D.C. Rappers Seek Hope In North Korea

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For kids growing up in Southeast Washington, D.C., hope is not always easy to come by. But for Pacman and Peso, two young rappers based in the area, hope has come in the form of a country over 6,000 miles away.

The country, North Korea, is also one of the poorest and most militarized places in the world. Pacman and Peso will be flying there this Saturday to film a music video. Yes, you read that right. By their accounts (and ours, too), no rapper has ever filmed a video there. They believe it will help them become famous, Peso told XXL. They also believe it will get them out of the streets.

This all started when Ramsey Aburdene, the aspiring producer who discovered Pacman and Peso, introduced them to his friend, Michael Bassett, who had been to North Korea multiple times while he was in the military. Bassett was headed back there for a trip and came up with the idea to take Pacman and Peso with him.

“Once he found out our music [and] lyrics were good, [Bassett] was like, ‘Well we might as well take you with us,” Peso said.

Aburdene and Bassett used Kickstarter to promote the trip and with a large amount of public support, including from former D.C. mayor Marion Berry, they were able to raise over $10,000.

Now comes the tough part. Despite leaving on Saturday, the duo has yet to finish recording the song that the video will be promoting (Peso said they were working on it and that it had a reggaeton vibe). There’s also the matter of finding a place to film in North Korea; they’ve only been able to scout places through online videos.

But for Pacman and Peso, it’s not just about the video. This will be the first time the two will fly on an airplane and leave the country. The adventures that await will write a million songs.

“The more closer it get, the more excited I get,” Peso said.

Previously: DC Chillin’:15 DMV Artists You Need to Know