Hip hop, a movement that started in New York in 1970, is now one of the most popular music genres in the world. In the early 90’s, Indonesia became one of the countries in Asia that was well known for its rap world, thanks to the then rap pioneer Iwa Kusuma or Iwa K.
Iwa K successfully introduced hip hop and rap into Indonesia and became the nation’s rap music icon. One of his songs ‘Bebas’ is still popular to this date. Also to be noted is the female counterpart, Denada was one of the first female rappers that came into the scene before she switched to become a dangdut singer. Rapper groups also started to emerge like, Neo and Sweet Martabak. Afterwards, the rap music scene seemed to be in hiatus. It is not until more than a decade later that other rapper and hip hops artist emerge in the scene. Saykoji made a breakthrough in 2006 with his one hit wonder ‘So What Gitu Loh.’ The song took a jab at social behavior in the upcoming Indonesian generation.
Fast forward to 2016, Rich Brian (formerly known as Rich Chigga) put Indonesia on the map and became the first Indonesian artist that became a global phenomenon in the hip hop scene. His first debut single ‘Dat $tick’ gained reactions from multiple artists wit over 90M views on Youtube alone.
From a poet to a rapper, Ramengvrl is also a force to be reckoned with. Her career skyrocketed in the past year and just recently released her first single ‘Ca$hmere’ with an international label. With the help of the internet and social media, this hip hop movement is just a beginning.