Asia’s top 50 rappers and MCs have just been announced by LiFTED Asia.
This year’s number one spot was taken by India’s leading hip hop artist DIVINE; he takes the charge from last year’s top ranker, South Korea’s Jay Park.
DIVINE’s album ‘GUNEHGAR’, which dropped at the end of 2022, boasted an infectious street style of Hindi rap that garnered both local and global attention. The album was released on Nas’ India outlet of his Mass Appeal label and enlisted top US producers including Hit-Boy, Harry Fraud, and Statik Selektah. Coupled with the now largest population in the world, it’s no surprise Divine bagged the top rank.
Still standing strong on the LiFTED ranking from 2022, Jay Park comes in at number two this year.
Read this next: The LiFTED 50 just ranked Asia’s top 50 hip hop artists
Popular Thai rapper YOUNGOHM seals the top 3, thanks to his hit single that, according to LiFTED, could be heard in every bar and tuk-tuk across Bangkok, ‘THATTHONG SOUND’.
Dubbing themselves the 'organic voice of Asian hip hop', the LiFTED Asia platform has become the go-to source for all things rap in the East. Since launching last year, and in partnership with Jägermeister, the LiFTED 50 highlights the most active and dominating artists across the hip hop spectrum, with this year’s list including 18 new entries and over 10 female MCs or crews.
The sheer size and turnover of India and Korea’s music markets have seen a natural drift towards hip hop. In India, the genre has literally exploded in recent years with new artists being minted almost weekly, and the spike in a cultural awakening through films like Gully Boy, while South Korea’s hyper K-pop to K-hop markets and have been fuelled by TV shows like ‘Show Me the Money’ that launch new artists every season.
Strong representation also comes from Thailand, Japan, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Mongolia and Cambodia.
Check out the entire LiFTED 50 ranking here.