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Joe Flizzow takes it back to the Too Phat days on the bonus 16 Baris episode

Malaysia’s SonaOne, SXPH, MC Syze, Singapore’s ShiGGa Shay & Thailand’s Big Calo are also featured

LiFTED | Sabiq Rafid | 15 Mar 2023

Hip Hop rule 1288: When an OG talks, you listen.

When a veteran MC decides to pick up the mic and drop some bars on his own cypher show, you listen even harder. This is the case for the latest episode of Malaysia’s very own Hip Hop pioneer, Joe Flizzow’s 16 Baris.

For the uninitiated, 16 Baris is a rap cypher show created and hosted by Flizzow. On it, rappers from all around the Southeast Asian region, established and emerging, bring out their A-game, showcasing their prowess as an MC over 16 bars. Since the first episode that was released in 2017, and now, three seasons on, only three things remained constant throughout - Flizzow hosts it, DJ CZA curates the beats on the 1s and 2s, and it is filmed in the veteran Malaysian MC’s barbershop.

But for this special bonus episode, Flizzow participates in the cypher, DJ CZA pulls out a remake of a very special beat from Too Phat’s [a Hip Hop duo of Flizzow and Malique] archives, and they step out of the barbershop.

If you’re an ardent Too Phat fan like most Asian Hip Hop fans are, you’d immediately recognize the beat the moment it starts playing. It’s taken from Too Phat’s iconic track titled ‘6 MCs,’ produced by ILLSTEEZ [RIP], which features four rappers from around the globe, namely, Swedish MC Promoe, Canadian vet Vandal, and Brooklyn’s Freestyle.

This time though, Malaysia’s SonaOne, SXPH, and MC Syze, along with Singapore’s ShiGGa Shay, and Thailand’s Big Calo fill the spots for the remaining five MCs. SonaOne kicks off the cypher by rapping the hook of the original track, before dropping his bars in a cool and calm fashion. ShiGGa Shay picks off from where SonaOne left off and exhibits his brilliant flows immediately.

“Next up on the mic that’s bout’ to bring hell/Time for Ampang rap and KL,” finishes ShiGGa’s verse, which serves as an alley-oop for SXPH, a rapper hailing from Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, who lyrically dunks it with his verse. DJ CZA then goes on to display his skills as a turntablist, as he scratches and plays samples from the likes of Biggie.

MC Syze then takes over as he furiously drops his verse, followed by Big Calo’s appearance. And then, The President emerges out of the shadows to cap it all off. Flizzow’s verse is a testament to why Malaysia’s Hip Hop scene sits in the place that it does today. Decades have passed, and yet, he’s still killing it. Flizzow effortlessly switches between his native tongue, Malay, and English, and spices up his bars with clever wordplay by telling his story with nods to his upbringing, as well as advice to all the young upstarts out there.

Flizzow’s influence has spread far and wide, and he’s still keeping it 100 after all these years. What he has done for Malaysian, and by extent, for Asian Hip Hop is undeniable. It’s high time we started giving people their flowers while they can still smell them.

Check out the bonus 16 Baris episode below.