Hear What Rapping Sounds Like in 14 Different Languages

Arika Okrent

As a pre-teen, before he became a South Korean hip-hop star, San E immigrated to the U.S. with his family. He tells Billboard that when he would play Korean hip-hop for his American friends, “they’d be like, ‘They can rap in Korean?’ I always wanted to let everybody know hip-hop is worldwide; it can be rap in all different languages you never heard.” He had a dream to one day show the world the linguistic diversity of hip-hop, and now with the help of 13 international rappers, he’s created #HIPHOPISHIPHOP, a showcase of multilingual flow. It’s also a charity single: All proceeds will be donated to children’s education through UNICEF.

Language lovers will appreciate the way that San E takes the opportunity in his rap to not only give a shout out to all the Korean vowels (“ah ya eo yeo o yo u yu eu i”), but also to Sejong the Great, the 15th century king who created Hangul, the Korean alphabet.

Here’s the list of artists and their languages:
San E: Korean
Strike The Head: Italian
Frenkie: Bosnian
Pendekar: Malay (Singapore)
Adx: Punjabi (India)
Valete: Portuguese
Mr Phormula: Welsh
Yacko: Indonesian
SadmAnn: Bengali (Bangladesh)
Julian Nagano: Japanese
Deeb: Egyptian Arabic
Mr. Skiin: Mandarin (Taiwan)
Redrama: Finnish
KRS-One: English (US)