Photo of Lil J, A Nayaka, YoungOhm, Owen Ovadoz and Joe Flizzow by All Is Amazing
With the new season of Yo! MTV Raps upon us, we know it can be a little overwhelming getting to know all these talented rappers from across Asia. Rapper roundup will introduce you to each and every one of the 30+ artists on the show, helping you de-cypher your Youngohm from your YunB and your Basick from your Flowsik.
Episode two brings the heat with special guest Suboi from Vietnam, SonaOne from Malaysia, and Owen Ovadoz, Lil J, A Nayaka and YoungOhm on the cypher!
Standout single: N-SAO?
Episode 2's special guest, Suboi, raps in both English and Vietnamese, making her unique from most rappers in Vietnam. Her lyrics are typically introspective yet outspoken and deal with family, love, social pressures and daily life in Vietnam.
Deemed "Vietnam's queen of hip hop" by The Guardian, Suboi in 2016 came to immediate international media attention after rapping for president Barack Obama at a Q&A session with young leaders in Ho Chi Minh City. She's also played SXSW and was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list. Watch out for her new album dropping later this year.
Standout single: Firefly
SonaOne is an award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter and music producer of French-Malay parentage. His 2016 debut album "Growing Up Sucks" included guest appearances by Joe Flizzow and Zamaera, and went straight to number 1 on the local charts. This year he released "DETAIL" with Singaporean rapper-producer Alif.
Standout single: School
One of Indonesia's most promising rappers, A. Nayaka is on a mission to inspire and build connections with people from all around the world through music, while taking over Indonesia's hip hop industry with PreachJa Records. His debut album Cadence Blue was nominated for Album of The Year at the 2018 AMI Awards 2018, making history as the first hip hop album nominated in the category.
Standout single: Uno
Here's living proof that natural talent will rise to the top. An off-the-cuff a capella rap performed in his car was recorded by a friend and posted under the #16Baris hashtag. Joe Flizzow promptly got in touch, leading to an appearance on his 16 Baris cypher series. His thumping banger of a single 'UNO' dropped fresh earlier this month. Lil J is just getting started; we want to know when his debut album is gonna drop.
Standout single: Diamonds (lose yourself)
Having spent his childhood in New York, Owen Ovadoz's music is deeply influenced by 90s east coast hip hop, and covers a broad spectrum across hip hop sub-genres. He released his second LP, Changes, in 2018. On the mixtape front, he's just dropped P.O.E.M. II, the sequel to his breakthrough mixtape P.O.E.M.
Standout single: ธารารัตน์ (Thararat)
Bangkok's hottest and most sought-after rapper in the game, Youngohm is a mainstay in the Thai hip hop scene. His music videos have amassed more than 500 million views on YouTube. On the awards front he's bagged song of the year for "Choey Moey" at the 2017 RIN Awards, which also won hip hop song of the year at the Joox Thailand Music Awards in 2018.
Check back in the coming weeks for more rappers in the Rapper Roundup series – follow them to discover lit new hip hop from across Asia. And stay plugged in to our YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for a whole lot more of Yo! MTV Raps goodness.