Recent video of an 18-year-old Thai rapper has taken the internet by storm garnering over 57 million likes on YouTube. This comes as Hip Hop and Rap music are gaining popularity in South Asian nations.
The viral video shows an artist called, RachYo rapping in a rice field, sitting in an old truck as he laments in Thai. Talking to international media, Rach Yo whose full name is Rachayothin Pengjunta said that he mostly raps about things that have happened to him adding that he mostly sings about girls.
He is not the artist who had gained popularity in the field of Hip Hop music, a group called Rap against Dictatorship gained fame after they launched a song calling out the military junta in 2018. 19Tyger and H3NRI shot to popularity after they launched a song “Klong Toey” on life in a slum. Meanwhile, Maya Piyapan created an entire hit hop crew WARPGVNG who has members from across the country who met online.
The emerging Rap culture in Thailand has given birth to stars that have drawn attention from the big players of the music industry. Def Jam Recordings, a hip hop label of Vivendi's Universal Music Group (UMG) that is home to Rihanna, 2 Chainz and Kanye West, last year opened branches in Thailand and Singapore.
One of the first rappers that the label signed was DaBoyWay who is a popular face on Instagram with over a million followers. In addition to that, the label has signed five others in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Paul Sirisant who heads UMG and label’s operation in Bangkok talking to international media said that the label has plans to sign four more Thai Artists this year. Talking about the Thai Rappers he explained that the artists from Southeast Asia stand out because of the fact that words innately rhyme in the local Southeast Asian languages and is spread to rural areas as well.
In 2018, a reality tv show The rapper was launched to find the country’s next rap star. The competition gained immense popularity and familiarised the country with the genre of music.