Keith Ape
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Keith Ape
Keith Ape
Keith Ape.png
Keith Ape performing in Pomona, California in November 2015
Background information
Native name
(Lee Dong Heon)
Lee Dongheon
  • Keith Ape
  • Kid Ash
Born (1993-12-25) December 25, 1993 (age 25)
Seoul, South Korea

Dongheon Lee (; born December 25, 1993), known professionally as Keith Ape (Hangul:  ) and previously known as Kid Ash, is a South Korean rapper from Seoul.[3] He is a member of a crew called 'The Cohort'. Ape's breakout single "" ("It G Ma") was released on January 1, 2015,[3][4][5][6] and was picked by Billboard K-Town as number five on the K-pop 2015 top list of songs.[7]

Musical style and reception

Keith Ape has been called the "Korean OG Maco" and noted for an exciting concert performance at 2015's South by Southwest rap showcase, among other performances which included Young Thug, Desiigner, Waka Flocka Flame, XXXTentacion, and more.[8] His concert at SOB's in 2015 was listed as one of The New York Times top 40 picks, "unrestrained mayhem", and "a clear inheritor of Southern rap rowdiness".[9]


On February 4, 2015, he was accused by American rapper OG Maco of cultural appropriation.[10] OG Maco claimed Keith Ape and friends had mocked him by using black stereotypes to sell music in their video of "It G Ma". He also claimed that they had plagiarized the basis for their track from his debut single "U Guessed It".[10] As of August 13, 2015, OG Maco collects royalties from "It G Ma", and has since deleted his tweets regarding his accusations of cultural appropriation.[11] Nonetheless, he declined an invitation by Keith Ape to be part of a later remix rendition of "It G Ma".[11]



Title Album details
  • Released: October 12, 2018
  • Label: 88rising
  • Formats: digital download

Collaborative albums

Title Album details
Project: Brainwash
(as Kid Ash with G2)
  • Released: January 22, 2014
  • Label: Luminant Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download


  1. ^ Liu, Marian (August 2, 2017). "Straight outa... China? The young Asian artists bucking hip-hop trends". CNN. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Leonard, Devin (December 5, 2017). "The Man Who Sold the World on Asian Hip-Hop". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kwak, Donnie (July 29, 2015). "Keith Ape Is Ready to Be the World's Next Trap Star". Complex. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "KEITH APE'15 ?". SoundCloud. Retrieved .
  5. ^ (It G Ma), retrieved
  6. ^ Kameir, Rawiya (January 23, 2015). "This Guy In South Korea Is Taking His Obsession With American Rap To The Next Level". The Fader. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Jeff Benjamin; Jessica Oak (December 30, 2015). "The 20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2015". Billboard. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ Kramer, Kyle (March 22, 2015). "The Craziest Rap Show at SXSW Was a Korean Import". Noisey. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ Jon Pareles; Ben Ratliff; Jon Caramanica; Nate Chinendec (December 29, 2015). "All the Best Concerts, of What the Critics Have Seen". Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ a b "American rapper OG Maco accuses Korean rapper Keith Ape of cultural appropriation by copying 'U Guessed It'". Allkpop. February 7, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (August 13, 2015). "Getting Rowdy: Keith Ape and Real Rap in Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016.

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Music Scenes