South Korea is a country rich in culture, history and national pride. Within this country of over 50 million, resides a prominent hip-hop and rap subculture, one that often tends to heavily reference trends over in the West.

Artists along the lines of Dok2, Tiger JK and Jay Park began producing hip-hop tracks through the late 2000s to early 2010s in Korea. Within this mixing pot of hip-hop cultures, various artists have adopted sounds typical to East Coast or West Coast American rappers. Add into this the natural experimentation and progression of not only hip-hop in Korea but on a global scale and it’s hardly surprising to envision where an artist along the lines of Keith Ape grew from.

Keith Ape - SXSW 2015

Keith Ape – SXSW 2015

IT G MA blindsided the global hip-hop community in early 2015 and soon grew to viral proportions. The track soon drew comments and similarities to a song from Southern United States Trap artist OG Maco but deep down, this was different. The video was a big step forward, crossing cultural stereotypes, including 2 Japanese rappers (Kohh & Loota) along with Keith and his Cohort counterparts JayAllDay and Okasian, blending the aforementioned American influence with lyrics and subtle cultural symbols.

The overnight reality for Keith Ape was that he became better known in Western hip-hop culture than within the same Korean subculture he grew as part of. His fame deemed possible through a combination of independent artistry, harnessing his differences and the power of the internet which in turn brought himself and his Cohort crew to the United States to showcase at SXSW 2015 and introduce America to their sound.


Now after a year since that supreme display of artistry, the South Korean phenom, Keith Ape, remains somewhat a mystery as he works towards his first album. Joined by a mystery member from the Cohort, Keith is bringing his idiosyncratic sound to Australian shores and makes appearances along the East Coast. Presented by Slingshot Touring and Robin Fernando, the following venues will host Keith Ape’s first Australia and New Zealand tour:

Tuesday 8th Nov

Support Artists:
Nico Ghost / DJ Slick P

Wednesday 9th Nov
Factory Theatre

Support Artists:
Manu Crooks / St. O’Donnell / Sidechains Djs ft. Tag Shai

Thursday 10th Nov
The TBC Club

Support Artists:
Erik Sanders / Finehouse

[UPDATE 08/11/2016]

Due to fatigue concerns, Keith Ape regretfully cancels the Brisbane show!