Hip hop is everywhere, even Ulaanbaatar

Was reading my old blog archives from xanga and found this old rap video from 2006 of the Mongolian hip hop rappers Tatar. Really chilled out tracks, if you can get over listening to someone rap in a language you have no understanding of whatsoever.

Turns out they got a myspace page, which led me to even more of their work...

Last login to MySpace in 2008. Wonder what these guys are up to now. Wonder who does their beats? I like em. Hip hop is everywhere. The best b-boys in the world are in France and South Korea. There is Mongolian rap. One global youth culture, via Adidas and Dr. Dre.

For more Asian hip hop, see my post about Chinese rappers Yin Tsang (隐藏) and their track Zai Beijing...

Flashback 90's rap - Black Moon

Classic hip hop -- this is what it was about -- just good flows, good beats, and the fundamentals. No flash, all substance.

Give me 90's NYC hip hop over MTV hip pop any day.

Also, check out the original jazz song that Black Moon sampled too, Tidal Wave by Ronnie Laws...

Zai Beijing by Yin Tsang (隐藏)

After some searching I finally found the song featured in the NY Times video in my last post. Its catchy beat turns out to be a looped sample from an erhu, a Chinese musical instrument I remember writing a report about in Chinese school as a kid.

Yin Ts'ang's first hit was “In Beijing,” from the band's 2003 debut album, “Serve the People” (Scream Records); the title is a twist on an old political slogan. It sets a melody played on a thousand-year-old Chinese fiddle called the 'Erhu' against a hip-hop beat that brings Run D.M.C. to mind. The song, an insider's look at Beijing's sights and sounds, took the underground music scene by storm, finding its way into karaoke parlours, the Internet and even the playlist of a radio station in Beijing.


Some Chinese rappers address what they see as the country's most glaring injustices. As Wong Li, a 24-year-old from Dongbei, says in one of his freestyle raps:

“Don’t you know China is only a heaven for rich old men
You know this world is full of corruption
Babies die from drinking milk..."

Wong, who became interested in hip-hop when he heard Public Enemy in the mid-'90s, said rapping helps him deal with bitterness that comes with realising he is one of the millions left out of China's economic boom.

“All people care about is money,” he said. “If you don't have money, you're treated like garbage. And if you're not local to the city you live in, people discriminate against you; they give you the worst jobs to do.”

Read more about the group at thedailystar.net...

Yin Tsang is also has a myspace page.

Classic Hip Hop Rapper Ahmad now enrolled at Stanford -- he's the artist behind one of my fav songs "Back in the Day"

He was 18 when he landed a hit single, “Back in the Day,” on the 1994 pop and R&B charts from his album Ahmad. The message and sound had plenty of street cred, combined with an ironically sweet nostalgia about a dicey South Los Angeles childhood. His enrollment at Stanford, after being named last spring’s valedictorian at Long Beach City College, put him back in the news. The 14-year transition had taken him from nostalgic lyricist to nostalgic celebrity.

via Stanford Magazine

To see Ahmad break down a lot of stereotypes of folks who go into the music industry in general, let alone hip-hop or rap, and then return to higher education and go to Stanford is a remarkable story.

via LA Times

What an awesome story. You can hear Back in the Day on Youtube -- It's definitely a classic 90's chilled out hip hop tune I remember listening to it on repeat all these years.

Planet B-Boy - The modern documentary of the global b-boy phenomenon

The clip above is a great snippet called Run DMZ (a play on South Korea's DMZ and the eponymous rap group) from Planet B-Boy, fantastic documentary I just saw about break dancing around the world. Aside from the massively entertaining dancing, it's cool to see how a modern art has evolved and changed in the past 30 years. Must-see if you like hip hop.

Reminds me a lot of the Doug Pray documentary on DJing, Scratch.