Dongheon Lee (이동헌; born December 25, 1993), known professionally as Keith Ape (Korean: 키스 에이프) and previously known as Kid Ash, is a South Korean rapper from Seoul.[3] He is a member of a crew called 'The Cohort'. Ape's breakout single "잊지마" ("It G Ma") was released on January 1, 2015,[3][4][5][6] and was ranked by Billboard K-Town at number five on their list of the Best K-Pop Songs of 2015.[7]

Keith Ape
키스 에이프
Keith Ape performing in 2015
Keith Ape performing in 2015
Background information
Birth nameLee Dong-heon
Also known asKid Ash
Born (1993-12-25) December 25, 1993 (age 29)
Seoul, South Korea
Years active2011–present
Member ofThe Cohort

Musical style and receptionEdit

Keith Ape has been called the "Korean OG Maco" and noted for an exciting concert performance at 2015's South by Southwest rap showcase, among other performances which included Young Thug, Desiigner, Waka Flocka Flame, XXXTentacion, and more.[8] His concert at SOB's in 2015 was listed as one of The New York Times top 40 picks, "unrestrained mayhem", and "a clear inheritor of Southern rap rowdiness".[9]


On February 4, 2015, he was accused by American rapper OG Maco of cultural appropriation.[10] OG Maco claimed Keith Ape and friends had mocked him by using black stereotypes to sell music in their video of "It G Ma". He also claimed that they had plagiarized the basis for their track from his debut single "U Guessed It".[10] As of August 13, 2015, OG Maco collects royalties from "It G Ma", and has since deleted his tweets regarding his accusations of cultural appropriation.[11] Nonetheless, he declined an invitation by Keith Ape to be part of a later remix rendition of "It G Ma".[11]


Extended playsEdit

Title Album details
  • Released: October 12, 2018
  • Label: 88rising
  • Formats: Digital download
Ape Into Space
  • Released: November 8, 2022
  • Label: UnderWater
  • Formats: Digital download

Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details
MOD: Ape's Basics in Time and Play
  • Released: September 20, 2021
  • Label: UnderWater
  • Formats: LP, CD, Digital download
A.A.T (Aquatic Ape Theory) The Lost Tapes
  • Released: October 17, 2022
  • Label: UnderWater
  • Formats: Cassette, Digital download

Collaborative albumsEdit

Title Album details
Project: Brainwash
(as Kid Ash with G2)
  • Released: January 22, 2014
  • Label: Luminant Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, Digital download
(with City Morgue)
  • Released: March 11, 2022
  • Label: Hikari-Ultra, UnderWater
  • Formats: Digital download


  1. ^ Liu, Marian (August 2, 2017). "Straight outa... China? The young Asian artists bucking hip-hop trends". CNN. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  2. ^ Leonard, Devin (December 5, 2017). "The Man Who Sold the World on Asian Hip-Hop". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kwak, Donnie (July 29, 2015). "Keith Ape Is Ready to Be the World's Next Trap Star". Complex. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "KEITH APE'15 ⊕". SoundCloud. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  5. ^ 잊지마 (It G Ma), retrieved December 14, 2015
  6. ^ Kameir, Rawiya (January 23, 2015). "This Guy In South Korea Is Taking His Obsession With American Rap To The Next Level". The Fader. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Jeff Benjamin; Jessica Oak (December 30, 2015). "The 20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2015". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Kramer, Kyle (March 22, 2015). "The Craziest Rap Show at SXSW Was a Korean Import". Noisey. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Jon Pareles; Ben Ratliff; Jon Caramanica; Nate Chinendec (December 29, 2015). "All the Best Concerts, of What the Critics Have Seen". The New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "American rapper OG Maco accuses Korean rapper Keith Ape of cultural appropriation by copying 'U Guessed It'". Allkpop. February 7, 2015. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (August 13, 2015). "Getting Rowdy: Keith Ape and Real Rap in Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2016.