non-english hip hop

being a bilingual hip hop fan, rappers who rap in languages other than english is a particular interest of mine, so i figured id create a thread for folks to contribute. specifically to spotlight Yung Raja, who’s the best Tamil-English rapper I’ve ever heard, but for other stuff too

Starting with the immortal Redman “watch me freak it in Korean” - is it good? who’s to say?
(1:50) Redman - Blow Your Mind - YouTube

“Le Bien Le Mal” got some MTV play for MC Solaar in the 90s - had a soft spot for French rap ever since I came across this collab with Guru (of Gang Starr)
Guru - The Good, The Bad (Le Bien, Le Mal) - YouTube

last year or so i had a period of getting into chinese trap music, both Bohan Phoenix and Higher Brothers. these are bangers
Higher Brothers x Famous Dex - Made In China (Prod. Richie Souf) - YouTube
Bohan Phoenix - JALA 加辣 (Official Video) - YouTube

this week been getting acquainted with southeast asian trap (malaysia/singapore) - very proud to see Yung Raja from singapore repping tamil and as a native speaker i can tell he knows the language at a deep level - making references to classic movies, hindu mythology, classical oratory, all kinds of stuff. here’s a freestyle supercut

just wanted to transcribe some of that first one, the end of this 16 is legit on par with anything i’ve heard from big L in the 90s. one thing that’s impossible to convey to a non-speaker, is using english slang literally translated into tamil as wordplay, e.g. “spit fire” becomes “neruppu thuppu” even tho in native tamil that makes no sense because ‘spit’ isn’t really used to mean ‘say’.

tamil rap hasn’t reaaally been a thing outside of some abortive attempts in the early 2000s, altho i will ride for this one yogi b x natchatra song. apparently now there’s a tamil trap music label in tamil nadu, they did a remix of a yung raja song that was worse.


contemporary korean rap (k-rap or krap, as i like to call it lovingly) I’ve been Listening to for up to a decade by now didn’t really bring forth a real superstar where I’d be following every release, so it probably is me who’s at fault here.

however, what i can always recommend is:

Epik High, which have been around a long, long time in K-time scale:

here doing a collab with artists you can use as a starting point to dig deeper.
their collab partners got more high profile over the years, e.g. getting IU to Feature, or CL from 2ne1 fame

Lee Young Ji up next, she seems to have a personality I’d normally not be a fan of, but liking her output.

other rec’s for going down a rabbit hole:

and many many more I’m not aware of!

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The first bilingual rap group I ever listened to (and occasionally have in my rotation) is Delinquent Habits, a Spanish/English rap group whose members are of mixed Mexican descent. A big part of their early sound was sampling Mariachi horns:


dbo is some crazy shit.

The Korean side of things is kinda ambiguous given how many random English loanwords and phrases get mixed into things but it’s all good.


the bars arent good but its a fun attempt at a classic sound. also super clean visuals:

this one caused a huge fuss when it was released, v interesting from a historical perspective:

if you ever wanted to hear a text-to-speech reading of old egyptian mythology as a sample:

this one makes me dizzy:



Ramengvrl - Indonesian female rapper, sick flow, mostly English
feat Yung Raja

one thing this song tells me is that Tamil is really good for triplet flow. a lot of staccato three syllable words


this slaps


soobax is the best k’naan song. not really hip hop but the beat goes hard
(i think this is somali)


shoutout to angola gotta be one of my favorite communist flags

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The feat on this is too good


Found this topic again, thought it got axed!

How could i forget to mention the AIKM ciphers:

Giant Pink made it through some TV shows (iirc, unpretty rapstar*) and, Miryo aside, is probably the most famous of the lot - just listen:

Bray, however, is rippin in those two ciphers. K Jun produced some other songs and has some cameos:

(alongside one of Red Velvet Mega-stars, no less)

Red Velvet means SM Music tho, and unfortunately, as soon as SM music got involved, Bray nosedived and … well … search for Movie on Weekend, not gonna post it here because it such a mess.
Or, just look at what they made out of Giant Pink

… well, at least there are some features

*: re unpretty rapstar:

Miryo as well as GP rockin’ here, but i recommend … staying away from the show itself, aside from an urge to experience cringey TV formats you never wanted to know about. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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I think I may have shared at least one of these in another thread at some point, but these are some examples from Estonia that I like.

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OK, so who’s lurking around the Guardian offices?

just j/king, cool to see more of them recommendations (and that SB still is ahead of the curve :officersonic: )


I’m a big fan of Japanese hip-hop - an obsession initially kick started by Japanese hip-hop SDP’s featured slot on De La Soul’s Buhloone Mindstate.

Scha Dara Parr are, of course, absolutely iconic - with a distinct sound that anyone would recognize from this Japanese Zelda commercial which was a staple repostable meme video on old web forums.

But far from goofy sell-outs, SDP are instead widely recognized as the godfathers of hip-hop in Japan, with their track Summer Jam '95 being a sort of small scale Japanese language stand-in for La Di Da Di - perpetually referenced, remixed, recycled, sampled, covered, and generally integrated so densely into the scene that it’s hard to know how far it’s been stretched.

Of course, La Di Da Di is universal and rears up in Japanese hip-hop too…

…but I’ll save my long-time-simmering written thoughts and unadulterated gushing about M-Flo for another post/thread.


This album was really good


my ability to distinguish north indian languages is limited but i believe this is hindi and the band from uttarakhand

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