A new interest in the Asian hip hop scene has emerged around the world. The South Korean Keith Ape made a terrific breakthrough in the international rap world with his track “It G Ma” which features various rappers from South Korea and Japan such as JayAllDay, Loota, Okasian and Kohh. Anonymous up until a year ago, Keith Ape tried to escape from the shadow of the k-pop superstars and found inspiration in the Atlanta rap scene.
Ape’s first big success made him cross the cultural barriers and he gained the interest of famous American rappers such as Waka Flocka Flame, Denzel Curry and A$AP Ferg. This seemed to be the beginning of a new era for Korean rap and more widely for Asian hip-hop.
Characterized by his dark and minimalist style, Ape’s hypnotizing songs and music videos managed to grab the American audience’s attention allowing him to make his first US tour in 2015. As a leader of a new movement, the 22 year old rapper has spread light over the Asian rap scene across the world and helped numerous Asian rappers to emerge. Among them: Kohh in Japan, Rich Chigga in Indonesia and the Higher Brothers in China.
Mixing western rap culture with their own special features, Asian artists seem to give a new breath to trap music. One might find this odd or curious, but one thing is for sure: Asia has more than one trick up its sleeve! It G Ma! (trad. ‘Never Forget’)