88rising is the attempt of Sean Miyashiro to make the music scene of the East go worldwide. The media brand houses a lot of upcoming Asian hip-hop artists and producers. They’re the company the gave us Rich Chigga, Korean rap god Keith Ape, and joji.
Through the mouth of Miyashiro itself in an interview by Pitchfork Magazine, “A lot of people are wondering, ‘What is 88rising, exactly? Is it a YouTube channel? Is it a management company? Is it a record label?’’ Miyashiro asks. “It’s actually everything. Our general ethos is that we want to push this shit forward.” He declared.
But to know 88rising is to know its sound. Plug in your headphones or crank up the speaker, this is your sound crash course on the media brand that’s putting Asian hip-hop on the map! —by Rogin Warhol, art by TLewi (Deviantart)
IT G MA by Keith Ape (2015)
This was the first middle finger raised up high to people who thought K-pop will be the only sound that Korea be known for. The song and the video itself is nothing we ever had scene before. No oppas, no boyband cute bait, just pure grittiness with flair that only Asian trap can bring. This trap track from Keith Ape may had received controversy for appropriation and many more. But this track has placed Asian rap into a global scale and it didn’t come down after that.
DAT STICK by Rich Chigga (2016)
The track that left rap icons Ghostface Killah and Desiigner dropping f-bombs while becoming the depiction of the shocked emoji. The 17 year old, Indonesian rap god, Brian Immanuel blew everyone away with his bars and surprisingly deep voice when he released the track that had built his career.
Now collaborating with Skrillex, Diplo, and Ghostface Killah; Rich Chigga had become a household name. All it took was taking a huge dump on the Asian nerd stereotype and throwing it toward the skeptics.
Đời by Suboi (2016)
The Vietnamese rap queen that left Obama shaken. Đời is no one that we had seen ever. That has been 88rising’s trademark so far. Her bars, unlike some of her fellow 88rising artist, are heavy as fuck. But it doesn’t distance you, rather it draws you in. Matched in with her impeccable taste for visuals, she encaptulates what’s it like down in ‘Nam harder than anyone that we had ever seen.
Made In China by Higher Brothers x Famous Dex (2017)
Dubbed as Chinese hip-hop’s biggest hope. Higher Brothers did not just elevate Chinese hip-hop into a global scale, they made Chinese hip-hop known! Dropping tracks like this got everyone stunted on what 2017 hip hop can be. Global, cultural, and hardhitting. We feel Xavier Wulf, when he said: “I don’t know what they’re saying but it doesn’t matter that delivery is hitting me, and I’m fucking with it.”
WILL HE by joji (2017)
Australian-Japanese musician and Youtube sensation, George Miller, is here to let everyone know that he’s beyond the memes. And it’s working. Known to the internet as his Youtube persona, Filthy Frank, joji has been releasing songs of heartbreak and then some. He encapsulates all his seriousness in this solo project. No smudge of pink inside, just soulful vocals and r&b trap.
DRINK I’M SIPPIN ON by Yaeji (2017)
This New York producer got Grimes in her fan club. Yaeji’s widening the spectrum of producers out there. Her sound is a cross between hip-hop and house. There’s a sultriness in the sound that pulls you in. It’s not just the feminine touch in those controllers that got you spellbound. It’s the transcending delivery of the bars matched with the beats. It’s something else. It’s completely Yaeji.