There’s no denying that the Asian rap scene is on the rise. American and European rappers might have a monopoly on the hip-hop industry, but if you think that they’ve got all the talent, you’re in for a big surprise. In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in the popularity of Asian rappers, both in the mainstream and underground scenes.
And it’s not just the music that’s getting attention – Asian rappers are becoming increasingly visible in the media, with many of them landing major endorsements and sponsorships.
So, who are the finest Asian rappers in the industry? Here’s our list of 14 of the best:
Most of the Asian rappers on our list are from East Asia. If you are a true hip-hop fan, you’d already know a lot of these Asian rappers, but there are also some new faces.
I am starting things off with one of the most famous Asian rappers and a member of the renowned South-Korean boy band, BTS. Jin has made great contributions to the band’s success over the nine-year period.
Jin is the name he is widely known for; however, Kim Seok-jin is his birth name. You can wish him on the 4th of December if you want, and his birth year is 1992.
This Asian rapper is currently working with the famous label Big Hit Music. He rose to fame with his first/debut solo song named “Tonight,” which was released on the 4th of June 2019.
He has been doing this rapping, songwriting, and singing since 2013, the same year BTS was formed. His hometown is Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.
He didn’t always want to be a rapper, or any kind of artist, for that matter, but circumstances brought him where he is today. You can ask his fans how those circumstances were in their favor indirectly.
Besides his debut song, “Tonight,” he has some other great songs on his name, like “Yours,” “Awake,” “Epiphany,” “Moon,” “Boyz With Fun,” and others as well.
Around 32.6 million+ people are following him on his Instagram account at @jin, more than 1.9 people listen to his songs monthly on Spotify at JIN, and, the way it’s looking, he doesn’t have a SoundCloud account.
We have yet another member of the great BTS band, Suga, whose birth name is Min Yoon-gi. He is 29 years old. Just like Jin, Suga also signed to the Big Hit Music label.
Suga came into this world in the year 1993, and his birthday falls on the 9th of March. Besides his stage name, Suga, he is AKA Agust D.
However, he joined the BTS in 2013, but he began his journey in 2010, three years before his entry into the band. He hails from Buk District, Daegu, South Korea.
Min went to Taejeon Elementary School; after passing out, he progressed to Gwaneum Middle School, and after middle school, he got admitted into the Apgujeong High School.
This Asian rapper was inspired by Stony Skunk and Epik High to pursue his career in the hip-hop industry. When he was just 17, he began working for a recording studio.
Before adopting his current stage name, Suga, he used to be known as “Gloss.” His debut music project was “Agust D,” which made its way to his audience in 2016.
He gave out his second mixtape, “D-2,” which was released on the 22nd of May 2020. Some other of his songs are “All I Do Is Win,” “Dream Money,” “Adult Child,” “It Doesn’t Matter,” and some others.
- Yoon-gi’s Instagram following: 32 million+ at @agustd.
- Spotify monthly listeners: 4.1 million+ at SUGA.
Soundcloud following: No account on SoundCloud, but you can still listen to his songs there.
3 Rap Monster:
Who doesn’t know Rap Monster? The head and bossman of the BTS, Rap Monster. His birth name is Kim Nam-joon. He is 27 years old.
Nam-joon raps and also sings in English. This Asian rapper was born on the 12th of September 1994. He hails from Dongjak District, Seoul, South Korea.
Epik High also inspired him to become a rapper. That inspiration worked out just well, as you can see. He was in his fifth grade when he first listened to Epik High.
He and his mother used to watch the famous TV show “Friends.” That is how he learned English. He spent around four months in New Zealand when he was twelve years old.
I think, during his time in New Zealand, he became interested in rapping. “RM” was his first music project, which came out in the year 2015.
Because of nasal septum deviation, he had to take some time off his hip-hop career. This Asian rapper’s other songs are “moonchild,” “Uhgood,” “Fantastic,” “tokyo,” and others.
- His Instagram following: 31.8 million+ at @rkive.
- tify monthly listeners: 2.1 million+ at RM.
SoundCloud following: No account on SoundCloud.
G-Dragon is one of the best Asian rappers on our list. You may be thinking, why did I say this for him particularly? Because he is widely regarded as “The King Of K-Pop.”
Dragon is 33 years old. His birthday falls on the 18th of August, and his birth year is 1988. This Asian rapper’s birth name is Kwon Ji-yong.
When he was just six years old, he got into this stuff and joined the Little Roo’ra group. But things got a little out of hand when the group’s contract was abolished under certain circumstances.
This was not very good news for G-Dragon, and he promised his mom that he would not try to become an artist. But his fate brought him close to rapping eventually.
He began working with YG Entertainment when he was eight years and kept on working for around five years. His first album was “Heartbreaker,” which came out in 2009.
“Coup d’Etat,” “Coup d’Etat + One of a Kind & Heartbreaker,” “Crooked,” “WHO YOU?” “Crayon,” “A Boy,” and “That XX” are some of his music projects.
Until now, only South Korean artists have been featured on our list. That is because the majority of Asian hip-hop is comprised of South Korean artists.
This Asian rapper hails from Yongin, South Korea. You can wish him on the 30th of March and his birth year is 1993. Moreover, his parents named him Song Min-ho.
Just like many other Asian rappers, Mino also worked with YG Entertainment during his early days in the industry. He participated in “Show Me The Money 4,” and he became the runner-up in the show.
That is how he gained his initial fame. His song “Fear” also contributed a lot to his fame as a hip-hop artist. Then, in 2018, he gave out his debut album, “XX.”
He has been at it since 2011. It seems like he began his musical career as an underground rapper. He kept on with it for some time until making his presence known as a famous rapper.
6 Rich Chigga:
Let’s take a little break from the Republic Of Korea and head to Indonesia. This Asian rapper came into this world on the 3rd of September 1999 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
His parents named him Brian Imanuel Soewarno. He has three other siblings as well, and he is the youngest one. By age he is 22 years old.
Chigga spent his early days in a lower-middle-class area, and he didn’t have as many facilities as a normal kid in other parts of the world.
Rich’s dad was a lawyer, but he couldn’t get him the necessary education; thus, he studied mostly at his home. He created his accounts on both Twitter and YouTube.
These two discoveries changed his life and brought him here. But his Indonesian language was a problem here, as he could not sing or rap in his native language because of low demand in the country.
So, he decided to learn English, and he eventually did. He used to listen to American rappers and spent a lot of time watching English YouTube content.
Brian’s first song was “Dat $tick,” which came out in 2016. Other songs are “Amen,” “The Sailor,” “Who That Be,” “Seventeen,” “Back At It,” and “Chaos.”
Let’s head back to South Korea because you know why. I will talk about the first female Asian rapper on our list, CL, whose birth name is Lee Chae-rin.
She was born on the 26th of February 1991 in Seoul, South Korea. However, she is a Korean, but she didn’t stay in her home country for long and went to Japan and then France.
CL began working with JYP Entertainment, and after that, she signed a contract with YG Entertainment. She also joined 2NE1 (a famous girls’ group). She is 31 years old.
Her first/debut song was “The Baddest Female,” which made its way to us in 2013. “Alpha” is her renowned album. “Hello Bitches,” “LIFTED,” “SPICY,” “Lover Like Me,” and some others are her songs.
8 Honey Singh:
Honey Singh is a famous Indian rapper. His albums and songs are very famous in his country. He mostly raps in his native language, yet, this Asian rapper is among the most famous in the industry.
Why? You know there are around 1.3 billion+ Hindi speakers. So, if only Hindi speakers listen to his songs, they will still be hits.
Hirdesh Singh is what his parents named him. His birthday falls on the 15th of March, and his birth year is 1983. He hails from Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India.
Singh tied the knot with Shalini Talwar in 2011, and they are still together. It is not that he can’t rap in English; he just doesn’t want to. He prefers Hindi and Punjabi.
However, he had directed many albums like “Peshi,” “The Beat,” “Surma,” and “Rebirth,” but he was not the artist in these albums. “International Villager” was the album on which Singh was first featured.
9 Mr. Capone-E:
Mr. Capone-E is the first Pakistani rapper on our list. His birth name is Fahd Azam. If you want, you can wish him on the 27th of April, and his birth year is 1976.
This Asian rapper hails from Peshawar, KPK, Pakistan. He also created the Pakistani label, Hi-Power Entertainment. He has been doing this since 2000.
He didn’t stay in Pakistan for long, and his parents moved to the USA, and you can call it his good luck that his family came to California.
During his early years in California, he got involved in some “bad” activities. Not many of you might know that he also served some time in prison due to his activities.
Fahd’s arrest actually turned out to be good for his career, as he got serious about his rapping career. His debut album was “Mr. Capone E & The Southsiders,” which was released in 2000.
Some other albums/songs are “Last Man Standing,” “Dedicated 2 The Oldies,” “Always And Forever,” and “Strictly For The Streets Vol. 1.”
10 Jazzy B:
Jazzy B is yet another Hindi rapper. However he was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, India, but his parents went to Canada. That is where he grew up.
His parents named him Jaswinder Singh Bains. He is 47 years old. Jazzy B was born on the 1st of April 1975. Besides rapping, he does acting and singing too.
Since the beginning of his career, he has worked with many great American and Asian rappers, like Snoop Dogg, Honey Singh, and Mr. Capone-E.
Jazzy’s debut album was “Gugiyan Da Jora,” which came out in 1993. He also has a fashion brand named “B Jazzy.” He has dual nationalities, making him Indo-Canadian.
Some other of his hit songs are “Gallan Kardi (She Talks),” “One Million,” “Naag (Snake),” “Romeo,” “This Party Getting Hot,” and “Miss Karda (I Miss).”
This Asian rapper is 34 years old. His parents named him Choi Seung-Hyun. He was born on the 4th of November 1987 in Seoul, South Korea.
He began doing this in 2006. In 2010, he gave out his debut album, named “Turn It Up.” Then after three years, in 2013, he gave out “Doom Dada.”
T.O.P is not a member of the BTS if you are wondering. He is a member of the Big Bang boy group, which he joined in 2006.
You might know him as a successful rapper, but he is also a famous and successful actor. He made his rapping debut in 2006; then, after a year, he stepped into the film industry.
“I Am Sam” web series was his first acting project, which came out in 2007; after two years, the “Iris” web series came out in 2009.
Some other of his hit songs are “BANG BANG BANG,” “FANTASTIC BABY,” “FLOWER ROAD,” “IF YOU,” “LOSER,” “ZUTTER,” and a lot of others.
12 Riz Ahmed:
His complete name is Rizwan Ahmed. His birth date is the 1st of December 1982, and his birthplace is Wembley, London, United Kingdom.
Ahmed is 39 years old. He has dual professions: Acting and Rapping. He tied the knot with Fatima Farheen Mirza in 2020, and they both are still together.
Just like dual professions, he also has dual nationalities: British and Pakistani. He started doing this in 2006. Right now, this Asian rapper is signed to Battered, Crosstown, Rebels, and Customs label.
Riz is mostly known for his political raps. Rapping is not the only thing he is known for; he is also a human rights activist. He was once a representative in the House of Common for fundraising for refugees.
Did you know that his grandfather or great-grandfather was the very first Muslim judge of the Allahabad High Court during the British Raj?
“Microscope” was his debut album, which he gave out in 2011. “The Long Goodbye” is his second album. He also released his mixtape, named “Englistan (England),” which are some of his other projects.
This Asian rapper was born on the 15th of October 1979. He started doing rapping, singing, and songwriting in 2001, and he is among the top Pakistani rappers currently.
Roger David is his birth name. He hails from Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. He is 42 years old. He tied the knot with Sunny David in 2017, and they’re still together.
His parents moved to the USA when he was just thirteen years old, and that is where he began taking a serious interest in his musical career.
“Vich Pardesan De (Among Foreigners)” was his first debut album, which he gave out after a year of being in the Asian hip-hop industry.
“Pesa Nasha Pyar (Money, Intoxication, Love),” “Da Rap Star,” “Thousand Thoughts,” “Skull & Bones: The Final Chapter,” and “I AM I.C.O.N: In control of nothing” are his other albums.
And last but not least, we have the only Japanese hip-hop artist on our list, Kohh, whose birth name is Yuki Chiba. He is 31 years old.
His other name is Yellow T20. His birthday falls on the 22nd of April, and his birth year is 1990. Kohh hails from Oji, Kita, Tokyo, Japan.
Kohh’s childhood was not an ideal one. His dad killed himself while he was intoxicated with drugs. His mom was also an addict to methamphetamine.
To make things even worse, this Asian rapper used to live in an area where violence, drugs, and crimes were pretty common. During these days, he began taking a keen interest in hip-hop music.
Chiba has been at it since 2008, and he released his album, named “MONOCHROME,” which came out on the 30th of July 2014.
His other hits releases are “Dirt,” “Dirt II,” “Untitled,” Hikouki,” “John and Yoko,” “Fuck Swag,” “If I Die Tonight,” “We Good,” and some other songs as well.
I have talked about the 14 of the best Asian rappers in the hip-hop industry. 14 is a tiny number when you talk about Asian talent. But yet, there is always a limit to everything. Thank you for reading this f