16 Baris – Regional Rap Heat

How could a whole generation of music listeners throughout a whole nation be greatly influenced by the Hip Hop music genre and its culture?

A combination of persistent underground rap battles and shows, along with a do-it-yourself approach towards production throughout the noughties, all contributed to this phenomenon in a South East Asian country like Malaysia. Consistent FM radio and music industry support have also contributed to a general acceptance of the music and its art forms throughout youth culture and eventually, Malaysia’s music recording industry. Today, countless prominent artistes from Malaysia produce & create music incorporating Hip Hop or R&B styles and Rap lyrics (in both English & Malay) to much critical acclaim and nationwide fan fare.

Evidence of its long standing after effects to the current generation are seen and heard in this recent series ’16 Baris’ (translated: Sixteen Lines or Bars). A collaborative production by Kartel Records & Rocketfuel Entertainment, the series is hosted by Malaysian Hip Hop artiste, pioneer & hits-and-taste maker Joe Flizzow, with each episode featuring 3-4 Malaysian rappers dropping 16 bars of rhyme, while DJ Cza drops the beats. Ranging from established rappers with popular tunes on national radio to up-and-comers representing the underground rap scene, this series is pure rap fire as seen in this teaser below.


Features include Aman Ra (formerly known as Kraft), whose socially conscious themes and modern-style Malay poetry has reached out to, and inspired many classes of society, including individuals living in low-income housing communities.


Jin Hackman drops one of the best 16 bars in this series. An industrious flag bearer of Hip Hop in Malaysia, he has been consistently putting on the annual community project Raising The Bar, which has evolved from a monthly independent Hip Hop gig uncovering fresh rap talents, to an annual festival of rhyme & beats.


The second and third episode in the series features Singaporean rhyme players Shigga Shay & Frank Loco, and the fifth episode features another Lion City resident who is consistently breaking through to the Malaysian music industry, Alif.


Catch up on all and forth-coming episodes, and get familiar with some legit rappers from the Malayan region by following 16Baris on Youtube HERE or follow @16barisoffcial on Facebook!


By Nez Senja, Revision Music