After becoming a ‘Prince Charming’ with last year’s groundbreaking solo debut, Chinese hip-hop icon Masiwei is back with Dark Horse.

Masiwei, Chinese hip-hop legend and member of the iconic Higher Brothers, has dropped his second solo studio album, Dark Horse, via 88rising. To celebrate the release, which comes just after Valentine’s Day, the rapper also released a music video for the track ‘Little Match Girl’. 

Dark Horse is Masiwei’s second solo endeavor after last year’s Prince Charming, where the iconic rapper — often considered one of the original pioneers of hip-hop in China — reflected on his journey from humble beginnings in Chengdu to crossing borders and coming to the United States. 

On the album, Masiwei carries forward the ethos of his solo debut, drawing parallels between a dark horse and his own journey of success in America as a Chinese artist.

The album, in essence, presents him 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,” as specified in a statement. 

This album is about having patience, passion and enthusiasm,” he said in the press release. “I named it Dark Horse, because I want to be that strong, resilient figure that breaks through in different fields.”

While the 15-track album is largely a solo quest, Masiwei teams up with Adawa and Dragon Pig on the tracks ‘Unexpected Troubles’ and ‘Eyes Don’t Lie’ respectively. 

The rapper announced the album just over a month ago, prefacing it with a music video for his self-produced track ‘Why’. This past Friday, he also teamed up with McDonalds for a special virtual concert in celebration of the Lunar New Year, performing the album live for the first time on the McDonalds app. 

Often credited as the group that paved the way for rap and hip-hop in China, Higher Brothers enjoy a status seldom accorded to musical acts. Throughout their career, the group has become a proponent for Chinese voices, actively contributing to the popularity of the genre in the mainland. 

Check out ‘Little Match Girl’ by Masiwei:

Click to play videoPlay