Planet Asia helped jump-start the West Coast independent hip-hop movement, and has solidified himself as one of the most consistent and respected MCs in the game over his 20+ year career. He dropped his debut EP with producer Fanatik in 1998, and followed up quickly with the singles “Definition of Ill” (Stones Throw) and “Place of Birth” (ABB Records). In 2001, The Source Magazine gave him the ‘First Round Draft Pick’ and ‘Independent Album of the Year’ awards for ‘How the West Was One’, which was recorded with fellow CA rapper Rasco under the group name Cali Agents. This landed him a deal with Interscope Records, where he was signed until 2003 without releasing an album.
Planet Asia was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002 for his feature on the song “W” by Mystic, and was later signed to Avatar Records, which released his official debut album, ‘The Grand Opening,’ in 2004. It earned him another ‘Independent Album of the Year’ award from The Source. Later, he started his own imprint Gold Chain Music, on which he has churned out multiple projects. He has also collaborated on albums with the likes of DJ Muggs (‘Pain Language’), Evidence (‘The Medicine’) and Madlib (‘Cracks In The Vinyl’), among others, and released songs with artists such as Linkin Park, Bun B, Talib Kweli and Ghostface Killah.
The Fresno MC is fresh off of a strong 2017 which featured well-received collaborative albums with producers DirtyDiggs (‘Dirty Planet’) and Apollo Brown (‘Anchovies’). For 2018, Asia teamed up with Bay Area producer izznyce for this true solo project, sure to be considered the next classic in his vast catalog.
‘The Golden Buddha’ was produced entirely by izznyce (producer for Superstar Quamallah and more) and features AZ, Hus Kingpin, Turbin, Marvelous Mag, Killa Kali, TriState, Xiomara and The Architect.
Speaking on the project, Planet Asia says: “This album represents the foundation of what Planet Asia is about and that is ‘balance’. Me and izznyce also took our time with the record, and had a chance to really vibe out and make the type of music we personally like that will stand the test of time!”