultural Mash-Up: Videos mashing up North American popular hits with Japanese hip-hop songs.
  • Interview: Video clips from long-format interviews and documentaries featuring hip-hop artists and creators.

Content buckets that had the highest average views & engagement in the Japanese hip-hop space include:

Good performing content opportunities for the Japanese hip-hop audience on TikTok include:

Substandard performing content opportunities for the Japanese hip-hop audience on TikTok include:

Low performing content opportunities for the Japanese hip-hop audience on TikTok include:

Content Opportunities:

1. Duet Battles

Rappers engage in rap battles using a specific song and respond back to each other's videos with a duet freestyle. 

Tactics to Implement:

  • Challenge Your Audience: TikTok freestyle rapper, Emapoch, challenged her audience to battle it out with her by sharing a rap using her sound and tagging her in the video. 
  • Duets: Emapoch used TikTok’s duet feature to share the raps she was tagged in along with a side-by-side video of herself reacting, then freestyling back.The duet videos generated over 15M views.

Content Opportunities:

  • Rap battles are a great way to engage with your audience or reach new audiences by appearing on someone else’s feed. Invite your audience to join you in a battle similar to Emapoch's (or JP THE WAVY’s) or spark a battle amongst another creator by dueting one of their rap videos with your fresh new take on their beat.
@07emmapc #tiktokラップバトル 7人目は@matsudake さん!面白いです。独特すぎる爆笑 今日も審議よろぴ!#ラップ #えまぽち ♬ マラドーナ_バトルビートー韻踏合組合 - えまぽち



2. Freestyle Replies

Using comments to inspire freestyle raps and response videos. 

Tactics to Implement:

  • Subtitles: When freestyling you don't want the audience to miss on the punches and fast wordplay. Subtitles can help the audience to better understand the meaning behind the verses.
  • Build Tension: People love to see the sparks fly between rappers in freestyle raps. Use comments to fuel witty comebacks and firey verses. 

Content Opportunities:

  • Engage with your audience and generate content ideas by asking your viewers to comment on what type of rap they want to see next. Use these comments for ideas to inspire creative freestyle challenges. More comments also means more views — win/win!


@07emmapc @245338557l さんへの返信 #音声効果チャレンジ 1発撮りで今日も事務所から!ごめん泣 全然のれてねぇ〜#ラップ #えまぽち ♬ オリジナル楽曲 - 18号(えまぽち) - えまぽち


3. Trending Sound Remix

Music producer, Matt Cab, used an audio sample from this trending video and remixed it into a new sound. The original remix video generated 7x more views than what he typically generates on his TikToks.

Tactics to Implement:

  • Don’t Sleep On the Tok: "TikTok songs" are often dismissed as mere "hype" tracks engineered to trend on the platform. However, this isn't always the case. Over the past two years, we have seen TikTok become a big part of modern rap. The platform should be viewed as a vehicle for a track to take off with the massive potential to reach a vast audience.
  • Keep Doing What Works: After the video on the left took off, Matt Cab created another version using the sound which generated an additional 1.1M views. 

Content Opportunities:

  • Use trending audios to help elevate up-and-coming rappers by inviting them onto cyphers, rap battles or freestyles.
@mattcab @k122206211050 をremixしてみた🔊この動画をデュエットして、ラップリレーやりませんか? 🙋‍♂️🏁🗣 #fyp ♬ #超チルなラッパーremix - MATT CAB


@mattcab 「超チルなラッパー feat. とびばこ」をリリースしました🤓📱 #超チルなラッパー ♬ 超チルなラッパー (feat. とびばこ) - Matt Cab


4. Sample Challenge

Matt Cab, a music producer and creator on TikTok, samples unexpected sounds and shows the viewer the evolution of those sounds as he uses them to compose creative beats and tracks.

Tactics to Implement:

  • Video Length: The top videos are short and sweet, ranging from 20-28 seconds in length.
  • Known Sounds: In the top videos, Matt Cab samples sounds well-known to Tokyoites as they are habitual to the city's culture. Sounds featured include moments from local convenience and grocery stores as well as sounds of the city from crosswalks to the Yamanote train line.

Content Opportunities:

  • Gen Z and Millennials are adventurous when it comes to their music preferences, with 23% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials reporting remixes and covers as their preferred audio content. So the sky is the limit when it comes to sampling sounds. Get creative and use unexpected sounds to keep your audience on their toes.
@mattcab ファミマの入店音REMIX🏪🔥#fyp #FamilyMart ♬ ファミマのうた - Matt Cab



Viral Videos:These videos were omitted from their content buckets as ‘viral’ outliers for exceeding 3x the views and engagements of their respective benchmarks.

1. Freestyle Reply

Tactics - In this video, Emapoch utilizes a TikTok filter and ads subtitles for accessibility. 


2. One-Take Performance

Tactics - This video features a clip from UMEDA CYPHER (梅田サイファー)’s performance on The First Take. The video grabs the viewer's attention with a closeup of Creepy Nuts rapping extremely fast verses.


3. Replay Live Freestyle

Tactics - Length: Both the viral Replay Live Freestyle videos range at about 3 minutes in length.

Content: After going on TikTok live and performing impromptu raps, bambi_94bow reposts the live videos on his feed. This feature of downloading live streams with the comments and likes is unique to TikTok.



These videos were omitted from their content buckets as ‘viral’ outliers for exceeding 3x the views and engagements of their respective benchmarks.

4. Freestyle Rap

Tactics - Low-fi works — all that’s needed to make a viral video is a smartphone. Emapoch pre-records her raps and uses them as audio for selfie-style videos of her lip syncing to the rap.

@07emmapc 暖房直あたりで声やられました。みんな気をつけて。#早く治る方法教えてくれ #ラップ #えまぽち登場 できず。#鏡ふかな ♬ TouchB_hokotoさんビート - えまぽち


5. 10 Things

Tactics - Videos that contained actual snippets from GQ’s 10 Essentials videos outperformed those which just teased the full content. In the case of ANARCHY, the teaser video generated 124K views whereas the video above (which was posted two days later) generated 1.2M views.

@gqjapan 「飾りを外すために飾りをつけている」アナーキーのジュエリー論 #gqjapan #10essentials ♬ オリジナル楽曲 - GQ JAPAN


6. Interview

Tactics: Length - Both the viral interview videos range at about 30 seconds in length.

Content: GOLDNRUSH PODCAST shares ~30-second video clips from their podcast featuring hip-hop artists onto TikTok with subtitles for sound-off viewing.


@goldnrushpodcast @rayvlog.og が語るモテる人種とアメリカと日本の違い #ヒップホップ #インタビュー #ラップ ♬ RNP (feat. Anderson .Paak) - Cordae


Added by: 

Recent Case Studies

Scroll horizontally to view more case studies →