In an effort to bring you closer to the artist, we caught up with Keith Ape to learn more about his hit single "It G Ma," a possible collaboration with Bape and what he plans for his future.

Keith Ape and his The Cohort collective have been on nearly everyone's radar since January 1, 2015, when the Korean rapper and his crew released the official music video for breakout single "It G Ma." Not to mention the recently released remix featuring A$AP Ferg, Father, Dumbfoundead and Waka Flocka. Along with Keith Ape, Okasian and Oscar, the team includes co-founder Kangkook and Swidea, who oversee their Orcawear clothing line; other associates include producer Cokejazz; rappers Reddy, Bryan Cha$e and Jayallday; and well-known male model/artist Sung-jin Park.

Working closely with CXSHXNLY, Keith and his posse have been able to take advantage of an opportunity few are presented with. Quickly being labeled the Odd future of Asia, the burgeoning collective is currently focused on pursuing music and art, but most importantly doing things their own way with a true independent spirit.

While the crew's online presence can't be argued, not much can be said about their live performances. As a solution, Keith Ape will be embarking on the Underwater Kanada Tour beginning tonight at The Hoxton in Toronto. Additional tour dates can be found here.

How did "It G Ma" come to be?

As "It G Ma" became more well known in the states, I received more and more offers from artists to feature on songs or even be on the remix itself. I needed help to make sure that this opportunity would not go to waste. While at SXSW I worked closely with the CXSXHNLY collective and felt they understood my vision and were a perfect fit to manage me. They recommended the idea of the remix and together we made it happen. I'm very proud of what we accomplished together with this song and what we are going to bring to the world in the future.

What can we expect next?

I am working day and night on perfecting my craft. I have been working on a few singles and have already recording a handful of features. I'm also working on a collaboration EP produced by Southside of 808 Mafia that will be with CXSHXNLY.

Will there be a COHORT USA TOUR?

No matter what I'm going to make that happen.

Is there a term for this trap purple demon anime character you have created?

That is Keith Ape

The world is familiar with the commercial sound of KPOP, but it's exciting to see underground artists coming out of Korea now. Do you think your success will trigger more rappers to come out of Korea into the States?

I'm not God so I can't say for sure, but I know the potential is there. And everyday the likeliness of it happening increases.

Were you influenced by the ATL trap sound?

That's without a doubt because a lot of mainstream, underground, etc. has come from Atlanta.

I love their culture, the people and music has definitely influenced me. But Atlanta's sound is just a piece of that inspiration. I love New York, LA... People I've met while I've on been on this Earth... Movies I've watched... It's every day living.

Any news on a BAPE collab?


Do you feel The Cohort is the Korean version of A$AP Mob or Wu-Tang Clan? Or very different?

We are similar in the sense that we are a group of people that love music, care for each other as brothers, and do what we do, but we're different.

I respect both crews, and any crew for that matter, but I will try hard to be unique.

The Cohort does our own thing and we do us. I just want to be me.

Do you plan on growing The Cohort family?

Already in the works.

Interview by Silas Lee

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