88rising, the LA-based hip-hop label focused on tapping the burgeoning market for rappers of Asian descent, has seen its share of ups and downs since its inception in 2015. The “hybrid management, record label, video production and marketing company” came under fire due to its controversial artist Rich Brian’s original moniker, Rich Chigga, which many condemned as a racist troll for attention. After convincing the young Indonesian rapper to change his name, it looks like the label is shifting into high gear promoting Brian and its other artists, Joji, Higher Brothers, and August 08, with a music video for “Summertime Sadness,” the first single from the label’s upcoming compilation album, Head In The Clouds.
The video does what it says on the tin, featuring grainy, home movie-style footage of the label’s artists hanging out during typical summertime activities like pool parties and beach days. While Japanese-Australian singer Joji handles hook duties, August 08, Rich Brian, and Chinese hip-hop group Higher Brothers provide the verses in both English and in Sichuanese Mandarin.
88rising intends to introduce their unique blend of Asian youth culture and hip-hop to a wider audience later this summer with its first music festival, also titled Head In The Clouds, at Los Angeles State Historic Park on September 22. The entire roster, including Indonesian singer NIKI, South Korean rapper Keith Ape, and guests LAFF TRAXX, Yung Bans, Yung Pinch, and Zion.T, are expected to perform. More information is here and in the promotional trailer the label released in May, below.
Head In The Clouds, the album, is due later this year.