Thailand’s king of rap Apisit Opas-aimlikit, aka Joey Boy, has made a name for himself breaking down the walls of traditional Thai music. Ever since shooting to fame in 1995 with his legendary hit “A-Pode,” the down-to-earth rapper has been at the top of this country’s hip-hop industry. But, as he tells us, the world of rap music has changed a lot since then. 

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I still rap for a living. There is a certain beauty in the aggressive tones of rap music.
 
I always wanted to become an athlete. Rap music came later. I was like a boy in middle school who wanted to try out everything. But then my interests shifted. Rap was something that not many Thais were doing professionally—like the music equivalent of ice-hockey, archery or skateboarding.
 
If I wasn’t into sport there wouldn’t be Joey Boy. One thing led to another. I joined a skateboarding club in the era when people used hash-talk instead of hashtags. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people is important. The pioneers of Thai hip-hop were in our circle of friends. We all shared the same interest in skateboarding, which later turned into hip-hop music.
 
Nowadays, everything is happening online. I embrace it. I Tweet, upload pictures of me doing cool stuff on Instagram and send Snapchat videos to my friends.
 
My lifestyle isn’t normal. One minute I’m sipping Champagne and the next I’m paramotoring over a beach in Pattaya.
 
Becoming Joey Boy was the craziest decision I ever made. It didn’t take long for me to realize that school was not right for me. I dropped out of high school to pursue my dream of becoming a rapper. As you can tell from my choice of sport, I wanted to be different. This is why I wanted to bring hip-hop to the Thai music industry—nobody had ever heard it before.
 
My mom was shell-shocked when I announced my plans. "I didn’t know you could even sing!" she said.
 
Good rappers write their own lyrics. You can’t be a good rapper if you don’t know how to bring out your anger or your insecurities and state them out loud. Hip-hop is very different from any other genre as it’s you and only you who can truly feel the words you write.
 
As a rapper, I think my lyrics influence young people just the right amount. I’m not trying to shove my beliefs down other people’s throats. I respect people who think differently. You can believe whatever you want to believe.
 
I want to collaborate with legends like Asanee and Wasan. We are living in a time when country music can merge with electronic. Everything is possible.
 
Now I’m forty-something, but my core is still the same. I still go to the same restaurants, have the same lifestyle and get pissed off about the same old things.
 
If there is anything you want to do, or to share, as long as it doesn’t bother other people, do it.

JOEY BOY’S SIX PHONE ESSENTIALS

1. It’s important that I have a responsive screen and wide front camera angle in order to capture vivid and authentic moments.
 
2. I like simplicity. A clear, uncomplicated, straightforward device can win me over any time.
 
3. A high-power camera in low-light situaton. The pictures I take at events and concerts remind me that these are moments I experienced for real. Even in the low-light day, the picture is still clear and help me recall all those feelings. It’s like rewinding a tape, but in HD!
 
4. Unique Design.Choosing a smart-phone is like choosing your outfit; it must show your personality.
 
5. Long battery life. It gives me the assurance my phone is not going to stop working on me when I’m out on a day-long bike trip or something.
 
6. Having a quick charging time is also really important. I’m happy that within 10 minutes I can get four hours of battery life—I’m not the kind of guy who can sit around all day with my phone chained to cables.
 

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