“Put on a show for all the farangs, ‘Welcome to the city of the civilized.’”
This week saw Bangkok’s most famous hip-hop group launch “Homeland”, Rap Against Dictatorship’s first song of the year. The new video garnered more than 177,000 hits in under two days, featuring Hockhacker, Protozua, Dif Kids, Liberate P, T1K, Numba9, 3Bone, K.AGLET and Zo9.
The video strikes at many of the group’s usual themes and includes special shoutouts to the LGBTQ community, which has seen setbacks in the halls of Parliament in recent months.
“The old and the new generation can’t ever coexist, under a military government dictated by senile generals,” sings Hockhacker. Hockhacker, in many ways the face of the group, has seen official harassment in the form of revocation of his passport, detainment, and charges of sedition and lese majeste.
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 three years ago with “My Country Has,” an anthem that has garnered more than 104 million views.
The group continues many of the themes and demands of the recent pro-democracy protest movement in Bangkok which stalled in 2021.
“[RAD] may be one of the first groups that made an impact and raised people’s awareness through our songs, but in 2019 it was Arnon, Mind (Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon), Mike (Panupong Jardnok), and others who paved the way for us,” Rap Against Dictatorship’s Liberate P told BK Magazine in a February interview.