The wave of Asian hip hop

The original post can be found here.

I must admit my exposure to the world of Digital Asia has been extremely limited, but upon conversing with a group of fellow BCM320 students, we acknowledged the importance of the rise of Asian hip hop and the artists influencing the movement. Throughout our discussion, we discussed rap as a form of rebellion, cultural appropriation and the translation of Asian hip hop to Western audiences. I was personally first introduced to the world of Rap and R&B through my mother, our morning trips to primary school would consist of a variety of 80s, 90s and 2000s tracks. My own personal favourite being:

If you could picture James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke that was my mum and I in the car, no shame.

Indonesian rapper, Rich Brian, caught my attention a couple of years ago now, and not once did I acknowledge his ethnicity upon listening to his tracks. I associate this with the concept of cultural proximity that I have studied throughout this semester in BCM289. As Brian’s lyrics are (mostly) in English the content is easy to consume and is similar to African American artists that I follow including Childish Gambino, Tyler The Creator, Jaden Smith and BROCKHAMPTON. Brian is also a member of 88rising, a collective focusing on Asian American/Asian Rap and R&B artists, providing them with a platform to reach Western audiences. The concept of a unified collective is a familiar concept, as A$AP Mob approached the scene in the same way representing various African American artists.

Our mission at 88rising is to change the game for how Asian culture is perceived in the West.” – Sean Miyashiro

The wave of Asian hip hop is an important one, changing the face of hip hop as we know it. Western rappers often fetishise Asian culture, and through establishing their own scene, 88rising continues to pave a path for Asian artists to create their own identity in the hip hop scene.  As a result of my passion for this genre, my group digital artefact will focus on Asian hip hop. Being a series of reaction videos, this concept was inspired by Cody Ko’s and Noel Miller’s ‘That’s Cringe’ series and FBE’s ‘React’ channel on YouTube. Our personal experiences and interpretations will impact how we consume this content, and capturing this will display an authentic autoethnographic analysis of various artists.

Thanks for reading,


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