Most people around the world associate Hip Hop with New York, LA, Atlanta and other areas of the US where this type of music has had roots for generations, however a perhaps less well known fact is that there has been a rap and hip hop culture present throughout Asia since as early as the 1980′s and from the 1990′s onwards it has grown to be a significant part of the local music industries throughout all of Asia.
LMF, which stands for Lazy Mutha F**** was formed in 1993 and has toured all over Asia
Early groups like SoftHard & LMF from Hong Kong, L.A. Boyz from Taiwan, M-Flo, King Giddra & RIP Slyme from Japan and Seo Taiji & Deux from Korea helped to push the genre forward in the region. The addition of performers like MC Hotdog (Taiwan), Kreva & Rhymester (Japan), 24 Herbs & Fama (Hong Kong), G-Dragon, Epik High & Cho PD (Korea) and talented Asian-American performers like Drunken Tiger (Korean-American) and MC Jin (Chinese-American) has grown the scene to become a major part of the commercial industry.
Drunken Tiger have been an active force in the Korean Hip-Hop scene since 1992 and continue to be popular today
Female rap artists like Hime (Japan) and Yoon Mi Rae (Korea) – English name Tasha Reid – have also had a major impact on the scene. Hime is credited with both empowering women and revolutionising rhyming patterns in Japanese songs, whilst female rappers have become so popular in Korea that almost all girl groups have one.
Yoon Mi Rae is half Korean – half African American.
Because of her mixed heritage she had to overcome discrimination when she was younger
Now Asian Hip Hop turns up in all manner of media including animation, video games and even notably at least one major Hollywood production.
The third installation of the popular Holywood film series, Fast & Furious – Tokyo Drift featured Nigo’s Teriyaki Boyz performing the theme song
And perhaps where the influence of Hip Hop and Rap has become most visible is in it’s integration into commercial mainstream pop and R’n'B songs. I leave you with the following awesome K-pop song from sexy girl band Brown Eyed Girls whose line-up features famous female rapper Miryo.
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