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 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.

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  • John

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


      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

        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

      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…

  • Eric Brightwell

    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.


      We probably should’ve gave them more slots!

  • Sun Child

    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.


      We’re familiar with all those cats. Please read more carefully, this is Decipher and Chops’ personal favorites.

  • properhustle

    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? :)

  • ?

    Where’s J. Reyez ?

    • Mitch

      How can yall forget about Cambodian Mitch !!!!

  • CJ Chea

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

  • midwestkush

  • Mitch


  • ONE

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

  • Tam

    Check out BFR’s Benjamin Gifted and Level on