When we think of K-Pop, most of us form a mental image resembling pop stars of Asian descent, usually a part of boy bands or girl groups. The music videos and tempos tend to be upbeat and extremely colorful. You may ask yourself, “I don’t listen to K-pop anyway, why would I start now”? 88rising is here to defy the odds and provide a new visualization of K-Pop music – so that there are no questions whether or not their group is good. The group provides a transfusion of hip-hop and k-pop music, introducing a new genre of music to the U.S. 88rising has arrived to transform K-Pop music and culture.
Formerly known as CXSHXNLY, 88rising does much more than produce music. The group was originally cultivated with the intent of promoting various artistic routes such as video/production, hybrid management, record label, and marketing. The record label has contributed to the success of many rising Asian and Asian American artists. The current artists include Joji, Dumbfounded, Higher Brothers, Keith Ape, Lexie Liu, NIKI, Rich Brian, AUGUST 08, Don Krez, and Stephanie Poetri. Joji and Keith Ape are a couple of familiar names that have made their presence known in the U.S.
Joji has discovered his route to fame through many of his popular songs such as, “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK”, “YEAH RIGHT”, and “Sanctuary”. Keith Ape, on the other hand, made his debut in 2015 with the release of “It G Ma”. This song went viral during my last year of high school because it was something new and different that Americans weren’t necessarily used to. Rap songs performed in a language that is completely foreign to English? Absurd! Plenty of Spanish songs are making their way to popularity in America, so what is the exception of K-pop music? This genre is still climbing its way to the top, but with the help of 88rising, it won’t be long until we’re all jamming to K-Pop music on the daily.
In addition to the uniqueness and creativity 88rising brings to the table, they’ve also managed to develop songs with big-time rappers and singers in America. ASAP Ferg, Waka Flocka Flame, Ghostface Killah, 21 Savage, Trippie Redd, XXXTentacion, Swae Lee, Major Lazer, Ski Mask the Slump God, Charlie XCX, Goldlink, Skrillex, Diplo, Blocboy JB, and Playboi Carti are several big names that have worked with the group.
Just recently they released their latest album Head In The Clouds II, which includes 16 full length songs. What is nice about the composition of the album is that each song includes a few members, which helps highlight each voice to the fullest. One thing that can get difficult about music groups is that some may feel like they need to be on every song for the performance to excel. Everyone in this group brings something different to the table.
Although they are mostly referred to as a K-Pop group, their sound is not what you would expect. The vocals are amazing and are coupled with R&B beats, introducing listeners to a unique hip-hop sound. My absolute favorite song on their latest release is “Indigo” feat. NIKI. If you’re looking for new music, take the chance and give them a listen. What 88rising is doing will be transformative for music in the long run, especially for the Asian community.