A brand new slate of YO! MTV Raps magic is heading your way this year. After last year's special that launched the likes of Zamaera, Fariz Jabba and SonaOne to your screens, it's clear that Asian hip hop is rolling into a golden age of blazing young talent. We simply couldn't capture it all with just one episode.
And with new episodes come new voices: for its return this April, YO! MTV Raps will feature the hosting talents of Kim Lee, the Los Angeles-based DJ, producer and model whose longstanding love for all things hip hop will make her a dope host.
"Hip hop is all about 'the culture'," she said, "and I can't wait to be part of a show that will showcase the true expression of the Asian experience of hip hop."
Putting aside her overly hyped tag of "Asian Kim Kardashian" (her jaw-dropping looks notwithstanding), Kim Lee traverses the worlds of rap and high-energy dance music in her DJ sets that have taken her to global heights. Her skills of blending the likes of A$AP Rocky and Rich Brian with Carnage and Yaeji are well-documented – especially in her exclusive mix for Vice's Noisey Radio. She's also graced the pages of Hip Hop Weekly, Vanity Fair and FHM.
Kim Lee got her start behind the decks after being encouraged by Black Eyed Peas rapper apl.de.ap. She keeps her finger on the pulse of Asian hip-hop and includes many of its emerging voices in her sets, which you can check out on her Mixcloud.
Meanwhile, Singapore's rambunctious rapper Yung Raja, our former Asia Spotlight artist, will return as host to dish out more of his charisma. "I'm psyched to come back a second time to host the biggest, dopest hip hop show in Asia," he said. "We are bringing more beats, more rappers, so get ready to discover some new, exciting music and have a blast."
Rounding out the returnees are Joe Flizzow as the Cypher Boss and Zamaera as the Game Master. Joe Flizzow is fresh off a win for Best Southeast Asia act at the 2018 MTV EMAs, and his 16 Baris ("16 Bars") cypher series has become a hip hop cornerstone in Southeast Asia. Rising rapper Zamaera is fast getting a rep for her skills behind the mic, and has a new EP coming out in March.
We're as stoked as you are to witness this collision of hip hop talent from across the region, and to see the performances and collabs set to come. Stay tuned for streetwear features, cyphers, discussions, dancing, guest performances and a whole lot more!
The return of YO! MTV Raps is coming in mid-April. In the meantime, check out YO! MTV Raps highlights, and watch our socials for more news in March as we announce the guest rappers heading your way!Check out the special episode right here!