When YOUNGOHM released the incendiary visual for “Bangkok Legacy,” the title track off his 2020 album, the Thai artist became more than just a dependably viral rapper—he became a potent messenger.
Though hip hop has thrived in Thailand since the last decade, thanks to the booming streaming era, rappers have had to navigate ways to express themselves without stepping on someone’s toes, particularly those in power, if at all: whether it’s in their music or public forum—or both.
YOUNGOHM’s decision to release the music video for “Bangkok Legacy” on the 45th anniversary of the brutal “6 October 1976 massacre” is meaningful as an act of courage and artistic integrity.
It is also apparent how compelling a performer he is. After all, to become an effective messenger, the presentation has to be equally powerful. On December 31, he started releasing a series of live performances of Bangkok Legacyon his official YouTube account.
Set against a scenic backdrop of the Thai capital (one can see the Bhumibol Bridge) at night, the Bangkok native creates vignettes of Thai culture: including local instrumentation and dances, with the rapper himself sporting the signature pink number he wore on the album cover art. This rugged charm lends YOUNGOHM his reputation as the kind of everyman his Thai listeners can rely on to reflect their dreams and fears.
Many of YOUNGOHM’s counterparts in Southeast Asia had similar trajectories in their way to the peak of influence and fame, those whose music echoes a multitude of voices far more than their own.
His most reflective performance from the live performance series (so far), “Mom I’m Sorry 2559,” a rap ballad about wanting to do right by his mother to repay her sacrifices.
YOUNGOHM’s Bangkok Legacy live performance videos reinforce why Thai hip hop fans are drawn to him. It also offers first-time Thai listeners a peek of what to expect in a YOUNGOHM show: an electrifying experience. For the non-Thai audience, it’s a great preview of everything exciting about Thai hip hop without being too forced about it. Welcome to YOUNGOHM’s Bangkok rap supremacy.
Stream Bangkok Legacy below: