Prestige Malaysia's Top 40 under 40 2018: Joe Flizzow
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Joe Flizzow

Kartel Records

The undisputed “president” of hip-hop in Malaysia, Joe Flizzow, has witnessed the genre’s rise from underground to mainstream over the years. “When you look at Billboard Top 10 or even Top 100, how many hip-hop songs are there?” he asks rhetorically. “Hip- hop has been dominating music for the last 10, 15 years.”

Joe first rose to fame as one half of Too Phat, widely regarded as pioneers of hip-hop in Malaysia. However, he admits to being “an

artist in the industry, not an industrial artist” – that is to always stay true to his musical spirit and not under the thumb of bosses of major record labels. That catalysed him to found his own record label, Kartel Records, in 2005. Since the dissolution of Too Phat, Joe has continued to find success as a solo artist. According to him, honesty and sincerity are imperative. “Not just with your work ethnic but also in your music,” he points out it is vital for an artist to have credibility in his body of work, especially within the context of hip-hop. Although Joe is first and foremost an artist, he has branched out beyond music by creating his own streetwear brand Budak Baek and becoming Hublot’s first friend of the brand in Malaysia. “Hip-hop has always given us lessons on how to hustle, how to be competitive, how to be the best. It was just a natural progression that I went into business, for the longevity of myself, my music and

my career.”

 

Joe Flizzow is wearing Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Carbon Red Ceramic; Corduroy Jacket, Shirt & Pants from Ermenegildo Zegna