Planet Asia Shows Exactly Why His New Album Is Titled The Golden Buddha (Video Premiere)
Stretching back to its foundations, Hip-Hop has often put the spiritual beliefs of its makers front and center. Whether it is adherence to the basic tenets of Islam, the Five-Percent Nation, Rastafari, Pan-African-inspired mysticism, or Christianity, one of the genre’s key aspects is the way MCs seek to merge the sacred and the profane in their verses.
Eastern religious traditions (Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism) have also played a central role. Inspiring artists such as Kendrick Lamar, A Tribe Called Quest, while most famously providing the basis for Wu-Tang Clan’s Shaolin. Planet Asia keeps this impulse alive with his latest single “You Are King” premiering at Ambrosia For Heads.
“You Are King” starts with noise from a bar filled with glamorous women sipping martinis and a sample explaining that Buddhism is “essentially [about] experience, not ideas…It is a liberation.” In the visual, Planet Asia is in “sophisticated gangster” mode spitting “thoughts, black-market style” calling on us to appraise, validate and obey him while he comes to get the crown.
Musically the track shows once more why the Fresno, California MC has enjoyed a two-decade-plus career at the top of the game. Unlike two previous singles from The Golden Buddha, the bassline-driven “Fireworks” or harder-edged “Fast Not Slow” that featured New York’s AZ as a guest, “You Are King” keeps it light, matching delicate drums with a spirited vocal hook. Added to the mix by San Francisco producer izznyce is a sample of Matty G’s “West Coast Rocks” (a track that has spawned countless Dubstep remixes).
The Golden Buddha has a strong West Coast showing and includes fellow Californian MCs TriState and Hus Kingpin as guests, among others and is out now via Brick Records.