hiphop

Culture & Leisure

Hip-hop geeks leap forward with local rap battles

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Daisy Lee、Jianne SorianoEdited by: Daisy Lee、Jianne Soriano
  • 2017-10-26

At eleven o'clock on Saturday night, when it's past bedtime for the city, the nightlife hub in Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong just kicked off its day. Standing at the entrance of an underground club, Hector "SCF-SAiNT" Telmo, in a plain black t-shirt with the words "Straight Outta Home Kong" was busily distributing leaflets for his hip-hop show held later night. Unlike others, he's looking for the chance to break the deadlock of hip-hop on the 'cultural desert' by organising regular rap battles in Central hipster clubs. Straight Outta Home Kong is a underground music project co-founded by two non-Chinese rappers, Telmo and Mohit "DJ Mojito" Kailandasani. Telmo has been stuck for a while in developing his career as a rapper. "Nobody opened the doors for us, nobody gave us opportunities. We felt like outcasts, so our mission was 'how do we bridge the gap, how do we connect, how we get to work with them,'" he said. Though the road to success is not as simple as he expected, the 25-year-old didn't stop. Instead, he started searching for way-out for his fellows—to connect Cantonese, English and Tagalog rappers, who were also looking for a place in the hip-hop industry for a long time. "Now that there's a platform, an opportunity and the fact that the younger generation can see this...at least they have something to look up to, especially on the ethnic minority side," he added. Invited by Telmo, Eric "Heartgrey" So, a Hong Kong beatboxer who debuted about 10 years ago, sees hip-hop battles held in bars as a chance 'to show [their] passion and energy to the local people'. "It's already hard to do music in Hong Kong so if there's a platform...why don't you perform and participate?" Describing the times when he was still starting as …