Close X

Scene Report

The LiFTED 50 2024 is all the way live

This year it’s ladies first

LiFTED | LiFTED StAFF | 18 Jun 2024

It has been said that the future is female, but this future is now for the LiFTED 50, the only ranking of the top 50 MCs in Asian Hip Hop. Not only is this the first time in three years that the number one rapper is female, but two of the top five MCs are ladies. This is a credit to their work ethic, skills on the M.I.C., and unbelievable creativity in various forms and fashion.

After much discussion between the LiFTED staff, checking out all forms of metrics, and gut instinct, we’ve concluded that Japan’s AWICH is the NUMBER ONE MC in Asia for 2024. She's been everywhere this past year including a slot at Coachella, a headlining slot at Fuji Rock Festival, and she even got a bit of face time with Bruno Mars. Her live shows are energetic and her releases are getting heard all over the globe. All hail the Queen.

At NUMBER TWO is Awich’s compatriot, JP THE WAVY. It wasn’t easy to pick between these two from The Land of the Rising Sun because they both are amazing performers and accomplished artists. JP even collabed with Takashi Murakami and has been on a tear with his production. NUMBER THREE and NUMBER FOUR are both from India. DIVINE comes in at three as his tours from last year’s opus GUNEHGAR are still selling out everywhere. Close behind is EMIWAY BANTAI, the ‘King of Indian Hip Hop.’ NUMBER FIVE is Indonesia’s RAMENGVRL, who has been killing shows, including LiFTED’s Clockenflap Afterparty in Hong Kong, as well as touring all over China and getting mad love.

Korea finally gets some love in the top 10 as JESSI is NUMBER SIX. With staggering Instagram numbers and some dope Twerk tracks being played all over the world, it’s well deserved. NUMBER SEVEN is the Philippines own, FLOW G because he has a wicked track record and a flow that’s pretty damn G. JAY PARK comes in at NUMBER EIGHT, and this is lower than previous years because he’s more focused on his labels and his outside business pursuits instead of music, even though he’s recently released some very R&B-leaning tracks. NUMBER NINE is YOUNGOHM from Thailand, who has had a low-key year, until recently when he decided to make one of the best videos of the year on the UKG-tinged ‘THATTHONG EKKAMAI.‘ Landing at NUMBER 10 is DIGI GHETTO, China’s updated version of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Every year, Asian Hip Hop gets better and better, and at LiFTED we try to bring you what we think are the best of the best of the best. Thanks for taking the time to check out our LIFTED 50 and let us know what you think on social media. We love to hear from you!

Lifted 50 Card 1 AWICH Hero

AWICH [Japan]

Awich has been all around the world a few times this past year. She’s played huge shows like Coachella, and since SZA dropped out, she’ll be the main headliner at Fuji Rock Festival on a very special Friday in late July. Awich did an amazing On the Block performance and a Dingo Freestyle where she rapped all her Japanese lyrics to ‘Queendom’ in Korean, which is just incredible.

Awich is now the new face of Asian Hip Hop because she can Rap in English, Japanese, and Korean. Everyone wants to get a feature from her or place her on the bill at their festival. As she keeps putting out tracks and killing her live shows, Awich’s biggest legacy will be inspiring a generation of young women to be themselves on the mic and stand up to the patriarchy and misogyny that has dominated Hip Hop for its first 50 years.

Lifted 50 Card 2 JP THE WAVY HERO

JP The Wavy [Japan]

JP the Wavy is in his own space right now in the re-energized, buzzy Japanese Hip Hop scene, and he’s owning it. Last year Wavy was number 13 on the Top 50 list, but he’s had a great 2023 and 2024. This year he rockets straight up to number 2! He’s the most interesting rapper in Japan right now, with the possible exception of this year’s number one, AWICH. Yes, he released some new heat, like last summer’s ‘What’s Poppin’ Feat. LANA and his recent R&B surprise ‘Just Like Dat’ with the boy band Psychic Fever, which has definitely opened him up to a much wider audience. Also, his take on the From the Block YouTube series, ‘Okay’ was a flaming arrow straight to the dome. But really it was his collaboration with the smiley-face god himself, artist Takashi Murakami that has cemented his status as a creative force to be reckoned with. Wavy has long styled and creatively directed his videos, but now his line of cartoony bling jewelry includes the world-renowned smiley-faced flowers, and the two artists have collabed on a theme song for Murakami’s first exhibition in Japan in eight years called Takashi Murakami: Mononoke Kyoto. We understand that there is more to come from this unlikely but so perfect dynamic duo. Regarding the studio experience with Murakami, Wavy said, “Usually, I incorporate my own image into the lyrics, but this time, I worked on incorporating Murakami's vision. I went to the studio with Murakami several times to work on it, and each time, I felt like I was being allowed to do something amazing. It made me realize once again the depth of Murakami Takashi's art and the passion he puts into each piece.” It’s one thing to make hot tracks and spit crazy bars, but to collab with one of the true Dons of the art world…that’s JUICE.

Lifted 50 Card 3 DIVINE hero

DIVINE [India]

Last year’s number one, DIVINE hasn’t fallen off in any way. In fact, he has had a great year, but so have so many other rappers from Asia. The competition is rough! DIVINE’s social media is a human-highlight reel since he peaked at number one last June. He performed in front of hundreds of millions of fans at the all-India cricket final, which is serious business in Hindustan. He has sold out shows all over India, and of course, he is the Don at Gully Gang Records, his label distributed by Nas’ Mass Appeal India. His collabs with both Sidhu Moose Wala and Badshah have cemented his stature as a lyrical hitman who can spice up any track with that Mumbai masala. Finally, his recent album, Street Dreams, with Punjani-Canadian singer Karan Aunjla is a massive hit, with the singles ‘Hisaab’, ‘100 Million’ and ‘Nothing Lasts’ all well over 10 million YouTube views and even more Spotify plays. ‘Nothing Lasts’ is one of the most beautiful Hip Hop tracks of the past year, and the interplay between Aujla’s Bhangra-style vocals and DIVINE’s rough wordplay is unforgettable.

Lifted 50 Card 4 EMI Hero


A year ago, Emiway Bantai dropped a single titled ‘King of Indian Hip Hop.’ In a time of disposable two-minute-long songs, Emiway wasted not a second of his thunderous seven-minute opus, spraying bars and talking his sh*t throughout its entirety. Right off the bat, he declared, “Indian Hip Hop is incomplete without the mention of my name” and he’s been right about that ever since. He’s struck a nerve with the country’s Hip Hop fans, and the story of his 10-year rise in Mumbai’s Hip Hop game is one for any Rap kid to aspire to. He’s been grinding since his teens - he’s 28 now - and is finally on top. When he dropped his single ‘W’, complete with a video atop a mountain, it was clear where he was in the new order of things. India may have the most talented and competitive Hip Hop market in Asia right now, and Emiway has the fans’ attention. It seems like everything he touches turns to gold records.

Lifted 50 Card 5 RAMENGVRL Hero

RAMENGVRL [Indonesia]

What can be said about Indonesia’s RAMENGVRL that hasn’t already been said? Simply put, she’s a musical and creative juggernaut and she had a great year. Around this time last year, she joined forces with Singapore’s Yung Raja for the fun and funky ‘Ming Ling,’ and if you slept on that joint then you better ask somebody. RAMENGVRL’s hot sauce is saucy, and RAJA’s machine gun flow is breathtaking, and the music video is hilarious. But Ramen really is a Boss, it's not just lyrics. She also launched her own Going Noodles project that does everything from producing, to creating merch, to running festivals. When LiFTED had her perform in Hong Kong last December at our Clockenflap official afterparty, she tore the roof off the place. And recently she’s embarked on conquering mainland China, with a scorching set at the Strawberry Festival in Beijing and a mini tour. She’s only going all the way up.

Lifted 50 Card 6 JESSI Hero

Jessi [Korea]

Jessi had a hell of a year and flirted with the top five big-time. The staff at LiFTED had her at three then five at first because her socials are so massive. Eventually, Jessi landed at six, which is still a huge leap up from 14 last year. One reason she’s so high up is her songs could be K-pop and she’d probably have 50 million followers, not 15. Instead, she is rapping her ass off on songs like Koala’s ‘RSVP’ and the collab with Youngin and Camo, ‘No Lowkey.’ Her own single, ‘GUM,’ has a high-energy Jersey-like beat that Jessi sounds perfect on. With 21 million views and counting, everyone is watching everything Jessi is doing.

Lifted 50 Card 7 FLOW G hero

Flow G [Philippines]

Flow G is the pride of the Philippines and has been doing it big since he was a member of the Ex Battalion. Now that he rolls with ASINTADA Management, Flow G has an all-star team around him including Gloc-9, Shanti Dope, Hero, and more. Over the past year, Flow G has been traveling a lot doing shows and putting out songs like ‘HIGH SCORE’ and ‘LAYA’ that have been doing massive numbers.

Lifted 50 Card 8 JAY PARK Hero

Jay Park [Korea]

Jay Park is the king of kings and anything he does moves the needle in his direction. For 2023 and 2024, he’s been focusing on Won Soju, launching the brand with parties in North America. In April, Jay put out Jay Park Season 1, two singles that are very much in the R&B pocket. While he is still an advisor for AOMG and H1ghr Music, his main focus is on More Vision, his latest label.

Lifted 50 Card 9 YOUNG hero

YOUNGOHM [Thailand]

YOUNGOHM has it all. His street cred is through the roof because he’s from the streets and always reps where he’s from. The working class in Thailand loves him because when they look at him they see themselves. He also has a very creative team around him that helps push the envelope, like in his latest video ‘THATTHONG EKKAMAI,’ where same-sex kisses are everywhere as well as skaters, thugs, twerkers, and more. YOUNGOHM is also pushing boundaries in his music. When most other rappers are Trapping or Drilling, he’s out here UKGing in UGGs with shorts on.

Lifted 50 Card 10 DIGI Hero


Digi Ghetto, the six-member Rap outfit from Chengdu has already conquered China and made inroads in the US and Europe. Like a Mandarin-rhyming Wu-Tang Clan, DIGI GHETTO has numerous members and they perform and record together and on their own, naturally supported by their brothers-in-rhyme. And like The Clan, rappers MAC OVA SEAS, ASEN, THOMEBOYDONTKILL, TOYOKI, MULA SAKEE, and KIV who came together in Chengdu in 2019, have broken out on the strength of their tight rhymes and diverse personas. MAC OVA SEAS tore it up on The Rap of China in 2020, THOMEBOYDONTKILL has been labeled a ‘music genius’ by the China music press, and MULA SAKEE has been invited to tour Europe with Korean giants Balming Tiger. Their videos have over 10 billion views across Chinese and Western platforms, and they have over a million followers on China’s Weibo, plus almost 200K combined on Instagram. At one point last year ASEN had two singles ‘Ghetto Melody’, and ‘Tuheiwa’ with THOMEBOYDON’TKILL that both got over a million YouTube views, and that’s not even where they eat. The China streaming and social media numbers are crazy.


VANNDA [Cambodia]

As VannDa reaches a million followers on Instagram, he has become one of the biggest musicians in Cambodia. His music has touched many in the region and he’s been doing superstar things like headlining concerts nearly every weekend. VannDa was also the judge in The Rapper Cambodia, which ended with him and Awich debuting their single, ‘6 Years in the Game.’ On Rap Viet, the Hip Hop reality show in Vietnam, VannDa performed his smash ‘Time to Rise’ as well as ‘Solo,’ and a song with the Queen of Vietnamese Hip Hop, Suboi. By showing Cambodian culture to the world, VannDa is becoming a hero of the people.

His recent hit with VANTHAN ‘Point of No Return’ is classic VannDa, who may be starting to break out with cross-border collabs and performances, but he keeps it 100 percent Cambodian all the time. The track features an old Khmer love song, with Vanthan’s lilting vocals singing the verse, and then VannDa comes in with his trademark scratchy baritone setting the tone for an intense, yet melancholy ode to getting done wrong by the girl you love. The music video is styled like a 1960’s Khmer dance bar, and the atmosphere is hazy. Because it’s VannDa, it’s already garnered a cool 14 million YouTube views.


pH-1 [Korea]

Now that Jay Park has transitioned into More Vision and business ventures, pH-1 is the face of H1GHR Music. He’s young, he’s got the look, and he’s got the drive to be number one. At Complexcon in Hong Kong in March, pH-1 put the fans into a frenzy wherever he went. He was one of the headliners along with 21 Savage, Lupe Fiasco, and 3CORNERZ, a group that consists of Edison Chen, MC Yan, and Chef. Not bad company for the top spot.


Twopee Southside [Thailand]

The kid from the southside has been in the Hip Hop game for nearly a decade, and he has shown no signs of slowing down. Whether putting out well-received albums like 2 Many Nights in Bangkok, playing at Wonderfruit, rolling with his Thaitanium homies, or hanging out with legends like Bun B from UGK, Twopee is constantly on the move and doing it right.


CAMO [Korea]

CAMO is an artist we’ve been watching since we started LiFTED in 2021. She blew up quickly with ‘Life is Wet’ featuring JMIN and honestly, has just gone from strength to strength ever since. Since she graced our cover last July she has released her full-length album Pressure Makes Diamonds, toured North America and Europe, and become a top draw around the Asia region. Her album features from Jay Park and Sik-K offer all the clues you need to understand where she sits right now in the frothy K-hop game.



The Chinese music market is a tough nut to crack from the outside because it’s so insular, so when artists like MaSiWei start breaking out of the Chinese market into the global market, you know they are huge. As a part of the Higher Brothers, MaSiWei is one of the reasons Asian Hip Hop is flying high. As a solo artist, MaSiWei has gotten even bigger as he is touring cities all over the globe like London, LA, and NYC, and being part of 88rising’s Head in the Clouds. While a Higher Brothers reunion will shake the world when it happens, MaSiWei is carrying that mantle for them with all his releases.


Jin Dogg [Japan]

There are rappers that as soon as you hear their first sentence, you know they are dope. Jin Dogg showed up on LiFTED’s radar in 2021 when he was dealing lethal lyrics to the fiends on ‘The Rubberband Man.’ Since then, his gritty voice and street sense have led him to the top tier in Japanese Hip Hop. Yuki Chiba’s ‘Team Tomodachi’ was a dope song before Jin got on it, but once he started rapping, it was over. His verse is the one that made all the people in other countries want to make their own remixes.


KR$NA [India]

When we asked our people on the ground in India who’s the hottest rapper, Delhi-based KR$NA consistently came in the top five. A year ago, his Far From Over EP was blasting out of earbuds and car stereos all over India, then he made the funny, yet hard-as-nails ‘Hola Amigo’ with SEEDHE MAUT and it was an instant classic. Then he flipped the old Raj Kapoor - Mukesh classic ‘Joota Japani’ with the music video shot in Tokyo, making him one of the few Indian rappers besides DIVINE to rock internationally.


DaBoyWay [Thailand]

Thailand’s DaBoyWay is a creative genius on the microphone, putting out high-energy songs like ‘Cake Diet’ and ‘POGO,’ and then slipping into his grown-man sexy vibe with his latest, ‘On Me.’ Rap groups come and go, but for the past 24 years, Thaitanium, DaBoyWay’s group, has brought Hip Hop from the streets to the overground in Thailand and broken a lot of glass ceilings along the way.


MC STΔN [India]

MC STΔN went from a much-loved rapper to a household name in the time of one season on Big Boss India Season 16. Since then, he’s been on cruise control, enjoying his fame and dropping new music like his latest single ‘911 Porsche.’ A lot has changed for STΔN but his music is staying on point.



Bohan moves up three slots to number 20 this year, after making a strong move to the hoop by going back to Chengdu, China where he first started influencing Hip Hop in a big way seven years ago. It was then that the transplanted New Yorker [originally transplanted from China] fell in with luminaries like HARIKIRI, Boss X [Fat Shady], and of course, the Higher Brothers. While he got them signed to 88 Rising [and the rest is history] and shunned The Rap of China, he remained fiercely independent and moved back to the US throughout COVID. This year he returned to China, made a Chinese album for Chengdu-based label Roll Dice, toured to big audiences, and finally went on The Rap of China, only to follow that up with a clear-eyed diss track called ‘No Chain’ that has ruffled a few feathers in the corporate Rap world of the mainland. But when has Bohan Phoenix ever given AF about that?



SEEDHE MAUT screams up 18 spots to number 21 this year, and honestly, they could be higher - but such is the competition in the effervescent Desi Hip Hop game. Of all the Indian rappers making serious gains, SEEDHE MAUT is the most IDGAF Indie of the bunch. They really are anti-rappers in a sense. They dress how they want, they look like students, and they rap about everyday shit that has struck a major nerve with Rap fans all over the country to the extent that they sell out to thousands of kids everywhere they go, regardless of local dialect or language. Ever since they were part of our Next 5 campaign with Jagermeister in 2022 they have proven us right by becoming some of the biggest Rap stars in India. This year they turned in a couple of high profile collabs with another of our faves KR$NA, which routinely racked up more than 10 million YouTube views, while they have half a million subscribers on their channel, and have recently finished up their Lunch Break tour with a few sneak peeks for their new album.


MILLI [Thailand]

Thailand’s MILLI goes through phases. One year, she’ll be causing a shortage of sticky mango rice just from mentioning it at Coachella, and the next she’ll be laying low. In 2024, MILLI is back with a vengeance with her latest track, ‘HEY HEY,’ where she goes to the countryside and gives her fans a taste of Luk Thung music - Thailand’s version of Country. The video is a wild ride all over the place and shows that MILLI is one of the most creative artists out.


EZ Mil [Philippines]

When you get signed by Eminem and Dr. Dre, the expectations are huge because those two men are life-changing. When news leaked that EZ Mil was hanging out in Dr. Dre’s basement, the Internet went nuts declaring him the next big thing. When he released ‘Realest’ with Eminem, the numbers went up, but that’s because everything that Slim Shady does goes crazy. So while EZ Mil has yet to show us exactly why he’s signed to Shady and Aftermath, the expectations are extremely high for the Filipino rapper.


¥ellow Bucks [Japan]

With a gruff voice made for Hip Hop and a long list of collaborators ranging from JP The Wavy to Taiwan’s ØZI, ¥ellow Bucks is making moves. His latest song, ‘Way Up’ with AK-69, shows why ¥ellow Bucks is doing his thing. The slick video has perfect edits, shows his lavish lifestyle, and then he kills the verse in a way only he could do it. With Japan dominating the LiFTED 50 this year, we expect ¥ellow Bucks to keep moving on up.


Psy.P [China]

Out of all the Higher Brothers, Psy.P is usually the most understated, but in 2023 and 2024, he changed it up. He’s going through his Rock era right now as his songs have a lot more guitars and he’s rarely seen without a chain wallet. A product of this is that now his live shows have that crazy Rock energy, so he’s been in the middle of some bills showing the headliners how to put on a show.


GINJIN [Mongolia]

Mongolia’s top dawg GINJIN stays strong this year, with a bunch of interesting releases and by keeping the competition in the rearview mirror. His only real opposition is his partner in rhyme, Mrs M [more on her later.] Probably the most compelling track he dropped this year was the Afrobeats-tinged ‘Humble’ with Man on the Moon. The song proves once again that GINJIN is not only a gravelly-voiced rapper, but also one of the best melodic hook writers in Asian Hip Hop. If he was from a bigger country he’d be in the top 10. As it is, he rules the Mongolian space and is a dual threat because can rap and sing in Mongolian and English.


Novel Fergus [Hong Kong]

After being named top rapper at Hong Kong’s What’s Good Hip Hop awards a few years ago, Fergus has lived up to his name, consistently releasing hard, moody joints that resonate with the local audience. His ‘板斧’ [Axe] Featuring partner Novel Flash is a slow-burning stick of dynamite, and last year’s ‘Jianghu’ is a Hong Kong Trap classic. Novel Fergus is on top.



Mr. Thirteen, as the Jakarta-based rapper TUAN TIGABELAS is known, has been a leading figure in Indonesian Hip Hop culture for over a decade. He stays relevant by dropping big tracks and featuring on some big hits – along the way winning three Indonesian Music Awards. Last year he performed with the artist Yacko at big events like SXSW’s Tiger Den and Thailand’s Wonderfruit festival. With hits like ‘Move’, ‘Westside’, ‘Last Roar’ and his recent single with Dirayha, ‘40Gram,’ Tuan Tigabelas has stayed in the hearts and ears of Indonesia’s Rap fans, and he stays connected to the four pillars by creating multiple videos for each track, incorporating elements like graffiti, breaking, and scratching. Tuan Tigabelas is an OG, but his musical DNA is firmly connected to the roots of Hip Hop and his tracks still sound fresh and up to date.



LEX is a big part of Japan’s rise in this year’s LiFTED 50. He’s been dominating the airwaves with his more poppy videos like ‘Bright Room’ and really killing his live shows like when he headlined the Pop Yours festival with 43 other Japanese rappers. If LEX continues on this trajectory, he’ll be in the top 10 in no time.


DJ KOCO [Japan]

Did you read that right? Are we crazy for putting a DJ on a top 50 list of MCs? Are we just checking to see if you read this far? The truth is, The LiFTED 50 can be whatever we want it to be and DJ Koco fits in very nicely. The 45 DJ absolutely kills every set he plays and he is recognized as the world’s best 45 DJ by heavyweights like Jazzy Jeff and Skratch Bastid. If you ever get a chance to see DJ Koko play, run to get a ticket because he will blow your mind.



Ted Park will have a good year every year because of his work ethic. He’s been playing shows and putting out tracks nearly every week for as long as LiFTED has been around and it’s paying off for him. He deserves every bit of adoration he gets from his dedicated fans in the US and Korea. He’s been keeping it real with his style and chilled persona for a while now, and like Bohan Phoenix, he’s really in his own space. His recent album, Summer in LA, is an oxymoron because he dreamed that he needed to be in LA to record all of his bangers, but in reality, being in other places where his fans mob him like Atlanta, Georgia, and Madison, Wisconsin give him that LA summertime vibes.


VINIDA [China]

It’s always hard to quantify mainland Chinese artists because whatever numbers they have on Western platforms are dwarfed in China. But VINIDA [Vinida Weng] has always drawn international fans from the global diaspora and beyond. She’s something of an OG in China, having been in the mix even before The Rap of China blew the genre wide open in 2017. She has the skill of always staying relevant. Ever since she’s linked up with superproducer HARIKIRI in Chengdu and his IRIS studio, her sound has expanded, and no track exemplifies that better than ‘WAIYA!’ Dropped earlier this year, it’s a perfect synthesis of Chinese and African influences, from the slinky syncopation of the drums to the melodies, to the sultry dance steps in the music video. An homage to her native Fuzhou, ‘WAIYA!’ has close to a million YouTube views, so you can imagine what it’s done in China.


Rich Brian [Indonesia]

Two years ago, Rich Brian was in the running to be number one on the first LiFTED 50 list. That honor went to Jay Park, but since then Brian has been chilling on the music and doing more and more acting and behind-the-scenes work. While his song ‘Dat $tick’ is considered an Asian Hip Hop classic that still slams in the club, we wish he would make more music for his fans to enjoy.



Japanese New Yorker MIYACHI is another MC who’s completely in his own lane. He rhymes effortlessly in Japanese and English, and his bars are correct in NYC, trust. But since moving to Japan, he’s really taken on the mantle of an independent artist who is just super creative and can spit any kind of bars needed for a particular track. A lot of people think he’s a comic rapper because he does make a lot of funny man-in-the-street type videos, but don’t sleep on his MC skills. MIYACHI is a real one. Yes, he’s made a bunch of hilarious music videos with Jagermeister, and his ‘Chu-Hi’ videos drinking outside the Family Mart were bananas. But he also drops joints like his ‘93 Freestyle’ with JP the WAVY, and ‘Buchinukeru’ [Shooter], his most recent track that’s as deadly as its title.


JB [Hong Kong]

Hong Kong’s Jiggie Boy JB rises up six spots to number 35 mostly due to his prolific live shows in the city, but he also dropped a few heat rocks over the past year, like the infectious ‘Me and My Crew,’ which is part of his ongoing partnership with Chivas Regal. JB doesn’t drop a lot of tracks, but when he does it always makes you wonder why. He’s so smooth and his songs always have big hooks.


Yung Raja

Yung Raja is a one-of-a-kind talent who knows how to do his own thing. He’s so good at live shows that he opened for 50 Cent and LiFTED invited him to play at the Suara Festival in Bali for the LiFTED main stage takeover along with RAMENGVRL. He’s got so much style that it oozes out of his pores, and Raja knows how to make catchy tunes, like his latest independent release ‘Too Dope’ with Strange Alias.


Lil Cherry [Korea]

There’s a fine line between Hip Hop, HyperPop, Amapiano, and Trap music, and Lil Cherry and her brother/producer GOLDBUUDA live on it. With an amazing live show, a Brooklyn-Miami-LA pedigree, and a fashion sense that rivals the best of them, Lil Cherry has got it going all the way on. Three months ago, the duo dropped a two-piece, ‘빨리빨리 PALI PALI’ and ‘질투가나 JILTUGANA,’ that blew people away with it’s complex styles and seamless transitions.


Joe Flizzow [Malaysia]

The president is always going to be the president. This past year, Def Jam South East Asia boss man Joe Flizzow produced a career-spanning This is Johan concert. It went so well that he’s doing one in Singapore in July. Flizzow isn’t only business and shows, he’s also busy making dope tracks like ‘Berlian’ with GARD that hits you right in the heart.



Formerly Shotta Spence, New Jersey native Spence Lee started making a big noise a few years ago when he dropped ‘Arriba,’ and he’s been honing his craft and sound ever since. Signing on with 88rising and evolving into his given name Spence Lee has brought him to his most recent album, S.H.O.T.T.A., and live slots at Head in the Clouds and Coachella. The single ‘Foundation’ is built on a dark piano riff that goes straight to the heart, while Spence powerfully rhymes about his Vietnamese-Chinese roots.


VAVA [China]

Straight outta Chengdu, VaVa has been one of the leading female voices in Chinese Rap ever since she broke through on season one of The Rap of China. Her single ‘My New Swag’, featured in Crazy Rich Asians, has become an all-time Asian Hip Hop classic. By now she’s an OG in the China Hip Hop game, but that doesn’t stop her from dropping hilarious and funky joints like last year’s ‘No Moutai’ with bbno$. Along with VINIDA, VaVa still has the Chinese Rap scene on lock.


MRS M [Mongolia]

The cool ruler of Mongolia’s Hip Hop and R&B scene, and GINJIN’s partner-in-rhyme, Mrs M kept it low this past year, but that’s to be expected after becoming a new mother. Nonetheless, she dropped ‘Sunuunu’ with GINJIN over a four-on-the-floor beat, and then dropped some more personal tracks like ‘Hundaga 100’ and last February’s ‘Be My Valentine’ which is one of the sexiest, sultriest R&B crossover tracks to come out of Asia. And we don’t wanna get started on the video, it’s straight fire.


ShiGGa Shay [Singapore]

While Singapore is a smaller market in Asia, it produces some of the most creative people. A prime example of this is ShiGGa Shay, who has had a very eventful 2023 and 2024. He was featured on The Rap of China with Taiwan’s E.So since they have been friends for over a decade. ShiGGa also just released the hard-hitting Boom Bap track, ‘What You Gon Do’ that would fit right into New York City in 1994.



After the success of their hit ‘LOTUS’ in 2021, the FORCEPARKBOIS took it easy. Now, they have been back in the lab cooking up some special things, like their latest release with Tuan Tigabelas, the brooding and moody, ‘13.’ On their social media, the FORCEPARKBOIS are teasing a lot of music so be on the lookout for that soon.


BRYN [Korea]

Being a chameleon in the Asian Hip Hop scene has a lot of perks. You can do what you want when you get in the studio. You aren’t confined to one genre. And if you feel like changing it up, you go in a totally new direction and no one really blinks an eye. Bryn is chameleon-like in her ways that one year she can be deep in Hip Hop, and then the next she’s going for it on Drum & Bass tracks, but that’s still all perfectly Bryn.



Yuki Chiba was known as KOHH in the 2010s and was one the most important Japanese rappers at that time. He retired in 2020, only to return in 2022 on a remix about CBD. It wasn’t until January of this year that KOHH was fully gone and the transformation into Yuki Chiba happened with ‘Team Tomodochi,’ the biggest Asian Hip Hop song in years. Not only did a ton of Japanese rappers jump on the remix, but other countries including Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia also recorded their own versions. Duke Duece, a rising rapper from Memphis even showed some love by coming to Japan and getting on the track, showing that everyone around the world could use a few friends on their team, which is the message conveyed in the song.


XG [Japan]

The seven girls in the Japanese group XG are based in South Korea, so are they a K-pop group? J-pop? Or something different? With their ability to rhyme, XG is showing all of their peers in the K- or J-pop world that their futures are blending genres. Their latest release ‘WOKE UP,’ is a masterpiece in cinematography as well as music because the girls get down down down in this one. The fact that it has 20 million views after only three weeks doesn’t hurt either.


MC HotDog [Taiwan]

MC HotDog had a bit of a rough launch to his album Disgusted Artist rollout when manga artist Zhu Deyong sued him for plagiarizing his cartoon many years ago. Soon after, ‘The Landlord Upstairs’ got all the issues cleared up and HotDog was back on top of the world with two sold-out Taipei arena shows with a few different guests each night.


Haysen Cheng [Hong Kong/China]

Haysen Cheng has lived a few lives already. He was a basketball prodigy with dreams of going to play in the US in college. He was a straight-up hustler in Hong Kong, helping his family get by with dreams of making it big in the Hip Hop game. Now, he’s living a new life in Chengdu, jumping on tracks with Bohan Phoenix, and even getting on The Rap of China this season. Haysen has always had a good head on his shoulders to go along with that dope voice.


MFS [Japan]

Boiler Room proved in 2022 that it had star-making power when Fred Again..’s set exploded onto the electronic music scene and elevated him to the upper echelons of EDM, even while people on the stage bumped and stopped his tracks. In 2023, Boiler Room touched down in Osaka where MFS [Mother F*ckin Savage] got on the mic and showed why she is a Japanese MC who is living up to her name.


Morobeats [Philippines]

In 2023 and 2024, Morobeats mastered social media marketing. Their street-centered videos were blasted and shared around the globe until everyone knew they were the Boom Bap kings and queens of Asia. A testament to their dopeness was the recently-dropped Jo Koy: Live from Brooklyn on Netflix where DJ Medmessiah, head of Morobeats with his children Miss A and Fateeha and others, got a shout-out during the show for doing that real dope Filipino Hip Hop.