Taking place between a cartoonish video game world created by Happy Kawaii Friends and a portal into the hip-hop realm of Starr Chen and Tipsy, the video for "Biao" combines standard rapper posturing with a stylized cast of animated characters. The co-produced beat slaps and the simplistic lyrics are punctuated with unique delivery from both artists.
Visually, the line between cartoons and reality is blurred. The rappers' jewelry, fashion, and flamboyant style pop off the screen next to the cute but creepy ritual overseen by an anime girl host that changes size like a rainbow Alice in Wonderland at a KTV arcade.
"Biao" melds Tipsy and Starr Chen spitting about their hip-hop lifestyle and avoiding any hassles to keep their cool at a trippy video game arcade and dark back alley with a starfish alien having his phallic "third leg" threatened by two large pairs of scissors. The alien's appendage keeps dodging dismemberment just as the rappers chant the chorus. A crowd of wavy aliens cheers and images of the dissection flash to the beat.
The seemingly bizarre and silly animations are actually part of a larger narrative created by Happy Kawaii Friends that was adopted by StayHighCrew Production for the purposes of the video. See their Instagram or Facebook to see more of their signature animation and artwork. There's something about the rappers morphing into gold chain wearing, dreadlocked, muscled out star fish that mimics their image and personas rocking fresh threads and bling. Playfully poking fun at themselves, the fans, and critics with cartoonish depictions shows that it's cool to not take yourself or others too seriously.
Starr Chen has had his hand in many collaborations producing for some of Taiwan's best-loved artists, like Jolin Tsai, Soft Lipa, Trout Fresh, J.Sheon, aMEI, and members of his former group Young Souljaz. That includes working with Tipsy since 2004, repping Taipei on songs like 2016's "TPC." Chen's ability to connect the dots between electronic beats, pop songs, and hip-hop music has launched his career into a new level of creativity.
As a founding member of Young Souljaz, Tipsy Kao is a seasoned veteran in the scope of Taiwan's hip-hop culture. He joined Eggo Music and Sound in 2018 and has maintained his status as an influence on trap wave beats and Mandarin rap music. His resume also includes songs with Taiwanese EDM producers DinPei and RayRay, along with club-ready hip-hop tracks featuring DJ Mr. Gin and ØZI. His beat was used in last year's Red Bull Taiwan Under the Bridge cypher featuring the likes of Starr Chen, MJ116, Barry Chen, Trout Fresh, DJ Afro, and L.C. Tipsy also hosted the International Red Bull Threestyle Championship in Taipei earlier this year.
Since this video is the only thing these two have dropped this year, expect big things for 2020. In the meantime, enjoy the wacky, wavy vibe of "Biao", which has over 40K views on the first day of being released!