Tri-Lingual Hip Hop From the Far East
Last week, I was reviewing Mondega’s new album when out of the blue I heard a fiery female voice. She was dropping spotless English, Khmer, and Jarai-language rhymes on the club hip hop track “Unity, We Rise.” Naturally, I did a double-take.
Her name’s Lisha. Well, Jessica Lisha Srin. She’s a tiny-framed, elusive MC with a Yolandi Vi$$er voice and a daytime copywriter job in Cambodia. Sans a website or much publicized info, she’s still highly coveted in the hip hop scene in southeast Asia.
Lisha’s a resident rapper of the Khmer collective KlapYaHandz music, which has made her a major go-to for duo throwdowns. You’ll find video after video of Lisha rapping with the likes of local groups Khmer Kid and Los Poporks. Most recently, she flowed for the Swedish hip hop group Maskinen, who specifically sought her out on a trip to Cambodia.
Most of her tracks, produced by KlapYaHandz head Cream, come with a tight, sampled, independent vibe. I couldn’t tell you what she’s saying on her myriad singles, but my favorite track, “Woman,” is themed on feminism. Go girl!
The MV for “Woman” was filmed at the Olympic Stadium, a sports venue in her home city Phnom Penh. Watch it below!
Photo Courtesy of Lisha