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The best kept secret in music


"Okayplayer - Unagi For Lovers"

It's really easy to nod your head to...playing like an old school soundtrack to a summer's day... Unagi For Lovers sounds instantly vintage as the producer blends funk and soul samples with hip-hop sensibility, weaving a unique love story with his beats...Unagi For Lovers should be commended for its imaginative production. - Okayplayer.com

"PopMatters - SFC"

Unagi's latest release, It Came From Beneath the SFC, continues to celebrate his uniqueness. His sound is deceptively intricate, building grooves out of loops from the '70s and '80s, and adding jazzy horns and pianos or up-to-date drums and percussion...All in all, Unagi's latest throws a delightful curveball from the norm. - PopMatters

"Download.com - SFC"

In an area--the Bay Area, that is--renowned for instrumental hip-hop, Unagi still stands a head above. The soundsmith's palette is rooted in the rich, extraterrestrial textures of '70s jazz, which he seamlessly merges with bumpy street beats and worldly wise verbiage. - Download.com

"Smother Magazine - You and Eye"

"Beat arranger Unagi and Chicago emcee Infinito 2017 once again join forces on this 7-song EP. Hip-hop that's political, socially conscious, and adverturous both in the lyrical format and Unagi's challenging compositions. Sweet samples that aren't always just heavy on the bass are looped with funky abandon. You can nod your head or shake your rump to the clever beats. While it's only 17 minutes long, "You and Eye" is powerful hip-hop that will change people's perspectives." - Smother Magazine

"Dusted Magazine - SFC"

While many underground producers choose to limit their palette to classic soul samples, Unagi draws from a variety of decades and genres... Unagi is at his best when reinterpreting this lovemaking music of the '80s, recycling its cheesy components into something fresh. Not content to rely on this strength, he continues to effectively run the gamut of source material, dipping into psychedelia, bossanova and more traditional soul samples. - Dusted Magazine

"XLR8R - Unagi"

The startlingly good debut is the kind of album you want to crank up extra loud on a sunny spring or summer day, nodding your head along to the warm, soulful hip-hop beats while enjoying the company of friends and Northern California's finest herb. The genius of Unagi is its simplicity...All the songs are short and to the point, leaving the listener wanting more. - XLR8R

"HipHopGame - Unagi"

Normally I don't rock instrumental albums, but Unagi has me changing my ways. Honestly I can't find anything bad to say about this album... my only complaint is that it's only 17 tracks long. I'll be one of the first ones in line for Unagi's next album. - HipHopGame

"Boom-Bap.com - Keepin It Eel"

Unagi definitely mixes so many styles that it's hard to put him into a certain category, if not impossible. This album definitely will (or at least should) appeal to a lot of people, whether they like hip-hop, soul, jazz or any other type of music. It's also something that you can play for your girl when you're in a romantic mood. I don't know, it's different to the stuff I usually listen to, but I really like it. Just check it out... - Boom-Bap.com

"Okayplayer - SFC"

When Unagi's constructing his beats, he creates a distinctively west-coast vibe, usually seeking out old jazzy horns and dirty drums... Unagi is a pretty creative cat well versed in the art of digging. The samples are unrecognizable, and take on a life of their own within Unagi's work, a skill not many producers can truly master. - Okayplayer

"Thick Magazine - You and Eye"

"This Bay Area cratedigger has our ears' attention over here....All seven tracks here have that feel good early '90's sound that Unagi has mastered." - Thick Magazine


Unagi (2003)
Keepin it Eel (2004)
It Came From Beneath The SFC (2006)

Unagi For Lovers (2007)
YOU and EYE (2007)

30 second television spot for MTV
Zoo York "Skate Maps" TV show theme song
"24 Hours on Craigslist" documentary music
Girls of 360 Video "Sexy is Officially Back" DVD

"Female Fun presents...Ssssence" (Japan only)
"Amoeba Music Vol. 4"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Unagi is a producer/DJ/emcee based in San Francisco. He started making beats and rhyming in 1997, as a member of Western Massachusetts super-crew Discs of Tron. Flexing a unique sound heavy on obscure samples and grimy drums, he has released three critically acclaimed albums to date on his own label 442 Records. These include "Unagi," "Keepin It Eel," and "It Came From Beneath The SFC." In addition to his own records, Unagi has also appeared on numerous compilations, and contributed original music for use in television, film, DVDs, and commercials.

In 2007, Unagi put out two EPs, the Valentine-themed "Unagi For Lovers," and "YOU and EYE," a collaboration with Chicago emcee Infinito 2017. He is currently recording a new full-length with Bay Area underground legend Motion Man and budding Philly producer Jethro, to be released later this year. Unagi is also working with several other artists, and will be releasing his fourth album "Reinventing The Eel" in 2008.

While underground heads continue to feed into the "hip-hop is dead" mantra, and mainstream beats sound more like ringtones every day, Unagi keeps it moving, creating dope music for your mind, body, and soul. Influenced by the classics but avoiding retro gimmickry, his personalized sonic style is exactly what the rap game needs. Take a listen and hear the magic for yourself.