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Kris Wu Has a New Song with Rich the Kid and it’s Actually Fire

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We’ve had our fair share of fun with Kris Wu here at RADII. The boy-band-idol-turned-rapper is in a unique position. On the one hand, his position as lead judge on hit reality show Rap of China has made him the undisputed king of China’s hip hop scene. On the other hand, as an ex K-Pop star with serious diva tendencies, his hip hop credentials have always been in question. We’ve had a lot of fun following that give and take. A lot of fun.

But now, we are pleased and surprised to inform you that Kris has a new song with American rapper Rich the Kid, and we’re inclined to call it his best yet.

“Coupe” is a bouncing, authentic approach to the modern trap sound. For once, Kris isn’t trying too hard. He delivers organic flexes on a refreshingly simple chorus:

I chop the top of the coupe / I’m tryna speed to you

We got a penthouse suite / We got a crazy view

I’m working harder than you / Ain’t gon lie that’s true

I’m working harder than you / You know I speak the truth

Tone-deaf Kris Wu Vocal Track Ravages Chinese Social Media

While Kris’ tracks are beloved by his fans, they tend to be viewed with skepticism by the die-hard hip hop community. But this track is, to put it simply, a slapper. Rich the Kid’s verse offers just enough spice to keep Kris interesting, and to top it off, the beat is objectively hot. It’s nice to see Kris in a track where he’s not overtly “reaching” — it’s more befitting of the image he’s trying to cultivate, as someone who calls himself “the young OG.”

Shanghai-based artist Weird Dane from Massachusetts hip hop collective Dark World considers the track Kris’ first success.

My honest opinion is that this is Kris Wu’s first good song. It seems like Kris and his team have been trying to emulate some American styles, and personally, I think he’s been failing. It’s weird because he has so much money, he can hire the biggest artists and producers to work with him and make him sound sick. Isn’t that what a K-Pop/C-Pop star is used to? Having a very manufactured sound with producers making them sound perfect?

This sounds like the first time he’s actually captured the influence of autotune melodies that work for a western audience. It sounds like he’s listening to Young Thug and others, and channeling it correctly. To me this is the mark of more good content coming from Kris Wu. Maybe he’s started to figure it out, and we’ll see more of this from him, because to me, it’s all been garbage until now. Here, he actually sounds like a rapper, on a song with Rich the Kid, where they’re going bar for bar, meeting each other, rather than his song with Travis Scott for example, where it just sounds like they paid a guy to validate Kris Wu while he trashes the song.

“Coupe” is just the latest single to drop off Kris’ upcoming debut solo album Antares, which also features appearances by Jhene Aiko and Travis Scott, and is slated for release on November 2.

You might also like/love to hate:

Kris Wu’s Worst Freestyles, Ranked

Kris Wu Drops Patriotic Single “Chinese Soul” Ahead of “Rap of China” Return

Xinjiang-born Uyghur Rapper Wins “The Rap of China 2018” as Kris Wu Calls Out Haters

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a Shanghai-based writer, producer, and multimedia artist, and the Associate Editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip-hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school so he could train at the Shaolin Temple, but now just uses it to interview rappers.

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