Meet the 12 artists in the spotlight for Yo! MTV Raps’ return

19 June 2018

The legendary Yo! MTV Raps is back, with featured artists from across Southeast Asia (and a couple from Korea!) ready to drop the sickest beats onto your eardrums.

The special focuses on 12 stellar talents; some of them established icons, others up-and-rising superstars. Here's what you should know about them.

Yung Raja
Singapore, 22
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You might've seen him years ago in some TV commercials in Singapore, but Yung Raja today is one of the Lion City's most promising new rappers – and our Asia Spotlight artist for June 2018!

After gaining notoriety for his fresh remix of Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang" (a twist titled "Poori Gang"), Raja was called up to appear on Joe Flizzow's web series, 16 Baris, where he tore the scene up alongside K-Main and Fariz Jabba. Now, he's looking to cement his place as next-in-line among Singapore's rap royalty.

South Korea, 29
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Jessi's star has been steadily rising to the surface since 2003, and now it's set to blow clear out of the stratosphere.

The New York-born rapper moved to Korea when she was just 15, and made her debut on Music Bank with her single "Get Up". Since then, she's released chart-topping singles like "Who's Your Mama?", appeared on shows like Sister's Slam Dunk, and dropped her Un2verse EP just last year.

Young Lex
Indonesia, 26
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No stranger to controversy, Young Lex backs up his attitude with undeniable skills on the mic.

And despite what the haters might say, he's a talent that other artists keep wanting to work with, producing hot singles like "Slow" with Gamaliel, "Anjayyyyyy" with Kemal Palevi and Mack'G, and "Nyeselkan" with MasGib. And as if that wasn't enough, he's also a visionary with the camera, having recorded all his early music videos.

Joe Flizzow
Malaysia, 38
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If there was anyone who could live up to a title like, "Godfather of Malaysian Rap," it would be Joe Flizzow.

After debuting as one-half of the legendary duo Too Phat, Joe continued his pioneering career well into today, dropping hits like "Sampai Jaddi" and "Drop" like it was effortless. These days, he's also a major part of the region's rap renaissance, discovering hot new talents and showcasing them to the world on his web show, 16 Baris.

Malaysia, 29
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SonaOne's life has been nothing but hip hop, growing from graffiti artist to one of Malaysia's biggest rappers.

It's no surprise, considering he'd personally been mentored by Joe Flizzow in the earlier parts of his career. The success of his 2016 EP, Growing Up Sucks!, established him as one of the country's most sought-after artists.

Thailand, 27
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Twopee can turn heads as easily as he can turn it out on the mic. The man is a style icon, with swagger dripping off of him like it was melting butter.

He's been part of Thailand's rap scene for roughly half his life, first as a back-to-back winner of the Singha Soda Battle of the Year and next as part of Southside. He's flying solo these days, and when he's not spilling some knowledge as a coach on The Rapper, he's lighting up sold-out shows left and right.

Malaysia, 20
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Airliftz has only been in the game for four years, but already he's recognized as a rap prodigy in Malaysia. He got into music at an early age, producing private tracks when he was thirteen.

After finally making a public debut on Soundcloud three years after, word online about his talent spread like wildfire. And while social media hasn't always been his friend (thanks to a bunch of bullies), Airliftz has continued to show everyone that he always comes out on top.

Malaysia, 22
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Zamaera is living proof that music is worth waiting for. Originally signed on to Malaysia's Kartel Records back when she was 17, she released her first solo single at 22, and to massive success.

The track, "Helly Kelly", was a hard-hitting single that quickly made her mark on Malaysia's hip hop scene, and later songs like "Wanita" proved that she couldn't just spit it—she's a smooth vocalist, too.

Kidd Santhe
Malaysia, 22
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Kidd Santhe is one of Malaysia's hardest-working rappers, putting on shows every week like it was music's last chance of surviving.

He's also part of the country's crop of rising young talents, blending influences like Elvis and Michael Jackson into his personal brand of hip hop and R&B. When he's not on the mic, he's still hustling, staying active on social media and interacting with fans every chance he gets.

DJ Biggie
Malaysia, 33
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You'll be hard-pressed to find a Malaysian hip hop fan who hasn't heard of DJ Biggie.

The man's been in the business for 16 years now, and he continues to revolutionize the country's Djing scene. Every night he gets on the tables is a guaranteed jam-packed party, and now, he's working on getting his music into international airwaves.

Fariz Jabba
Singapore, 21
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Fariz Jabba found himself Internet-famous after posting a few of his own rap videos. Now, he's using his sense of humor to inject life into a scene that, in some corners, has gotten a little too preoccupied with flexing.

Fariz's light-hearted—but no less genuine—approach to hip hop seems to be the kick we all needed to remember just how much fun rap music can be.

South Korea, 26
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Formerly sporting shoulder-length, often bleached-blond dreadlocks, G2's sheer lyricism skills mean he's still a hard man to miss. He got a big break in 2016 as a contestant on the biggest Korean hip hop audition TV show, Show Me The Money.

Meshing thoughtful, reflective rhymes with dope beats isn't something everyone can do, but the Texas-born artist makes it look easy.

Catch the premiere of Yo! MTV Raps on Tuesday, June 19 at 10:00pm (SG/MY), 9:00pm (WIB) right after the encore broadcast of the MTV Movie & TV Awards!

Catch the encore on Sunday, June 24 at 5:30pm (SG), 6:30pm (MY), 4:30pm (WIB)


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