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  • Writer's pictureLey Cola


Masiwei —one of China’s most recognizable rappers— releases his second studio album, Dark Horse, via 88rising. Widely regarded as the first Chinese artist to be embraced by American hip-hop stars, Masiwei has brought his success back home to China and pushed himself to create his most intricate album yet. Dark Horsetakes inspiration from the horse racing term, a title for the horse that wins when the odds are stacked against them. “This album is about having patience, passion and enthusiasm,” Masiwei said. “I named it Dark Horse, because I want to be that strong, resilient figure that breaks through in different fields.” Drawing a parallel between his own life and that of the animal, Masiwei has persevered despite being judged unlikely to succeed. The 15-track album features the empowering lead single “Unexpected Troubles” featuring Adawa, as well the Masiwei-produced single “Why,” which released alongside a heart-wrenching video last month. Dark Horse expands on the heroic and romantic spirit of Masiwei’s debut album, Prince Charming, but with a new level of self-realization and drive to defy expectations. In celebration of Valentine's Day, the album release is accompanied by a romantic music video for “Little Match Girl.” Watch the video hereand stream Dark Horse here.

This past Friday, in partnership with McDonald’s, Masiwei celebrated the first day of Chinese New Year with an exclusive virtual concert. Broadcasted on the McDonald’s App, Masiwei performed songs from Dark Horse live for the very first time. Playback the momentous performance on 88rising’s YouTube channel here.


From Chengdu to worldwide, Masiwei has been making his mark on the Chinese rap scene since he was 21 years old, releasing music at a prolific pace as a solo artist and as a member of China’s most acclaimed rap group, Higher Brothers. Masiwei’s solo releases span four well-received mixtapes, P.E.I VOL.1, P.E.I VOL.2, P.E.I VOL.3 and AFewGoodKids, as well as Higher Brothers’ self-titled mixtape and subsequent group albums, Black Cab and Five Stars. Upon the release of the P.E.Iseries, Masiwei’s music became the pinnacle of the Chinese boom-bap sound, which resulted in Masiwei becoming the first Chinese rapper to appear in Snoop Dogg’s Underground Heat chart. Masiwei later released an official collaboration with Snoop Dogg with the Higher Brothers single “Friends & Foes,” which soundtracked Netflix’s original series Wu Assassins. Masiwei’s mixtape, AFewGoodKids became NetEase’s most popular Q1 mixtape of 2019, and the album, Five Stars, earned Higher Brothers the title of NetEase’s Rap Group Of The Year. In the summer of 2020, Masiwei joined Rich Brian, KnowKnow, Chris Li and MC Hotdog as a judge on the first S+ level talent show “Rap For Youth” on Bilibili, the premiere video sharing platform in China. The show generated a whopping 410 million views and 8.25 million interactions on Bilibili, rated 9.5/10 on, and became a hit all over China. At the end of 2020, Masiwei was selected as the cover star for Esquire Magazine in China and he attended Esquire’s 17th MAHB Annual Ceremony, where he won the Young Power of the Year (Music) award. This past year, Masiwei released his debut solo album, Prince Charming. His first studio album reflected his journey over the past six years, coming from humble beginnings in a cramped apartment in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu to breaking down barriers as the global face of Chinese hip-hop. Dubbing himself as a modern day “prince charming,” Masiwei shared his journey as a self-made dark horse prince charming, who’s not rich or privileged by birth but perseveres in the face of danger and hardship. With his follow-up album, Dark Horse, Masiwei continues in the spirit of his previous work but with a newfound self-awareness and determination to break stereotypes around him and inspire listeners to be brave enough to overcome the boundaries and obstacles within their minds.


1. Wooden Man

2. The Dawn

3. Puff Daddy

4. Tag

5. H.O.T

6. Today

7. Eyes Don’t Lie (feat. Dragon Pig)

8. Little Match Girl

9. Unexpected Troubles (feat. Adawa)

10. Why

11. Money On My Mind (feat. Adawa)

12. East Avenue

13. Never Sleep

14. Toban Djan

15. Hip-Hop Saved My Life

More of Masiwei on

More of Higher Brothers on


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