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Music

21 Asian American Musicians You Need To Get Behind Right Now

“Growing up Asian American, it was hard to relate with pop culture—I watched The Simpsons and Spongebob to see yellow faces.”

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CHOPS, a prominent producer behind the sounds of Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Talib Kweli, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to put talented Asian American musicians on the mainstream map.

Once a musician himself (as part of Mountain Brothers, the first Asian American act to be signed to a major label), Chops identifies with "artists today who go through many of the things my group did, overcoming the same obstacles, same struggles, pushing forward, and going beyond."

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7. Connie Lim

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Who: Singer

Reppin': Los Angeles

CHOPS says: Connie's voice ranges from a whisper to a stadium belt. Influences ranging from Sarah MacLachlan to Bjork to Ellie Goulding to Florence and the Machine. Listen here.

8. DJ Bonics

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Who: Hip Hop Deejay

Reppin': Philly

CHOPS says: Bonics spins on the biggest station in Philly when he's not on tour with Wiz Khalifa. He has a lot in the works, and he'll be expanding even more. Watch him go in with DJ Craze.

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15. Paul Kim

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Who: Singer

Reppin': Los Angeles

CHOPS says: Modern singer with roots going back to the likes of Donnie Hathaway, I picture him like a John Legend or Miguel, blending different sounds but with a solid soul foundation. Listen here.

16. Rekstizzy

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Who: Rapper

Reppin': NYC

CHOPS says: The wild card, he's kind of like our very own ODB mixed with a touch of Kanye. Rek is super funny, crazy, unique, and plays around with a lot of styles musically. Listen here.

17. Tasha AKA Yoon Mi Rae

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Who: Singer/Rapper

Reppin': Korea

CHOPS says: She stays attacking the charts in Korea, rapping and singing on anything from dance joints to straight hip-hop, from club bangers to ballads. Listen here.

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19. Tiger JK

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Who: Singer/Rapper

Reppin': Korea

CHOPS says: JK and Tasha are kind of like the Jay and Beyonce of Korea. Huge respect, longevity, and music that somehow keeps getting even better with each release. Listen here.

21. VERBAL of M-Flo and Teriyaki Boyz

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Who: Rapper

Reppin': Tokyo

CHOPS says: Verbal has a stellar career filled with super-creative output, highly respected and successful at the same time, which is so hard to achieve. You've heard the band before.

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