Airliftz is a 18 year old self taught producer-rapper hailing from Kajang, Malaysia. His single “Gwalos”, (english translation: money) garnered him positives reviews and fans amongst the Malaysian hip hop community. Look out for Airliftz’s debut project, slated for a mid 2017 release under Jin Hackman’s label This Way Up Records.
Kayczar is an emerging rapper/emcee from Johor Bahru who has been making waves in the underground hip hop scene in Malaysia. Influenced by Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G, Drake and Kendrick Lamar, Kayczar released his debut mixtape “Excursions” in July 2016, now available to stream on Spotify.
Ben Utomo grew up in Palmdale, California but moved back to Jakarta in 2010 where he is currently based. He released his debut album Lost In The Music in 2016 and is heavily influenced by sounds of the West Coast. He plans to release his sophomore album by the end of 2017.
Filipino electronic and rap psychedelic artist Idris Vicuña or Eyedress as he is more commonly known, caught us off guard as he dropped a surprise release rap album titled “Art Is Not A Sport” in early 2017. According to him, this album is ‘strictly for the homies’ and judging from this, we can only wait with bated breath for his actual album.
Mito Fabie, or Curtismith as he is known is currently one of Philippines most popular rappers. His debut EP,“Falling Forward” also features other Filipino artists such as CRWN and Similarobjects. In 2016, the 22-year-old rapper also caught the attention of Richard Branson, as he dropped some bars for the billionaire philanthropist at the ANC Asian Innovation and Entrepreneurship forum, which left Mr Branson absolutely impressed. Watch out for his upcoming EP “Soully Yours”, slated for a release in early 2017.
ManilaFornia is a hip hop collaboration between Mike Swift from the Phillippines and ZYME from the USA. They met while working in the Phillippines and decided to form a collaborative movement that would help to bridge the gap between the Filipino and American music. In September 2016, the duo released their album ManilaFornia Vol.1 which also features other hip hop artists including Ron Henley and Jonn Hart. 2017 will see them releasing the follow-up album to ManilaFornia Vol.2.
Punchnello of Korean hip hop crew Club Eskimo dropped his debut album “LIME” through Epik High’s Tablo sub YG label HIGHGRND, in September 2016. He may only be 18 years old but the rapper has been already been gaining attention worldwide. Punchnello was also involved in one of 2016’s top Korean hip hop hits “Eung Freestyle”.
CL doesn’t require much introduction, the 25- year old is already a household name in South Korea, as a member of popular girl group 2NE1. In 2016, she made a name for herself as she broke into the American market with her single “Lifted”. CL has also previously collaborated with international acts such as Diplo and Skrillex.
GADORO is a Japanese Hip-hop artist known for his freestyling skills. In November 2016, GADORO won the rap tournament 戦極 MCBATTLE BATTLE. He then released his single “クズ” (Kuzu) which was very well received by the community. The single is also featured in the new album “四畳半” that was released in early 2017.
KOMI (Wednesday Campanella)
Female rapper KOMI is from Japanese electronic music group Wednesday Campanella, 水曜日のカンパネラ (pronounced: Suiyōbi no Campanella). Their unique style comprises a blend of J-POP, Electronic House and Hip-hop. KOMI’s incredible ability to rap with flow has also propelled her popularity and can be seen in her track Shakushain.
Additional contribution by Thejapaneserap.