On Monday, Thailand’s most well-known hip-hop group—both in terms of their hard-hitting lyrics and the following political persecution—released a new song on YouTube skewering the state of politics in Thailand, and expressing some hope in the coming election.
Garnering more than 290,000 views in two days, the new music video, “คนที่ตัดสินใจคือฉันเอง
” (roughly, “I Decide
”), from Rap Against Dictatorship, or RAD, depicts the rappers as candidates encouraging the younger generation to get out and vote.
“I think people need some encouragement from artists or influencers. I think the music is working as encouragement,” Hockhacker tells BK. “We’re going into the election to change the country, to change the generation gap, to change the problems made by the old generation.”
Dechathorn “Hockhacker” Bamrungmuang, father of two, has been one of the hardest hit members of the group, accused under the Section 116 of the Criminal Code for sedition, telling BK he has to go to court every month, as well as being the victim of state-sponsored hacking and having his passport revoked.
, Hockhacker, Liberate P
, and NLHz, the new video eschews pessimism, and is trying to get the vote out days before Thailand’s final day at the polls on May 14. Like many of their videos, it was directed by Skanbombomb.
Fans of the group would be well-advised to see the video while they can, as many of the group’s more popular anthems can be censored on YouTube. RAD’s biggest hit on the video platform came four years ago with “My Country Has,” an anthem that has garnered more than 104 million views.
“I think our music can reach young people, a lot of young people. And in our new song, we try to bring out the new voters to go and vote,” Nakhon Sawan native Protozua, long-time member of the group, tells BK Magazine. “They have their right and it is their decision whether to stay at home or go out to vote and which party to pick.”
The group release regular award-winning songs with new and regular members and have previously filmed their videos live at protests
Photo: Left to right, Protozua, Liberate P, and Hockhacker prior to "Homeland" release / Tyler Roney