First up is China—I interviewed Bohan Phoenix, a rapper from Chengdu, China, in the green room of Tokyo venue. From rapping on the Apollo Stage at amateur night to becoming one of the biggest artists in Chinese hip-hop, Bohan has proved that his Jala wave has been spicing up the culture in China and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Hip-hop is conditionally banned in the country, but artists like Bohan, Higher Brothers, and Kris Wu have built international buzz in spite of state opposition—it seems that for China, hip-hop is here to stay.
"The firewall allowed [China]... to cook up its own flavor," Phoenix says. "I think in time, it will become a super mature market...you're talking about one billion people. New York is a great place to go and visit, but you go there to build your confidence, then you take that and do great things elsewhere...we're not just fans now, we want to be part of the conversation."