Localized “YO! MTV Raps” Series Greenlit for Southeast Asia, in addition to UK, Germany and Africa

Special, limited edition return of YO! delivers 20 new localized episodes produced around the world

SINGAPORE —SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 –  MTV International announced today that the global youth brand greenlit local versions of its legendary hip-hop franchise “YO! MTV Raps” for Southeast Asia, UK, Germany and Africa. 


Like the original, each localized “YO!” will be a destination for current and new fans to discover the best in rap music and hip hop culture. Reinvented for the current generation of hip hop fans around the world, each international “YO!” will be anchored by two local presenters and feature regional emerging artists, in-studio and remote custom performances (YO! Originals), as well as special segments that tell unique stories and discover compelling people and trends within each local hip hop scene.


“YO! MTV Raps” UK will debut on September 25th, 2018 with the Southeast Asian, German and African launches slated to rollout into 2019.


The multi-territory “YO!” expansion follows MTV’s June livestream of the “YO! MTV Raps” 30th Anniversary Experience that brought together an epic all-star lineup of hip hop legends at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY; as well as MTV Asia’s “YO! MTV Raps” special which also aired in June featuring 11 Asian hip-hop artists from Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The top performing 5-artist Cypher* video garnered over 1.2 million video views in Southeast Asia.


Jessi’s performance on “YO! MTV Raps Special”, premiered on 19 June 2018


“Our reimagined YO! MTV Raps series will celebrate all aspects of hip hop culture and the global force it has become.  Music will of course be at the heart of each episode,” said Bruce Gillmer, global head of music and talent, Viacom and co-brand head, MTV International. “Relaunching this legendary franchise with local perspectives will give today’s generation of hip hop lovers a fresh platform to share their passion and love for hip hop all over the world.”

“It was a thrilling ride to produce the power-packed “YO! MTV Raps” special in Asia. Now, we’re really stoked to expand on that, going into a localized series for music fans in Southeast Asia. This is our take on the genre, the Asian lens into hip hop, and we want it to be vocal, passionate and original. It is exciting to take this across MTV’s platforms – TV, digital and social. With multiple fan touch points, we hope to provide a voice for Asian hip-hop culture, and a deserving spotlight to Asian hip-hop artists,” said Abhishek K Rao, Senior Director, MTV Brand, Southeast Asia.


After its debut 30 years ago on August 6, 1988, “YO! MTV Raps” became the premiere destination for all things hip hop. The advent of the series was crucial to the rise of rap music, and created a global passion for the genre and greater hip hop culture, which has since become the most dominant force in mainstream music and pop culture worldwide.


Additional detail and talent for each local series will be announced at a later date.


* cypher or cipher is an informal gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or break-dancers in a circle, in order to jam musically together. 





About MTV

MTV is the leading youth media brand inspired by music, in nearly 180 countries and 450 million homes around the world, connecting with over 350 million fans across all social media platforms.  A unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), MTV operations span cable and mobile networks, live events, theatrical films and new MTV Studios unit which produces new and reimagined content for SVOD and Linear platforms based on MTV’s library of over 200+ youth titles and franchises. For more information about MTV in Asia, visit


Press Contacts:


Adeline Ong

Vice President, Corporate and Brand Communications, Asia Pacific

Viacom International Media Networks

t: (65) 6420 7240


Eunice Nicole Lim

Manager, Communications, Southeast Asia

Viacom International Media Networks 

t: (65) 6420 7298 m: (65) 8102 1005

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About ViacomCBS Networks Asia

ViacomCBS Networks International, a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC), is comprised of many of the world’s most iconic consumer brands. Its portfolio includes Network 10, Channel 5, Telefe, Viacom International Studios, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network and Pluto TV among others. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS Networks International provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents and across more than 180 countries. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit, and the Viacom Twitter feed at