It’s been a long time coming for the hip-hop and R&B music scene and certainly years in the making but it’s finally here. What’s Good Music Awards is making history as Hong Kong’s first hip-hop and R&B music awards event that recognise the talent of rappers and singers.
It was co-founded by Phat and JBS from 24Herbs—a six-member hip-hop group formed in 2006—with the aim of setting up a specialised awards ceremony for hip-hop and R&B artists in Hong Kong.
“By organising the What’s Good Music Awards, we want to set a new standard for music awards in Hong Kong. The rules for music awards in the mainstream of Hong Kong have been running for more than 30 years. As time goes by, we could hardly see any progress nor update of the system,” says Phat and JBS.
“In fact, hip-hop music has been [part of] the main lifestyle of young people in Hong Kong for many years, but it has been rejected from the traditional music industry.”
Hip-hop in Hong Kong or Cantohop can be traced back to the 1990s. The rap scene developed in 1991 thanks to rap duo, Softhard and further took off in 1999 with LMF, the city’s first rap group signed by a major record label. LMF disbanded in 2003 and regrouped in 2009 and their influence in the hip-hop scene remains particularly among the underground and indie artists today.
Today, the scene continues to grow. In 2019, LMF celebrated their 20th anniversary by hosting their own music festival. But it wasn’t just for them—it also included today’s up and coming artists. And now, What’s Good Music Awards is aiming to write a new chapter in the history of Hong Kong’s music scene.
The awards event remains in good hands, not only thanks to Phat and JBS but MC Yan, a member of LMF will also serve as chief consultant to the judging panel. Other members of the panel include music executive, Alex Fung, Wise from Japanese hip-hop group Teriyaki Boyz and more.
“We want to acknowledge the young hip-hop artists and give them the motivation to go further. More importantly, we would like them to [rise to] the next level and let them shine on the international stage,” adds Phat and JBS. “The world has changed, hip-hop is now [part of] the mainstream in the international music scene [so] let us write history in Hong Kong’s music scene.”