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Are there any Asian rappers? Absolutely! Asia has a diverse and vibrant hip-hop scene, with many talented rappers emerging since the 1980s.
Asian Americans have also made significant contributions to the hip-hop industry and have gained recognition for their music in recent years.
Find out who the 20 best Asian rappers are below.
The 20 Best Asian Rappers
20. Kid Trunks
Rapping since the age of 15, Trunks has collaborated with some best Asian rappers, his best solo hit being “IDK,” released in 2018.
Receiving over 15 million views on YouTube, it is the most popular of his songs.
Born Minh Nguyen in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Vietnamese-American has struggled with drug addiction, but we hope he will soon be back to doing what he does best – making music.
The first on our list of Asian rappers from South Korea, Beenzino started his career by featuring on albums of other successful South Korean artists, such as Epik High and Supreme Team.
When he released his debut album, 24:26, he found personal recognition.
Known for his melodic style, the rapper’s most popular hit is “Dali, Van, Picasso” from his 2014 album Up All Night.
An easy choice for a best Asian rappers list.
18. $tupid Young
Born to Cambodian refugees, Alex Pham, or $tupid Young as we know him, had a rough start to life.
He was in and out of prison before a stint in juvenile hall changed everything, emerging with a career path after attending a class for budding rappers.
Described as “a throwback to the golden age of gangster rap,” the Cambodian-American’s songs are hard-hitting and real. “Trust Nobody” says it all.
The first female on this list of best Asian rappers, Awkwafina, is more than just a talented rap artist.
Shooting to fame on YouTube in 2012 when her song “My Vag” went viral, she had previously studied journalism and women’s studies at the State University of New York at Albany.
The American Asian rapper from New York is currently carving out an acting career for herself, being the co-creator, writer, and executive producer of a series on Comedy Central based on her life called “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.”
16. Lexie Liu
Described as having “futuristic and dream-like tones,” Lexie Liu’s songs aim to encourage women to pursue their dreams, despite society’s restrictions.
The young rapper became the youngest Chinese artist to participate in K-Pop Star 5, a reality TV series competition.
She went on to sign with the American label 88rising after coming fourth in the Rap Of China competition in 2018.
Rapping in Mandarin and English, her songs have a cyber-punk feel, unlike even the other best Asian rappers.
Divine, one of the best Asian rappers from India (if not the best), has taken his home country by storm.
The Indian rapper from the slums of Mumbai sings of the difficulties of poverty and inequality in his home city, which resonates with many in his country.
“Yeh Mera Bombay” launched his career in 2013, but “Mere Gully Mein” with Naezy announced his intentions to the world.
Divine also started a company called Gully Gang Entertainment to recruit and produce hip-hop talent in the Mumbai area.
One of the youngest on our best Asian rappers list, Filipino-Canadian rapper rose to fame in 2017 with the release of his hit “Killamonjaro.”
He had started by rapping at various venues in Toronto, but the success of “Killamonjaro” got the attention of artists like Drake.
His numerous singles have achieved gold and platinum status with Music Canada, and he seems set to achieve even more in the years to come.
Jonathan Edgar Park, AKA Dumbfoudead, is one of the most well-known Asian American rappers in the USA.
Born in Argentina to South Korean immigrants, the family moved to the US and settled in Los Angeles.
He has collaborated with Asian rappers Epic High and Keith Ape, to name a few, and continues to release hit after hit.
Controversial at times, he is not afraid to speak out on behalf of those less fortunate.
Born and raised in Jakarta, Putri Soeharto first started making music demos in her bedroom, as her family frowned upon her passion for rapping.
She then started posting them on Soundcloud, where she gained a small following.
Her first and second hits, “I’m Da Man” and “CA$HMERE,” thrust her into the limelight.
She is an Indonesian icon who reminds women that they can be exactly what they want. Definitely one of the best Asian rappers.
Lee Chaelin is yet another South Korean rapping sensation. The South Asian rapper started in one of the most successful girl bands, 2NE1.
Pursuing her solo career, her single “Lifted” placed in the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female Korean solo artist to do so.
She is considered one of the great Korean influencers in the K-pop and fashion worlds.
10. Nicki Minaj
This might surprise many, but Onika Maraj-Petty has Asian ancestry. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, her father was of Indian and African descent.
As one of only a few black Asian rappers, Minaj has been incredibly successful since releasing her first mixtapes in 2007.
Minaj’s 2022 hit, “Super Freaky Girl,” debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 100, proving she still has what it takes to be a #1 rapper.
9. Mountain Brothers
Originally from Philadelphia, the Mountain Brothers were trailblazers in their day, being one of the first Asian American hip-hop groups.
The trio produced hits such as “Paperchase” and “Thoroughbred” before turning their talents to producing radio and TV commercials.
While they stopped performing in 2013, their effect on Asian rappers to come was profound.
8. Epik High
This pioneering South Korean rapping trio inspired many of the younger generations of K-pop rappers to follow their dreams.
An experimental group, they did the unthinkable and combined rap and hip-hop with elements of pop, rock, and classical music, producing hits like “Run,” “Don’t Hate Me,” and “Peace day.”
Awich attributes learning English to listening to her idol, Tupac’s songs.
One of the best Asian rappers from Japan, the star started writing rap songs at 13 years old. She moved to the USA six years later, when she was 19.
Here she released her first album, Asian Wish Child, which is the meaning of her stage name, Awich.
After her husband was murdered, she returned to Japan and continued with her ambition to become the “Queen of Japanese hip-hop.”
Danupha Khanatheerakul, better known as Milli, is a Thai rap artist.
In April 2022, she became the first Thai solo artist to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the Colorado Desert.
Her debut song, “Phak Khon,” reached over 90 million views on YouTube.
A rising star amongst Asian rappers, she has already won numerous awards, including Hip-Hop Song of the Year, New Face of The Year at the Rap Is Now Awards in 2020, and Artist of the Year a year later.
A list of the best Asian rappers would not be complete without Apl.de.ap, one of the most famous Asian rappers in America.
A founding member of Black Eyed Peas, Allan Pineda Lindo was born in the Philippines. He moved to the USA as a child.
After performing with will.i.am in the late 80s, they added to their number, forming Black Eyed Peas. They released their first studio album in 1998.
Eight more studio albums and numerous singles followed, making them one of the world’s top rap and hip-hop bands.
Kohh started life in Tokyo, Japan, in 1990. He recorded his first mixtapes at the age of 18.
A symbol of the Japanese hip-hop renaissance, he won “Best Hip-Hop Artist” at the Space Shower Music Video Awards in 2016 and 2017 and MTV Europe Music Award in 2017.
He is still one of the most phenomenal Asian rappers, with his 2020 song, “I Think I’m Falling,” receiving over 3 million plays on Spotify and 1.6 million views on YouTube.
3. Keith Ape
Who is the best rapper in Asia? We’re going with Keith Ape.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Keith Ape made it big with his 2015 hit, “It G Ma.”
That year, the New York Times listed Ape’s concert at SOB’s in its top 40 picks because of its “unrestrained mayhem.”
His hard-hitting style has proven popular across the globe, with his 2017 single, “Gospel,” having over 190 million plays on Spotify.
2. Rich Brian
In 2016, Chinese-Indonesian rapper Rich Brian’s debut single, “Dat $tick,” propelled him onto the world stage.
Born in Jakarta in 1999, he started rapping on the internet at the tender age of 11.
After moving to Los Angeles, he released two studio albums before his twentieth birthday.
Already one of the most successful of all Asian rappers, he still has so much to achieve and plenty of time in which to do it.
1. MC Jin
Who is a rapper from Florida? That’d be MC Jin, who tops our list of best Asian rappers
Born in Miami, Florida, he competed in several rap battles emerging as the best Asian rapper of the 2000s.
A legend in the Asian rap world, MC Jin was the first Asian American solo rapper to be signed by a major record label in the United States.
Proud of his Chinese heritage, he raps in English and Cantonese, achieving gold status with his Cantonese album, ABC, in 2008. “HK Superstar” is a perfect fit.
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