MTV Asia’s latest show YO! MTV Raps isn't exactly a new one. It’s a revival of an old series which goes way back in the US in the 1980-90s, as a showcase for the rising hip-hop music then. DJ-model Kim Lee remembers being a fan of that show growing up in Orange County, California. “I love Tupac and Lauryn Hill,” says the 31-year-old Vietnamese-American. “They’re my idols I look up to till this day and they were on [the original show]. I can actually tell my friends, ‘My idols were YO! MTV Raps and I’m on YO! MTV Raps!’”
Lee, a protégé of Black Eyed Peas member apl.de.ap’s, and Singaporean rhyme-master and songwriter Yung Raja are the hosts of the all-new YO! MTV Raps. Joined by Malaysian rappers Joe Flizzow and Zamaera, they celebrate the impact hip-hop has on music, fashion and lifestyle in Asia. In town recently to promote the show, Lee, who was once called the Asian Kim Kardashian (actually, she looks more like her sis Kylie, but we’re digressing), shares with 8 DAYS a few behind-the-scenes anecdotes.