Kea Sokun worked at a local labor rights NGO and now plans to continue writing songs. (Jack Brook/VOD)

Cambodian Rap’s Beaten-Down Social Conscience

Many young Cambodian rappers are steering clear of social commentary in their lyrics, making artists like Kea Sokun part of a small cohort of musicians rapping about social justice and economic inequity, though laden with nationalistic overtones.

Rapper Kea Sokun, 22, takes part in a cleansing ceremony outside his house in Siem Reap following his release from prison on September 3, 2021. (Jack Brook/VOD)

Rapper Kea Sokun Released From Jail, No Regrets

After a year in prison on an incitement conviction for his music, 22-year-old rapper Kea Sokun was released from a Siem Reap prison on Friday and returned home with no regrets about his songs or his refusal to apologize for the lyrics in court.

Rapper Kea Sokun. (Sokun Club)

Young Rapper Found Guilty of Incitement, Jailed for 12 Months

A 22-year-old musician who rapped nationalist lyrics about “the bravery to stand up” has been found guilty of incitement and jailed for 12 months, while an underage collaborator who apologized in court was handed a suspended sentence and freed.