There are many ways to experience China, but Phum Viphurit and Higher Brothers’ music video for “Lover Boy 88” may just be the best yet. A remix of Viphurit’s original “Lover Boy,” which quickly went viral on YouTube, and originally featured on 88rising’s joint album Head In The Clouds, the video for “Lover Boy 88” is everything we could have ever asked for more.
Similar to its sonic counterpart, the video for “Lover Boy 88” brings together two typically disparate worlds in striking and enthralling fashion. The Thailand-born, New Zealand-raised Viphurit is introduced into the chaotic and exhilarating world of China’s larger-than-life rap group. It’s a combination you wouldn’t expect to work, but its infectious nature is enthralling. And it’s difficult not to smile watching the charming juxtaposition of Viphurit holding a Super 8 or strumming on an electric guitar amongst the Higher Brothers living their best life as they drink champagne and play with bubble machines alongside him at a pool party.
While “Lover Boy 88” is an undeniable banger, with a now perfectly fitting video, it is difficult to underscore the cultural significance of “Lover Boy 88.” Sung and rapped between English and Chinese, “Lover Boy 88” is a hit that defines the ongoing rise of crossover success. Long gone are the A&Rs and labelheads with an ethnocentric approach to music that presupposes songs won’t sell unless it’s sung solely in a simple-to-understand English dialect. This is what music of the 21st century and beyond looks like–the brilliant fusion of young artists’ and their influences, all without the sacrificing of their cultural identity.
Indeed, fusion is at the core of “Lover Boy 88,” and its likely soon-to-be worldwide success. The world of introspective bedroom pop and exuberant rap, English and Sichuanese Mandarin vocals all meet in “Lover Boy 88” to create something that is more diverse than its wealth of influences. Regardless of the language you speak, the hometown you rep, or even your supposed musical tastes, Viphurit and the Higher Brothers prove that music is universal.
Watch the video for “Lover Boy 88” below: