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New EP by Chinese Malaysian Artist Rapkeys Proves Y2K Is Here to Stay

Born and raised in Johor, Malaysia, Rapkeys runs his own rap crew, S.A.C., and is a driving force in the tropical country’s new wave of hip hop

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joanna-kay
Aug 1, 2022

Hot on RADII’s radar: Rapkeys, a Chinese Malaysian rapper, just released his second EP B.T.2.K. An acronym (sort of) for ‘back to the 2000s,’ the record features four nostalgia-laden bangers set against a Euro-techno soundscape.



“I wanted to share my stories of growing up in the 2000s — something the audience can relate to with their own experiences. With this retro-futuristic music style, I want to bring the listeners on a journey of the past and the future,” commented the young artist in a press release.


Born and raised in Johor, Malaysia, Rapkeys runs his own rap crew, S.A.C., and is a moving force in the tropical country’s new hip hop wave.


The hip hop artist credits his fellow Southeast Asian musicians, such as Joe Flizzow, Dato’ Maw, Shigga Shay, and ForceParkBois, with shaping his style.

The EP further proves that nostalgia is a powerful force in China and beyond. Take, for example, the single titled ‘Arcade Game’ — a nostalgic tribute to the rapper’s carefree childhood days spent playing arcade games at the mall.


Shot in a gaming arcade (naturally), the official music video (watch below) serves strong Y2K vibes and dropped on Kuala Lumpur-based hip hop collective Ban Huat Sdn. Bhd’s YouTube channel on July 23.

Featuring verses in both Mandarin and Malay, Rapkey’s humor and wittiness shine through in his cheeky, trademark delivery.


The mini album is also a loving and tongue-in-cheek tribute to Malaysia’s manyao (Mandopop meets techno beats) clubbing scene.


Cover photo via Instagram

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