They’re the first Chinese rap group to break into the American mainstream, and on Feb. 22, Higher Brothers will be releasing their sophomore album, Five Stars.
The New York times dubbed the 4-man unit—consisting of MaSiWei (马思唯), DZKnow (丁震), Psy.P (杨俊逸), and Melo (谢宇杰)—was recently called them the “breakout stars of the Chinese hip-hop world,” and they’ve been covered by various notable media oulets like CNN, Vice News, Rolling Stone, and the LA Times. They were also named the 2018 Hip Hop Artist Of The Year by China’s top music streaming platforms, NetEase.
Poised to be the biggest Chinese hip-hop album in history, Five Stars (like the Higher Brothers themselves) represents China, top-quality and global-internet culture.
Just yesterday, the group released their newest single and video, “Open It Up.”
Produced by LUCA, “Open It Up” is inspired by the popular mosh pit phrase that they first discovered during Rolling Loud Bay Area last year. Higher Brothers’ flip of the phrase and use of a classic boom-bap beat is a nod to hip-hop history and harkens the globalization of the genre.
Shot in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where the group took over the block with a celebratory parade complete with lion dancers, the “Open It Up” video exemplifies Higher Brothers ability to incorporate western influences into their music while keeping their own culture and influences at the forefront.
Since last year’s release of their debut album, Black Cab, Higher Brothers have exploded onto the world stage, racking up nearly 250M streams globally and appearing on tracks with many of hip-hop’s most exciting up and comers, including Blocboy JB, Ski Mask The Slump God, Goldlink, 03 Greedo and many more. They were featured alongside Joji, Rich Brian and AUGUST 08 on “Midsummer Madness,” the lead single from 88rising’s group album that reached #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 chart.
Check out the “Open It Up” video below.
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