Joey Boy – King of Thai Rapper

Well, people often can’t imagine that I’m really into Thai Rap and Hip Hop music. They are astonished when I say that I like Joey Boy, the King of Thai Rapper. His real name is Apisit Opasaimlikit, born in 1975 to a Thai-Chinese family. Today, he is known as the foremost Thai rapper, Hip Hop singer and producer. However, he is also very versatile, starring in a variety of different movies. For example, he had the leading role as monk Luang Phi Tet in The Holy Man II which is the second movie of the Holy Man Trilogy.

Joey Boy

Joey Boy

Joey Boy (photo credit: en.likefm.org)

Ever since he was a teenager, Apisit loved listening to Hip Hop music and he also enjoyed skateboarding. Hence, he began to make music himself and in 1994 he was already signed to Bakery Music and soon started his collaboration with Snow who is a very important Canadian reggae artist. Hence, in 1995 he went to Toronto, Canada in order to record the single ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ with Snow. In the video for ‘Fun, Fun,Fun’, Snow and Joey tour through Toronto. Thus, this single became extremely popular in Thailand. The quality of the following video is not so good but unfortunately I could not find a better version. However, it’s fun anyway and I may say that this song is definitely on the crazy side 😉

This was just the start of Joey’s career. A few years later in 2000 he switched to GMM Grammy and launched the Gancore Club, his own record label, and supported other artists like the Thai Rap and Hip Hop Band ‘Buddha Bless’. Furthermore, he also collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas. When the rapper went to the United States, he introduced himself informally to will.i.am (William Adams) of The Black Eyed Peas. The rapper recalls meeting will.i.am outside a disco in San Francisco where he approached him with the words:”Hey you, we’re Thai rappers and we like your songs”. Very cool! 😉 He was successful, finally his song ‘LA to BKK’ was co-produced by will.i.am and became a hit in Thailand.

Joey Boy further collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas and this contributed even more to this success. For instance, in 2004 he was in the opening act when the Black Eyed Peas played in Thailand as well as in 2006 when they performed in Bangkok.

However, Joey’s music is not only about Rap and Hip Hop. In fact, he is very talented and versatile. Hence, he also participated in ‘Ramakien: A Rak Opera’ which is a rocking-opera adaptation of Thailand’s national epic, the Ramakien. What is more, he also played the band leader of ‘The Possible’, a 1970s Thai band, in 2006. Since then he has featured in many other film genres. However, here is a very cool 70s song from The Possible 🙂

In a nutshell, we may claim that Joey Boy is justifiably a very prominent Thai artist. Nonetheless, there was some controversy concerning his song ‘Maya’ which was recorded on CDs in 1998 and 2005. This controvery was because the song contained verses from the Quaran and thus many Thai Muslims found this very insulting. As a consequence, the concerning records were recalled and he apologized officially, giving a traditional Thai ‘wai’.

The artist is also known for softer R&B sounds, here is just one example:

Well, even though Joey Boy may have experienced some controversies, his music and his motto remains ‘Fun, Fun Fun tuk wan’ (fun, fun, fun every day) 🙂

Do you like Thai Rap and Hip Hop music?

Yours, Sirinya