Back in 2001, Jin the MC debuted on BET’s 106 & Park to compete in the emcee battles known as Freestyle Friday. Everyone is like, ‘WTF Asian people could rap though?!’. He blazes through competitors for seven weeks straight and on February 22nd, he gets inducted into the show’s Hall of Fame and announces his major label deal with Ruffryderz.
If we go even further back to 1999, Philadelphia-based trio, The Mountain Brothers, put out their debut album Self Vol 1 album on February 19th. The rhymes were on some everyman shit and the sample-free production knocked. They made a significant splash in the underground and managed to do shows with legendary groups like A Tribe Called Quest. The album itself was critically acclaimed and still sounds incredible today.
Since then, Asian American rappers have made notable strides but none as impactful as the accomplishments Jin and the Mountain Brothers (Peril-L, Styles, CHOPS) have made during this week. So we decided to commemorate the dates and create Asian Hip Hop Week. With that said, it’s not all about these guys though. They opened the doors but we’re interested in what’s happening now as much as what’s happened then. So keep it locked as we spit out random facts on our Twitter, post flicks on Facebook, and drop some cool features right here on the site. Jyeah.
The Mountain Brothers today