88rising, Head in the Clouds
07 10

88rising Head in the Clouds 88rising Records

Over the last couple of years, pan-Asian hip-hop collective 88rising have been building something special. The self-described “hybrid management, record label, video production, and marketing company” have got Eastern rap relentlessly penetrating the US charts, blazing a big trail in the process.

Head in the Clouds is their hotly-anticipated compilation album, a body of work that sees their entire roster jumping into the studio. This includes Rich Brian, Keith Ape, Joji, Higher Brothers and August 08, plus an impressive roll call of international guests – Playboi Carti, GoldLink and the recently incarcerated 03 Greedo.

The album’s stylistic switch-ups save the 17-track record from feeling bloated. Poolside Manor, by NIKI and AUGUST 08, winds seductively like a nu-age Cassie jam, Rich Brian’s History samples the Ski Safari 2 Shop Theme for breezy, non-shit elevator music. NIKI’s Warpaint is stadium-sized pop, while Beam comes courtesy of Migos producers Murda Beatz and Southside, just one of the album’s many cultural crossovers.

The collective relocated to the sunny climes of LA for a couple of months to record, and the end result is a versatile, carefree pop-rap vibe that feels like swimming pools and day-drunk bliss. If Head in the Clouds proves anything, it’s that 88rising are far from a novelty – they are here to stay.