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4 Asian Hip Hop acts that made NME 100 essential artists 2023 list

Be on the lookout for 1300, Seachains, Balming Tiger & Lee Young-ji

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 11 Jan 2023

The NME 100 essential emerging artists is a great list to find new acts that you’ve never heard of and expand your musical horizons. The list cheats a bit with artists like Ice Spice and GloRilla both of who have had smashing hits in 2022, which include ‘Munch’ by the former, a summer smash ‘F.N.F,’ and a song with Cardi B, ‘Tomorrow 2,’ by the latter. The list did deliver a handful of great Asian Hip Hop artists on it, though.


The Korean-Australian Hip Hop act 1300 has a hectic energy about them that makes for great entertainment. They are creative, funny, and skilled, which are three of the skills that make you stand out in today’s doomscrolling world.

Balming Tiger

Balming Tiger’s K-pop is so upside down that it’s flipped into K-hop. That’s a weird statement until you watch a video like ‘Sexy Nukim’ with a feature by RM from the biggest K-pop band in the universe, BTS. In it, the crew does weird things over a fat, Trap beat instead of a Pop banger. Even though everyone doesn’t get what Balming Tiger is doing, they definitely know how to push the envelope.

Lee Young-ji

Rap has been a boys’/man’s world for so long, so it’s great to see a female walk in and tear things up. As the winner of High School Rapper 3 and Show Me The Money 11, big things are on the horizon for this champion.


As the only Vietnamese artist on the NME list, Seachains is repping one of the hottest spots in Hip Hop right now. With that, the winner of Rap Viet season 2 doesn’t conform to the norm and is doing things his way, as shown in his video with a Rock attitude ‘Cho.’