Rap is global. Young artists from Sweden and Japan are appearing on tracks with Travis Scott and Frank Ocean. South Korean rappers are racking up millions and millions of plays on YouTube. American rappers are selling out tours in places where a significant amount of their fans don't speak much English, if any at all, reminding us that rap is a universal language in its own right. The impact of hip-hop is felt far beyond the country that birthed it.
Considering that hip-hop artists have always been inspired by, and provided commentary on, the places where they're from, it's not all that surprising, then, that hip-hop has evolved in different ways all around the world. Iceland and Russia are producing music influenced by the cold and often dark surroundings, while Sweden and Korea's scenes draw heavily from their rich histories of pop music. Looking at almost every corner of the globe you're bound to stumble across talented rappers and producers.
With international rap sounding better than ever, we talked to some of the most interesting rappers creating in non English-speaking countries, discovering how they approach making music and surveying some of the scenes around the world.