The Mountain Brothers are a Hip Hop trio from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The group consisted of Styles, Peril-L, and Chops. I first discovered their music in ’99 when I was searching the internet for Asians in Hip Hop. Low and behold I came across the video for “Galaxies: The Next Level”.
I found comfort in knowing that there was quality Hip Hop in the world that came from my people. The music was produced by one of their own members, Chops. Best of all, there were no samples. It was all originally produced music. On top of that, it was QUALITY music. Combine that with creative lyricists each possessing their own unique styles and you had a powerhouse that the industry wasn’t sure what to do with when signed to a major label. How would you market these talented young men in a market that were predominantly African American? It couldn’t. The accomplishments were captured in two albums and for those that were searching for it such as myself, we found it all on our own.
The Mountain Brothers released two albums, Self Volume 1 in 1999 and Triple Crown in 2003. Both were albums that I purchased from my local record store, Stacks the Vinyl Authority, which was owned by DJ Icy Ice of the World Famous Beat Junkies. The Mountain Brothers were pioneers for the Asian Hip Hop community and served as inspiration to a long list of current up and coming Asian American rappers.
Fast forward to current day. The MBs reunited to release a few songs on a project led by producer, Chops. One song in particular featuring Korea’s own vocal songstress Ann One.
Chops recently had a successful fundraiser campaign called Strength In Numbers. The purpose of this project was to create a community collaboration of 30+ talented Asian American and Asian artists to let it be known to the world that we’re here. Asian folk can sing and rap and we could do it DAMN good too!
Listen here for the clean version of the Strength in Numbers project.