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Long before the history-making 16 Baris rap cypher show, Malaysian hip hop has been going around since the late 1980s, and has been popularized in the 1990s, as rap music gained more acceptance from the mainstream music industry.

Thanks to pioneering Malaysian groups such as KRU, 4U2C, NICO, Naughtius Maximus, HQA, and Krash Kozz, the then-rock, pop, and ballad-saturated music landscape had slowly made room for hip hop, especially in more urbanized areas, and the growing interest of the multicultural Malaysian youth. This era coincided with the golden age of hip hop in the U.S. and developing regional styles (e.g. East Coast, West Coast, and Dirty South).

The late 1990s saw the debut of Too Phat, the legendary duo of Joe Flizzow and Malique, whose 1999 debut album Whutadilly and its 2001 follow-up, Plan B became a commercial success, with the latter earning double platinum status in Malaysia. Not to mention, the two had notable international collaborations, including Long Beach icon Warren G for “Just a Lil’ Bit” in 2003.

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In 2014, Flizzow and his protege SonaOne made history with “Apa Khabar,” which went on to become the first hip hop track to win the top prize at the Anugerah Juara Lagu, one of the country’s biggest annual music competitions.

For HipHopDX Asia’s hip hop music history edition in Malaysia, we enlisted veteran DJ CZA to curate a dance mix featuring some of the country’s most iconic classics.


  1. Krash Kozz – New Jack The Street Beat (Give It All You Got)
  2. Nico – Inilah Nasibku
  3. Naughtius Maximus – Here Comes Trouble
  4. Poetic Ammo – Monay Monay
  5. Too Phat – Boogie Down
  6. Too Phat – Anak Ayam
  7. Too Phat Ft Warren G – Just A lil Bit

Check out Hip Hop Music History Malaysia (Dance Video) below: