Thai refugee rapper Star2 for his new single “Go!” featuring HoodTrophy Bino from Soulja Boy’s Stacks on Deck Money Gang (SODMG).
“Are you feelin’ it?” Star2 asks on “Go!”, his first single on his upcoming New Me album. Bringing a flash-fire of summer heat, the song has that West Coast sound and sensibility that combines brash notes, old school hip-hop aggression, trap, and a relentless kick drum that pushes you up from the verses to the chorus. Trap and retro late 90s/early 2000 hip-hop sounds, along with distorted 808s, kicks, claps, trap hats – a hyped up clicking rhythm! An urgent beat with a hypnotic arpeggiating piano, crushing kick drums, and crashing cymbals will really bang you over the head. The result is hype, pulsating street dancing anthem for extreme skateboarding in Venice Beach, and perfect for blaring at block parties, beaches, and skate parks all summer long.
“It’s a dream, a real life dream…” comments Bino looking at the first takes of the video with him and Star2 cruising in classic Low Rider cars with dancing from the famous Tommy the Clown and his T Squad.
Eleven year old stand-out Jake Familton swoops down into the bowl where Star2 and Bino are singing and being filmed, catches air off the lip and roars back down.
Star2 is an Asian-American singer, songwriter and rapper who seamlessly blends pop, R&B and hip-hop for an enthralling immersion of sound. Raised in inauspicious circumstances, Star2 takes influence from overcoming his life struggles, creating music that is bold, high-spirited and soulful.
Star2 is a true survivor. Born into a refugee camp in Thailand, his family walked over 500 miles through the jungle to escape Burmese soldiers when they attacked and burned down their village. As Karen’s (Kuh-ren), a minority group that the Myanmar government has tried to destroy, Star2 (and his family) has faced immense adversity and racial opposition for generations. With no father or mother by his side, his grandmother was chosen in a lottery to be able to migrate to the United States and at the age of six years old, took him to San Diego where he began his new life. Unfortunately it wasn’t an easy one, as a young kid living in the inner city, his family struggled financially and he lived with an uncle who was addicted to drugs. Adapting to living in a new world filled with cars, electricity and paved roads, he was overwhelmed and overstimulated. Star2 found solace, however, turning to music as a teen, learning to rap, sing, write and perform. With a diverse set of influences including Justin Bieber, Tyga, Chris Brown, and more, he developed his own musical style complete with winning hooks, rich harmonies, and distinctly progressive R&B soundscapes.
Since 2020, the prolific songwriter has released a series of genre-bending singles with superstar producer Chico Bennett (Prince, Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Killers, Britney Spears) that have entranced audiences worldwide. His collaborations with acclaimed rappers Luh Kel, MarMar Oso, YSN Flow, $tupid Young, and Lil Poppa have gained him further recognition as an artist on the rise.
His most recent Real Life EP is a collection of six tracks profiling relatable themes such as love, loss and struggle. The leading single “I Wanna Get F’d Up” features acclaimed rapper Luh Kel and narrates heartbreak, abandonment, and disillusionment. Star2 paints the scene of painful relationship dynamics that is highly relatable and emotive. The single is an emotional exorcism complete with an infectious French horn melody, somber lyrics, and soul-infused vocals over a prominent hip hop beat. While in the title track “Real Life”, Star2 collaborates with Jacksonville, Florida’s Lil Poppa for a candid and raw account of their experiences growing up in inner city poverty. The haunting ballad is filled with rich layers of drums and bass, with the despair being highlighted by distorted 808’s and trap drums, creating the feeling of desperation and deprivation along the backdrop of violence. “Run Away”, Star2’s staggering “conscious rap” release, documents the crushing social and environmental catastrophes that plague our world, including the horrific invasion in Ukraine. Part religious testimony, part philosopher’s insight, Star2 directs us to consider what the rest of the world is facing and how they are suffering. The acoustic guitar song begins with a haunting arpeggiating guitar intro that flows into Star2’s almost spoken narrative about the world’s ills and his own hollow suffering.
Star2’s spirited soul and authentic delivery truly resonates with his generation, providing solace and an outlet for the challenges faced by many today. With millions of streams and views to date and upcoming projects with Soulja Boy, $tupid Young, HoodTrophy Bino, and Lil Poppa, Star2 is a compelling force.