One of Taiwan’s biggest and most credible hip hop companies, KAO!INC. which birthed the rise of new generation rappers such as Miss Ko and SoftLipa have announced their ‘Coast To Coast’ tour, where they will perform in NYC and LA in November this year.
The entire label which currently consists of Soft Lipa, GorDoN, DJ Didilong and Leo Wang will be holding shows on the 19th (LA) at the Echoplex and on the 22nd (NYC) at the Highline Ballroom.
The crew will not only be performing some of their cult favourites old and new, but also previewing some new yet-to-be released tracks for Western audiences. Learn more about each of the artists and their unique stylistic preferences below.
蛋堡 Soft Lipa
Hailing from Tainan, Soft Lipa is one of the pioneers of the new generation of rap in Taiwan. Influenced from young by fellow Taiwanese rapper MC Hotdog, Soft Lipa was inspired to begin composing his own music, transcending into a chill, low-fi rap style which he describes as ‘Soft Hip Hop’. He has won and been nominated at several Golden Melody Awards, with his most critically acclaimed album being his 2013 work ‘Secret of His: Renovate’.
Gordon, also known as Dr. Paper is another emerging rap figure who hails from Tainan. Influenced greatly by Eminem and West Coast rapper Nas, he joined the Bamboo Gang when he was still in senior high, and released “The Mixtape” with The Huangs in 2006. Joining KAO!INC. a year later, he has continued to churn out mixtape releases, releasing his fifth mixtape ‘Sunday Night Slow Jams’ last year while successfully embarking on a 12-city tour around China.
李英宏 Yinghung aka DJ Didilong
A cult favourite of the Taiwanese youth at the moment, Yinghung aka DJ Didilong is one of the newest members of the KAO!INC. crew, but by no means loses out in terms of talent. Unique in that he chooses to perform exclusively in the Taiwanese dialect, DJ Didilong’s music is a far cry from the current selection of Taiwanese oldies and ballads that are often more conservative and dated in nature; instead he decides to incorporate modern elements of funk, hip hop and more into his music. He is also a talented vocalist and rapper who is known for his rapid spitfire rapping style. His first album ‘Taipei Didilong’ which was released in 2016 got him nominated for ‘Best Taiwanese Male Vocalist’ and ‘Best Taiwanese Album’, setting the scene for his future within the industry.
Leo王 Leo Wang
Another member of the new generation of hip hop artists in Taiwan, Leo Wang is a rapper and songwriter who initially started as a lead vocalist for acclaimed indie rock band ‘Gigantic Roar’ at 18. As time went on, he discovered his passion for hip hop and rap and found his niche here. His song ‘Set That Shit On Fire’ was nominated as Best Hip-Hop Song at the GMAs his year. Despite his youth, Leo is well acquainted with the Taiwanese youth and has a sizeable following on the internet. His first hip hop album ‘Artists’ Mood’ which was released in 2016 was widely praised, birthing the hit single “Weekends With You’ featuring R&B singer 9m88. Leo also devotes some time to being one half of hip–hop duo “Yeemao” which he formed with fellow rapper Chunyan with new work coming soon.
DJ Mr. Gin
Mr. Gin is a professional DJ hailing from Tainan who originally was a member of rap group E.A.C. After serving the military he began focusing on being a DJ and has years of experience at some of the most highly acclaimed nightclubs in Taipei. In 2009, Mr. Gin, DJ Afro and DJ Kid formed ‘A.K.G’ and participated in the DMC World DJ championships where they won the preliminary rounds and represented Taiwan in the world competition. His music style natural and scratching skills unrivalled, his work is intimately intertwined with that of Taiwan’s best Hip Hop companies including KAO! INC., Truecolor and KUNG FU Entertainment.
The entire-company tour in itself is one of the first from Asia, so if you’re interested and want to see more of these events in the future, be sure to show up and give them some support!
KAO!INC. World Tour – Los Angeles
Ticketing Info: HERE (Priced at $30 advance, $35 on the day)
KAO!INC. World Tour – New York
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Ticketing Info: HERE (Priced between $30-$49.99)