Hip-Hop is international. This isn’t news. Since the beginning, there have always been rappers and perhaps less definable artists making hip hop music in every language in every country around the world. What is news is that all of these global hip-hop markets have very nearly merged into one. With special thanks in large part of the modern scene’s lack of focus on lyricism and instead an overall priority on vibe, English is no longer a prerequisite to attack the largest music audiences, and with that has come an explosion of fans interested in hearing what else is out there.
One of the biggest names on the international scene is Chinese hip-hop group, The Higher Brothers, who released a new EP, Journey to the West, two days ago. It’s a quality project building on their existing work and living up to the group’s expectations – hype, energy, and a new take on hip-hop’s modern trends. But it leaves us with some questions. Are The Higher Brothers capable of stepping out from their defined sound and giving us something new? Will they continue to be taken seriously on the global hip-hop scene? And, will international groups ever truly become staples for audiences in a market that very rarely embraces them, or is this all part of a trend?