Higher Brothers
Black Cab
CXSHXNLY

“This is Chinese rap music?” a whiny voice asks over a plucked mandolin at the start of the Higher Brothers’ Made in China. “Sounds like they’re just saying, ‘ching, chang, chong.’” Such dark humour is typical in the Chengdu rap crew’s lyrics, and continues through their debut release. The quartet of DZ, Psy.P, Melo and MaSiWei have built a strong underground following in their homeland with the help of a couple of viral hits. Rhyming in their native dialect and English, Higher Brothers (who will play Kwun Tong’s Centre De Vin on August 6and Clockenflap in November) harness the energy of China’s youth. Living behind the mainland’s internet firewall makes it difficult for young artists to access certain art and culture, especially subversive hip hop, but the bros must have managed it somehow, because Black Cab throbs with a fresh, current sound.