SINGAPORE—MTV Asia announced that global DJ, producer and model, Kim Lee and Singaporean rapper and songwriter, Yung Raja will co-host the Asian edition of the legendary hip-hop franchise “YO! MTV Raps.” The premiere source of all things hip hop, “YO!” has been revived for hip hop fans in Asia with each of the multi-hyphenate hosts bringing their distinct energy and flair to the series, which will premiere in mid-April.
“Our “YO! MTV Raps” will celebrate the explosion of hip hop culture across the region — the music, the talent, the fashion and the lifestyle. We’re pumped that this celebration will be led by hosts who bring a crazy-cool mix to the party. Yung Raja combines his unique energy with a sparkling take on hip hop in the region, while Kim Lee is a huge hip hop fan who will add her own style and glamour,” said Abhishek K Rao, Senior Director, MTV Brand, Southeast Asia.
“YO!” will feature flash regional acts, emerging artists, in-studio and custom performances, as well as special segments to discover compelling stories, people and trends within the Asian hip hop scene. Also running segments of the show will be uber-cool rappers Joe Flizzow (as the Cypher Boss) and Zamaera (as The Game Master). As a destination for current and new fans to discover the best in rap music and hip hop culture, “YO!” will be a diverse and widely distributed linear and digital series across MTV Asia’s platforms.
Kim Lee said, “Hip hop is all about ‘the culture’, and I can’t wait to be part of a show that will showcase the true expression of the Asian experience of hip hop.”
“I’m psyched to come back a second time to host the biggest, dopest hip hop show in Asia. We are bringing more beats, more rappers, so get ready to discover some new, exciting music and have a blast,” said Yung Raja.
This series is on the back of MTV Asia’s “YO! MTV Raps” special which aired in June 2018, featuring 11 Asian hip-hop artists from Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The top performing 5-artist Cypher* video garnered over 1.2 million video views in Southeast Asia. The special was also awarded the ‘Best Music or Dance Programme’ at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in December 2018.
Additional details and hip hop artists will be announced at a later date.
After its debut 30 years ago on August 6, 1988, “YO! MTV Raps” became the premiere destination for all things hip hop. The advent of the series was crucial to the rise of rap music, and created a global passion for the genre and greater hip hop culture, which has since become the most dominant force in mainstream music and pop culture worldwide. In addition to MTV Asia’s “YO! MTV Raps” edition, MTV International will premiere local versions of the legendary hip hop franchise for the UK, Germany and Africa this year.
About Kim Lee
Kim Lee has become one of the most sought after DJs/producers/models in the business. Lee graduated from Scratch Academy in Los Angeles, CA. and with the support and encouragement from Apl De Ap of The Black Eyed Peas, she quickly started touring the world from Asia to Europe. She soon grabbed attention and support of notable acts including Diplo, Martin Garrix, Skrillex, R3HAB, Kanye Westand Diddy.
Lee has performed at massive festivals and graced key festival stages of Ultra, Life In Kolour, Mad Decent Boat Party, EDC and Future Music Festival. Kim toured with DJ Mag Top 5 artist Steve Aoki across Asia in 2013 and has also opened for R3hab, Deadmau5, Adventure Club, Will Sparks, A-Trak Deniz Kofu and Jay Park. Lee has also been a feature at highly notable clubs including Pacha NYC, Marquee LV, Tao LV and most recently held a residency and the infamous Drais Beach Club in LV.
Lee is also known for her successful modeling career. She has graced many international covers including Esquire, GQ, Maxim, and FHM and also featured in major music videos from Katy Perry, Far East Movement, LMFAO and Kanye West. Her cameo in the Hangover 2 made headlines on TMZ and Lee also joined The Amazing Race Vietnam in 2013, with MTV Vietnam’s Budj as a mentor.
Singaporean breakthrough artiste Yung Raja has created waves of success for himself as a rapper, songwriter, and actor. Since his emergence as a rapper, Raja has been dubbed as hip hop’s next avant garde bilingual artiste with his tasteful unification of English and Tamil lyrics. Raja found viral success trending in Malaysia and Singapore following the release of his English-Tamil remixes of “Gucci Gang” (Poori Gang), “New Freezer” (More Better), and “Bartier Cardi” (Pathuko Thambi). Known for his formidable command of English-Tamil rap, Raja continues to confront the industry with his seamless bilingual delivery and distinct cultural references.
The multi-talented artiste recently signed with M03 Records, a division of Kartel Records, has been in the media industry for over a decade with success across the local media landscape spanning films, television, and advertisements. Within a year of his foray into hip hop, he was invited to host the YO! MTV Raps special, and was featured as MTV Asia’s Spotlight artiste in June 2018, Raja’s debut single Mustafa dropped in June 2018.
Born and raised in Singapore, Raja aims to reinvent societal views in and out of Singapore, inspire the next generation of cultural conservators, and elevate Southeast Asian hip hop to world class stages through his music.
MTV is the leading youth media brand inspired by music, in nearly 180 countries and 450 million homes around the world, connecting with over 350 million fans across all social media platforms. A unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), MTV operations span cable and mobile networks, live events, theatrical films and new MTV Studios unit which produces new and reimagined content for SVOD and Linear platforms based on MTV’s library of over 200+ youth titles and franchises. For more information about MTV in Asia, visit www.mtvasia.com.