Chinese rapper PSY.P of hip hop group Higher Brothers will be making his solo debut in New York with the return of MetaMoon in December.
PSY.P, whose hip-hop artistry was influenced by American rappers T.I. and Lil’ Wayne, joined the rap collective Chengdu Rap House in 2011 before eventually teaming up with three other artists for the group Higher Brothers. His group rose to fame for their songs written in a mix of standard Mandarin, Sichuan dialect and English, such as "Made in China," "Black Cab" and "WeChat."
Higher Brothers signed with 88rising in 2017 and later embarked on a tour through Asia alongside Joji and Rich Brian. On Dec. 3, MetaMoon will be hosting PSY.P’s solo debut concert at Nebula in New York.
“I want more fans to jump on board and support the [MetaMoon] movement, not just because it's a great event, but because it also helps spread the message that I am trying to get across, which is to show everyone that this is part of what Chinese and Asian pop culture is today,” PSY.P tells NextShark.
Trending on NextShark: 82-year-old who never missed a class takes S. Korea’s college entrance exam
Currently in its sophomore year, MetaMoon is produced by Live Nation and founded by Graceful Media in 2022 as a way to celebrate and include Asian artists in the American music landscape, according to its organizers. The festival aims to serve as a platform for music fans to discover established and up-and-coming Asian and Pacific Islander artists from around the world.
“It was an idea that was born before COVID-19, but during the pandemic, it took on a new urgency to give light to Asians,” Grace Chen, founder of Graceful Media, tells NextShark.
Trending on NextShark: Stereotypical images of Asians persist in APAC advertising: report
Chen, who is currently based in Hong Kong, was born in Taiwan and raised in Texas, where her parents currently live. Seeing the rise of anti-Asian hate in the U.S. amid the pandemic motivated her to bridge cultural gaps and normalize the understanding of Asian countries through the universal language of mankind: music. “If we can normalize that there’s a whole other world out there and share these stories so people can understand, it just helps,” Chen says.
She said she wants MetaMoon to provide a consistent platform in the U.S. for Asian artists, with the vision of sharing their talent globally and reaching their fan bases beyond their home countries. The overarching objective is to foster better understanding of Asian pop culture and stories.
Trending on NextShark: Sujata Day talks joining chef Mike Haracz for Dungeons & Dragons-themed cooking show
Last year’s inaugural festival, which was hosted by MC Jin and featured artists such as ØZI, Amber Liu of f(x), Tyson Yoshi and 9m88, was held at Barclays Center. The MetaMoon Festival partnered with local Asian businesses and restaurants around New York to donate some proceeds to Heart of Dinner, a nonprofit organization combating food insecurity and isolation within the city’s elderly Asian community.
“To see the fans’ excitement and response afterwards, we took a lot of that to heart,” Chen shares. “A lot of people were saying ‘this was so great’ and ‘we needed this’ and that they didn’t realize you could see something like this in New York. That was extremely encouraging.”
For this December, MetaMoon initially announced a one-night MetaMoon Block Party in the Big Apple, with a line-up that includes MC Jin, AK Liu Zhang, KIRE, MARF @COLLAR, Miss Ko, NENE, NINEONE and Sunkis. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the block party has been postponed to Spring 2024. But Chen assures that by special arrangement, PSY.P will be holding a concert with a few local guest rappers.
Trending on NextShark: New Tiffany Co. x Pokémon collab features $29,000 Pikachu necklace
In recent years, the American music landscape has experienced a notable increase in the influence of Asian musicians and bands. Chen sees this as an encouraging sign, indicating a market for their hard work.
“As long as there’s an Asian diaspora anywhere in the world, there is going to be a market for these artists,” Chen says. “The key is then to be able to share these talents and music to a more mainstream audience. For the artists, it’s an opportunity for them to grow and share their art. It is also great for the audience because it gives them more exposure to different kinds of music in the U.S.”
Trending on NextShark: China responds to WHO inquiry on ‘mystery’ illness outbreak
Tickets to PSY.P’s concert will be on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Nov. 20 on See Tickets.