You have probably noticed the single “LimPeh” making its rounds in the Top 30 Singapore charts since its debut last month: a cover with gothic fonts and a tough-looking bunch of guys, introducing a solemn track about authority (“Lim Peh” means “your father” in Hokkien dialect). The teaser video looks like some old school Chinese gangster movie but rumour is it’s actually a funny comedic music video. Tomorrow sees the official release date of ShiGGa Shay‘s latest video clip, where we will discover what the mafia story really is all about.
Distinctively contrasting from his peers, the young Singaporean rapper is not a fan of the usual hip hop imagery of dancing girls in bikinis, palm trees and shiny big cars. He’d rather depict different stories from Singapore, in an honest, imaginative way. A source close to the artist told us that his creative process is linked to what he or the people around him have gone through in life. He’s not so much of a planner when it comes to writing, and prefers experimenting around the concept of a song.
Being part of the Asian hip hop scene is no easy path, even for a growing star like ShiGGa Shay. Firstly, there’s the criticism: hip hop is a borrowed culture, it has nothing to do with Singapore but was born in the American ghettos in the 1970s. ShiGGa Shay’s outlook is not to surrender but to think about the uniqueness of Singapore: even with no ghetto or hood, there are special stories to be told. Secondly, the followers: there definitely is a crowd in Asia for hip hop and rap, but it’s small. In Singapore, hip hop is so niche that it’s pretty rare for an artist to be motivated enough to generate constant content. Hopefully, it doesn’t stop new Asian talents to come up, and to slowly unite in a powerful music scene.
That’s why ShiGGa Shay is constantly working on new music. His upcoming album is in the pipeline, and the awaited videoclip for “LimPeh” is out on July 11. Watch this space, we’ve heard that his dream collaboration would be with Lady Gaga – and we know that ShiGGa Shay has more than one trick up his sleeve!
[Edit: here is the full-length videoclip, out on July 12th.]