latest music drop from the Asian-American rapper ChinaTownRunner featuring Star2 and $tupid Young. ChinaTownRunner and Star2 each got their start at the very same Mae La refugee camp and have used their stories of persistence to inspire their music. “Static” ft. Star2 and $tupid Young is an explosive personal profile that zeroes in on each rapper’s quest for truth in the face of a cold world. An intense set of multi-faceted vocals collide over a cataclysm of dynamic beats, hard hitting bass, and resonant piano to produce the one-of-a-kind sonic atmosphere that fills “Static” to the brim.
Directed by Chico Bennett, the music video for “Static” captures ChinaTownRunner, Star2, and $tupid Young in a wild desert landscape. The desolate atmosphere and grueling influence of nature lends to the deep-cut lyrics at play.
“Static” is only just the beginning of this trio’s iconic presence as the three rappers have upcoming shows together in Phoenix and Denver. For ChinaTownRunner and Star2 in particular, “Static” follows the trail of their historic first single together, “Lavish”. ChinaTownRunner finds joy in performing for his people, the Karen, in communities throughout South Dakota and Minnesota and celebrating his core identity.
Watch & Listen to “Static”
ChinatownRunner is a Denver hip hop artist born in South East Asia in the Mae La refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma (renamed Myanmar). He is Ka-ren, an ethnic group persecuted and viciously hunted for extinction by the Burmese military and ruling junta government. The camp of 55,000 sits in a warzone in the jungle. At age 9, he and his family were given refugee status by the United States and flown to Denver to resettle. (San Diego hip hop artist Star2 was born in the same camp).
He lived in the east side of Denver with other refugee and low income families in public housing he and his friends dubbed “Chinatown.” Because they “ran” their neighborhood, he adopted the name “Chinatown Runner.” He began rapping in high school in a garage with friends – some songs in Ka-ren, some in English. These early songs got attention, garnering 20-30K in views. Thinking this might be a path to make money, he began making songs in English and dropped them on friends’ YouTube channels. One song reached 500K views. He decided to make his own YouTube page and dropped “Pressure” with fellow refugee rapper Gee Kade, which hit 1M views in four months, with no promotion. The song stands at over 5M views. Their next song, “On 1” has 1.2M views. His style, drill rap, is set to rich, evocative, and memorable beats. He has a deep, sultry, “Pop Smoke” voice.
He performs for his Ka-ren fans at their soccer and basketball tournaments in South Dakota and Minnesota, where fans chant the words to “Pressure” in unison. The over 200,000 Ka-ren refugees are spread across the country in meat-packing plant areas and chicken factories.
ChinaTownRunner, “CTR” recently collaborated with fellow Ka-ren rapper Star2 after they both performed last summer in South Dakota. “Lavish”, their first single together, has received acclaim by fans and reaction video makers. They next recorded a song and video “Static” with legendary Asian rapper $tupid Young in the Palmdale desert in California.
The three are performing together in Phoenix and Denver. CTR and Star2 will perform in South Dakota together in July.