Mass media company and music label 88rising is a catalyst for increasing Asian representation in the media. It globalizes eastern and western music, fusing them into one unique sound while opening doors for Asian artists to break through.
In a literal sense, 88rising changed the face of hip hop. Japanese-American CEO Sean Miyashiro launched it in 2015 as an Asian-American music collective with members of Filipino, Taiwanese, and Korean descent. From there on out, 88rising began blurring the lines between western and eastern music, featuring various Asian hip hop and R&B artists and collaborators who put their own spin on western music by singing in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The incorporation of Asian languages allowed for intercultural exposure as both listeners in the U.S.and Asian countries could appreciate their music.
Revolutionarily, 88rising provides representation of a demographic of talented Americans who have consistently been left out of mainstream media. In 2018, 88rising’s debut album “Head in the Clouds” peaked at the 76th spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart despite only being formed three years prior and featuring artists of ethnic backgrounds—a rarity in American music.
In addition, 88rising dismantles the stereotype that music genres are exclusive for specific racial groups. Prior to 2015, it was unheard of for Asian artists to be known in the hip hop music industry. Now, names like Joji, a half-Japanese and half-Australian 88rising artist, are being considered mainstream after he topped the Billboard R&B and hip hop charts in 2018 with his album “BALLADS1”—the first album released by an Asian soloist to ever accomplish such a feat.
In a local context alone, 88rising has proven to be game-changing. The San Gabriel Valley consists of an especially large and growing Asian population, and representation is vital in bringing together this diverse group of people, especially the youth, where 88rising has had the greatest impact on.
Combined with the accolades of its artists, the expanding popularity and strong influence of 88rising is crystal clear. 88rising’s music serves not only to entertain, but also to break new barriers.