On the first day of last year, Keith Ape and his infamous Underwater Squad dropped the visual to his breakout single, “It G Ma (잊지마).” Nearly two years later, the record has racked up over 30 million views and countless remixes that feature A$AP Ferg, Anderson .Paak, Waka Flocka Flame, Awful Records, Dumbfoundead, Josh Pan and more.
Courtesy of 88Rising, we are able to share a mysterious lost verse on Keith Ape’s cult classic by Sad Boys head honcho Yung Lean. Although the track runs slightly under two minutes, the Stockholm, Sweden rapper delivers 16-and-a-half bars of scorching Sad Boys heat, flexing on anybody who dares to doubt on the 20-year-old artist.
The folks at 88rising are serious fans of Yung Lean. Their founder, head of production and lead designer all first started working on the media platform when Lean released his sophomore studio album Warlord. The project was on regular rotation in the office during their late-night work and delivery chicken karage sessions. Listen to the new rendition of “It G Ma” above and and a look at the Swedish artist’s fondness for culture below.
Yung Lean has a great deal of love and respect for Keith Ape and vice versa. Both were able to artistically pave their own ways by being themselves and staying true to their own interests. Although Lean and Keith both make music influenced by American popular culture, both are aware of their geographical positioning as outsiders — Lean as a Swede and Keith as a South Korean.
This is not the first time Yung Lean worked with a Japanese rapper. Back in June of 2015, Yung Lean was featured on a produced track by Japanese hip-hop collective YENTOWN titled “Tokyo Drift.” Similar to the Sad Boys, the members of the up-and-coming group (MonyHorse, PETZ, Junkman, Chaki Zulu and more) consist of both musical and non-musical creatives. The collaboration record has garnered over a million plays on both SoundCloud and the video has reached close to 2 million views.
In his earlier career, Lean was someone who is influenced and enamored by East Asian culture. Many of his visuals are inspired by futuristic East-Asia and a generous portion of his beats sample traditional Asian instruments. With songs dubbed “Kyoto,” “Yoshi City” and “Tokyo Drift,” references of Pokémon, manga/anime and Nintendo in his lyrics (“Spend my money on a catbus”, “I power up like King Kai”) and usage of Kanji and Hiragana text, Lean’s fondness for Japanese culture is more than apparent.