As we all know, Hip-Hop has gone global. This doesn’t just mean that the world is listening to what’s playing in America, its birthplace: it now means that new artists are creating new and progressive forms of the art on different parts of the planet. In fact, it’s precisely how and why Content Dope was created in the first place, thanks to picking up on artists like Skepta, Wiley and the collective Grime culture in the UK.
Today, we’re happy to be “better late than never” so to speak, as we came upon the below video, which had apparently gone viral via social media near the start of the year:
The visual is for a track by South Korean emcee Keith Ape (named after the late Keith Haring) titled ‘It G Ma’ (or ‘Never Forget’, thanks to YouTube close-captioning) and it features his crew The COHORT, a loose band of artists from Seoul (UPDATE: and Japan) with an affinity for whales (they also call themselves the Underwater Squad). The music is essentially a complete rip from Atlanta’s Trap Rap scene, but these guys are somehow doing it better than a lot of those guys. Seriously: if you refer to the aforementioned close-captioning and jump to the last verse by SOHH, it’s almost like he’s mastered the lyricism while speaking on some respectable things (translated: “get rid of unnecessary things, you could be happy with having only what you need”…a big difference from Southern Trap Rap’s usual overindulgence).
This blend seems to have started with these artists flat out doing covers of American hit songs (just check out their versions of Bobby Shmurda’s ‘Hot N***a‘ and Kanye West’s ‘All Day‘) and it hasn’t gone without some negativity — increasingly outspoken Atlanta rapper OG Maco accused Keith Ape of cultural appropriation after seeing the above video — which does sound an awful lot like ‘U Guessed It’ — before later squashing the issue. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), Korean Rap has continued to expand further into the States, and there’s apparently a visual for the remix to ‘It G Ma’ which reportedly features A$AP Ferg, Yung Lean & Father. Keith Ape seems to be at the forefront of the movement, having been spotted with a lot of notable American names within the last 12 months (above gallery)…the point is, these guys are coming and it’s only a matter of time before the entire South Korean culture gets the spotlight for Hip-Hop.
If you’d like to check out more, we’ve included a bunch of Keith Ape and The COHORT’s latest clips (including new collaborations) below, which have all amassed views well into the 6-figure range (or millions). We’re very interested to see if Korean Hip-Hop continues to progress by year’s end and beyond.