Meet The Cheras Rapper Whose First Song Was Inspired By "Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?"

"Everyone was talking smack about Najib at the time, but no one was putting out a political and fun track."

Cover image via Akid Lim/Instagram

Local rapper Akid Lim, better known as A-kid, was born and raised in Cheras

With nearly 1.9 million YouTube views under his belt, 25-year-old Akid is well-known for his relatable, thought-provoking yet hilarious lyrics.

The Cheras native, who has been in love with music for over a decade, has made a name for himself through controversial and popular tracks including 'Ada Awek' and 'Gaji Masuk' – which collectively raked in over a million views for him.

We sat down with Akid recently to talk about the story behind his first song, inspirations for his satirical lyrics, and his unique approach to rap:

SAYS: Hi Akid! Tell us how you first got into rap music.

Akid: I wasn't musically inclined when I grew up, I was really into football, sports, and all of that. 

I bought my first guitar when I was 15 and I didn't sleep properly for about two weeks. That was when I realised maybe there is something better than games and sports.

I just decided to do music because it makes me happy.

SAYS: You have been rapping in multiple languages. Which one do you prefer?

Akid: Definitely English. I just know how to talk smack in Malay, but in terms of writing, I like to write in English. 

Talking smack in Malay is the best, not to forget about Cantonese too. Cantonese makes you sound like you're saying something important. You could be saying one to ten out loud in Cantonese, but if you say it in the right tone, people will be like, "yo, what is he saying?".

SAYS: The first track you put out, 'Apa Lagi Kita Mau', sounds like a direct reference to the infamous Utusan Malaysia headline, 'Apa Lagi Cina Mahu'. How did that come about?

Akid: (My producer) thought I was playing around at the time. But I was like, I'm going to rap in Malay using a Chinese slang. I'm gonna say anything a (Chinese person) says. 

My producer ended up liking it, and we released that track in 2016 – two years after I wrote it. It ended up being a track about racial stereotypes inspired by (Datuk Seri) Najib Razak himself, after he said "Apa lagi cina mahu?" years ago.

Everyone was talking smack about Najib at the time, but no one was putting out a political and fun track. 

SAYS: Tell us the one thing that makes you stand out from other Malaysian rappers right now.

Akid: Nobody has the guts to say whatever I want to say. No one has the guts to do it, and everyone sugarcoats it. 

For example, "Ada awek yang macam babi, ada awek yang makan babi". I was the only one with the guts to say it out loud. Whatever I was saying, everyone was saying it as well.

SAYS: Of all the tracks you've released, which is the one you're most proud of?

Akid: All my tracks so far have been fun and spontaneous projects. Nothing really deep.

I think I'm most proud of my latest track, 'Banks', because that took quite some time and I put thoughts into it. Before this, I always did it for fun. For the first time, I look at that track and I'm like, "We did that". I'm happy. 

'Banks' features fellow Malaysian rapper, Danye (right).

Image via Akid Lim/Instagram

Akid: We were so broke two years ago and we didn't have jobs. Danye (featured on 'Banks') had a beat lying around but it was leading to nowhere.

The first thing we wanted to write about was banks, but we didn't want to make it all about money. We flipped it into what we would want if we had everything in the bank. 

We adapted from a video by local hip-hop collective LawaLah Familia and turned the storyline concept into the 'Banks' video.

Watch the music video for 'Banks' here:

Listen to more tracks by A-kid on Spotify:

This feature is part of the #saysplaylist series, providing your playlist with a breath of fresh Malaysian air.

Image via Pixabay/SAYS

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