The video for Japanese-Korean rap collaboration "It G Ma" by Keith Ape, JayAllDay, Okasian, and Kohh set the rap internet on fire when it appeared earlier this year, prompting comparisons to OG Maco's "U Guessed It." But such comparisons were a short-sighted analysis of the video's real appeal, which was the way it found common international ground in turning the fuck up. This spring, Keith Ape and his Cohort crew made an extended tour of America, tearing up SXSW and playing packed shows in New York and LA.
They also quickly caught the attention of a number of American artists, including the Awful Records crew and New York rapper Ken Rebel. ""When I first met Keith, Okasian, and JayAllDay we connected on the spot," Rebel said over email. "They brought me out for two of their shows (one in Texas and one in New York), and the energy was always crazy on the same stage together, so I figured it was only right that we got a song done!"
During Cohort's trip to New York, they passed through Soho one afternoon, forming a flash mob to film the video for their song with Ken Rebel, "Underwater Rebels," produced by Don Kevo. As it happened, I was there, standing in front of the Bape store (naturally), when the whole thing went down, and I can attest that it was as crazy as it looks in the finished product, directed by Ken Rebel, which Noisey is premiering below. The crowd literally shut the street down and took off sprinting through the neighborhood. I'm not saying it took a bunch of kids from South Korea and Japan to restore some youthful rebellion to New York City's hip-hop scene, but I'm not saying it hurt, either.
The song features verses from Ken Rebel, JayAllDay, and Okasian as well as a hook from Keith, in English, Korean, and Japanese, much like "It G Ma," although English-speaking listeners will understand a lot more and Korean-reading listeners will be able to follow along with subtitles. If "Underwater Rebels" proves one thing, it's that the turn up doesn't recognize international borders. So whatever language you speak (probably English if you're reading this, but who knows), go ahead and lose your shit to "Underwater Rebels" right now:
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