SG rapper Yung Raja gets surprise publicity from Jimmy Fallon during talk show roast

Singaporean rapper Yung Raja received a shoutout from American talk show host Jimmy Fallon yesterday for his single "Mami". During the "Do Not Play" segment on The Tonight Show, Fallon pulled out the cover of "Mami", which was released in March this year, and roasted the rapper: "Is that a bubble bath? He's wearing a sweatshirt. Maybe it was at spring break with a bunch of buddies." "Do Not Play" is a segment where Fallon disses songs and encourages viewers to avoid them. 

"Sometimes you go, look, you pay US$25, you sleep in a tub. So maybe the picture was taken there, nice hotel though," Fallon added. The show's producers then played a snippet of "Mami", during which Fallon looked rather uninterested. "Now that's how you write a song there," the talk show host said sarcastically later on.

Yung Raja remained unfazed by the diss and thanked Fallon on Twitter for playing his song, excitedly adding that "this is insane". He also reposted the clip on Instagram, saying: "I think Jimmy Fallon is not a big fan of Mami, BUT HELLO WE MADE IT TO THE TONIGHT SHOW." 

Universal Music Singapore's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the song was picked up organically by Fallon and that as a result, Yung Raja's stream numbers jumped nearly 4,000 overnight to more than 583k. His MV views also jumped over 11.7k to 170k overnight. 

According to statistics from Digimind, conversations surrounding "Mami" peaked at 1,016 yesterday, with about 600 authors and a million in reach. Most of the chatter came from Singapore (24%), followed by Malaysia (17%) and the US (3%). The trending keywords were "western friends", "porean rapper yung", "gucci", "fallon", "rapper yung raja", "mami" and "fav moments". Some Twitter users came to Yung Raja's defence, saying that Americans have no issues with Justin Bieber's Yummy or the repetitive chorus of "Gucci Gang" but choose to mock Mami.

The Singaporean rapper made his entry into the US market last October when he signed with US-based label Alamo Records, according to multiple media reports including Esquire Singapore, joining other rappers such as Lil Durk and Smokepurpp. "Mami" is his first song with the label. Yung Raja is also signed to Def Jam Southeast Asia which is under Universal Music Group. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Alamo Records for comment.

Yung Raja rose to prominence in Singapore's music scene over the past few years. He among the seven musicians who performed in the first-ever segment devoted to rap and hip hop during the 2019 National Day Parade. He returned again in 2020 for the National Day online concert. In January this year, Yung Raja performed at The Originals Live during the opening of the adidas Originals store at VivoCity. Meanwhile, last year, he was featured in a VICE International episode titled "Exploring Rapper Yung Raja's Singapore" in which he took viewers through spots in Singapore where he played his first show, his favourite childhood restaurant, and his favourite bar, among other places. He was also co-host of Yo! MTV Raps Asia alongside American DJ Kim Lee for about a year. 

Photo courtesy: Yung Raja's Instagram