Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Hip-hop in Singapore?

I might be going to Singapore this summer, to do a little research. I’ve never been there, but Singaporean restaurants are all uniformly amazing, so I’m looking forward to it (assuming it happens).

However, does anyone know the answer to the following: I’ve got a certain amount of hip-hop and other odd stuff on my iPod. Does Singaporean immigration consider such music to be contraband? I may sound paranoid, but this is the place that just de-criminalized gum. It’s now classified as a medicine, and will only be dispensed at pharmacies if you leave your name and ID number.

At least I’m not a big fan of gum.

[To the tune of Dr. Dre, “Nuttin’ But A “G” Thang,” from the album The Chronic.]


  1. Nope, iPods, ripped CDs, etc. are fine.

    And gum isn’t per se illegal. It’s the _sale_ of gum that was previously illegal.

  2. Thanks!

    And I confess that the legal distinction between sale of gum and use of gum had eluded me.

  3. hip hop isn’t banned in singapore
    the majourity of the population hates it
    the people that like it get stoned to death
    they see a poster of dr dre and they’d tear it down
    they see someone with jayz’s album and they break their legs…
    i love hip hop, i live in singapore, people throw stones and me…sometimes the even force me to listen to pop or they’d kick me…serious

  4. i will be in s’pore this feb 06 and was wondering if there are any hh-parties in s’pore?? i mean hh-parties…no g-unut and nelly crack. i would love to see a growing scene there…i lived there for 5 years, people only listening to pop (esp. chinese or hong kong songs) or that techno-stuff.

    thks märi

    Ain’t nuttin but a G thang, baaaaabay!
    Two loc’ed out n***** so we’re craaaaazay!


  5. Hip hop is growing in Singapore. When you get here, do go to Liquid Room (located at gallery hotel) on Saturday, best place to go to for hip hop. Entry is $20 inclusive of 2 drinks.

  6. Seriously Singapore is much open but just to protect it’s multiracial community, the laws have to be strict. As we speak, I’m chewing gum and researching on how hip hop came to Singapore from America. And yes i stumbled upon this site. Ipod and everything is fine.. you can bring gum in too.. just that you’ll have to keep is somewhere safe..

  7. im a big ass hip hop from singapore , if u need any info from me add me on msn

  8. Hey. I’m Imran from Singapore. We love Hiphop here! Let’s hook up!!


  9. wheres the spot at on the weekend of oct 13-15?? hip hop music please!

  10. Hi.I want to know hip hop in Singapore.May you help me?I thank you so much.Please!!!
    Once more thank you !!!

  11. Hi.I want to know hip hop in Singapore.May you help me?I thank you so much.Please!!!
    Once more thank you !!!

  12. its very good

  13. hello I live in Tokyo
    my hiphop artist friend called yama
    is now livin in singapore n startin
    to perform at some clubs there
    do check him if possible

    he used to live in UK so
    its not actually US hiphop its more
    likely called grime

  14. who says hip hop is discriminated is Singapore?! i think singapore has grown to accept hip hop and even promote it. Nowadays u hear almost as much hip hop music here as compared to any other country. three cheers!

  15. i’m from the city of Philly USA

    I’m a well known underground hip hop artist in Philly how can I put my 7 inch records in the hands of Dj’s in Singapore that spin real hip hop.

  16. ha! Being thrown stones for loving hip hop in singapore! Get a life! I am a singaporean and I am proud to say most of our clubs play RnB music, Hip Hop music and we are even promoting it!

  17. Hip-Hop’s growing in SG, true. But it’s shit, to be honest. It’s nothing compared to what you hear in USA. I’m not discriminating it though, I think lots of trash are being put out on the radios nowadays too.

  18. yup u gotta agreee hip hop in singapore is really aint that good.. nothing compared to a regular emcee.. theres rap but dun expect too much.. every thurss in MOS theres a hip hop show

  19. fantastic read, thanks

  20. i grew up in the Philippines, have worked in the US and now curently working in Singapore, and im into hiphop since day1.
    i can say that the word “hiphop” here in SG has different meaning/connotation. here it just means like a certain kind of street dance, and its like just a fad or fashion. there aint no real hiphop here in SG, theres no local rapper rappin even in mandarin or singlish. no b-boys doin, head spins and what not, graffiti artists? none too. MCs? maybe only 1 who’s down with the culture, came also from the US, but only few here are listenin.

    Hiphop here in SG is nothin as compared to Philippines. Famous hiphop icons like Apl de Ap of BEP, Invisibl Skratch Piklz( Q-Bert, etc) are just the few.
    Singapore? oh its heavily influenced by europeans, brits. soccer is famous instead of basketball. beckham/ronaldinho are famous here. Jordan,kobe, lebron, who are they? hehehe

  21. To Ted Danson and anyone who posted in the year of 2008.

    Didnt SG hip hop grew quite alot lately? We got societys or fams like Beats Society, Da Fam, Street Bloodz and even established artists like Ahli Fikir and Imran? To me, its already quite a some for a small population. 😛
    And there’s more- wanabes like myself. 😀

    Yall cant compare SG to USA…yet.
    See, the market here is very small. Yeap.
    We are growing alright. I remembered when i knew about Hip hop was when i watched Sheik Haikel on TV. That was like back in ’97. If i’m not wrong. 😀

    You can find lots of hip hop/rap artist on myspace. DUH. There are lots of the good ones. Do check it out!

  22. yeah
    tat’s rite
    i support rifa’ie

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