The 12 Best Asian American Rappers Out Then and Now

Published On February 20, 2013 | By Dave | articles, features, interview, lists, music, videos

It’s always fun arguing about who’s the best rapper out. But real talk, a lot of times none of ya’ll know what the fuck ya’ll are talking about (lol!). So I asked two guys that know talent (speaking from experience) and happen to have good taste.

From the early Internet era of Aznraps.com message boards to making his own records with just about every Asian rapper in the game, Philadelphia native Decipher has been a student of the game for a while now.. So I asked him to give his personal top six emcees who made a significant impact on the Asian rap scene back then, known or unknown.

Chops is just mothafuckin’ Chops. We already mentioned his impact on the Asian rap landscape (albeit briefly) but the OG has stayed relevant, doing records with everyone from Kanye West to Raekwon to Nicki Minaj. Believe it or not, he’s been checking out what the young’ns are up to, so I asked him for his personal favorite list of ‘new’ rappers.

Given their credentials, you readers are still going to disagree and talk your shit and that’s what’s up. This is Hip Hop and music is subjective as hell. So feel free to sound off in the comment section. But for now, take this opportunity to soak up some gems and get hip to some artists making good music. #Asianhiphopweek continues.

Start by clicking page 2 or skip forward to Decipher’s six or Chops’ six.

About The Author

founded Gumship in 2012 to document the Asian American experience through culture, lifestyle and entertainment. When he's not blogging, he creates music as the rapper Rekstizzy. Hobbies include ramen, fried chicken, and pizza. If he could eat all three at the same time, the joy in his heart would cause him to levitate off the floor in a spiral motion.

18 Responses to The 12 Best Asian American Rappers Out Then and Now

  1. Pingback: Asian Hip Hop Week | Gumship Gumship - Man's Guide to Asian Culture and Entertainment, Yo!

  2. Pingback: I made the top 12 list for “Best Asian American Artist, Then & Now” | Mic Barz

  3. John says:

    No Cool Calm Pete?
    He’s better than everyone on this list.
    Yeah, I said it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Calm_Pete

    • GUMSHIP says:

      Not better than everyone on this list, purely because they do different things in different lanes. But yeah, this is a list of personal favorites. I would’ve included him on mine for sure lol.

      • Shamooo says:

        good article/good list overall. Rook was hella raw and I still listen to that mixtape sometimes, unfortunately he’s locked up now isn’t he? Jin was that dude back in 106 and park days and I remember doing the exact same shit you wrote about except I was in 6th grade so wasn’t driving and smoking just yet, but “Learn Chinese” was his downfall cuz that shit pigeonholed him and made him seem like a gimmick… and its cool to see how much Dumbfounded and Thai have blown up now, in different lanes but theyre both doing their thing.. Thai is well known in the whole west coast and hawaii, and even white people bump dumbfounded now..

    • Shamooo says:

      Nahhhhh… he’s cool and probably deserved a mention but he definitely isn’t better than everyone on here. Bambu is the best Asian-American MC ever imo. Overall this was a solid list though, except that Geo (Prometheus Brown) from Blue Scholars should definitely be on here. And fuckin D-Pryde should not be on here…

  4. No love for Fresh Kid Ice (Chris Wong Won)? Whatever you think of 2 Live Crew (and earlier, Rock On Crew), “The Chinaman” was a pioneer.

  5. Sun Child says:

    Damn, you left out some of of the most important (and dopest) Asian American rappers/pioneers:

    Cool Calm Pete
    The Pacifics
    Native Guns (as a group)
    El Gambina
    Magnetic North
    Lyrics Born
    Geologic (Blue Scholars)
    Far East Movement
    Denizen Kane (Typical Cats)
    Kero One

    Please do more homework next time, If you ain’t familiar with half of these artists, then please do so immediately.

  6. properhustle says:

    tons of others id put on this list before these but to each their own. im glad bambu and chan got a mention. i feel geo of blue scholars deserves to be up there tho. cool calm pete and denizen are some other favs of mine as well. for bringing it back, remember KEY KOOL or FRESH KID ICE? :)

  7. ? says:

    Where’s J. Reyez ?

  8. CJ Chea says:

    Thai is the best asian rapper, but young kids like D-pryde so they about the same right now

  9. midwestkush says:

    reverbnation.com/itzslant youtube.com/slantana5

  10. Mitch says:

    CAMBODIAN MITCH !!!!!!

  11. ONE says:

    Biggie Smalls Feat. Jom The One “Doomsday” (Victory Remix)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC-g7zUQ8hA

  12. Tam says:

    Check out BFR’s Benjamin Gifted and Level on Youtube.com/billfightTV

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>