Notorious MSG is a performing trio of Asian American rappers founded in 2002 in Chinatown, Manhattan, New York City. Their songs feature lyrics about gangster lifestyles and Chinese food and boasting innuendos regarding women. Their group name is a parody of Brooklyn rapper The Notorious B.I.G., with "MSG" referring to monosodium glutamate, a sodium additive commonly used in Americanized East Asian cuisines.
Notorious MSG started in stories for themselves to explain their reasons for forming the group. According to this story, they all met in the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant in which they worked, but decided middle class origin, pointing to evidence which includes a reference to Cornell University in one of their songs.
Hong Kong Fever: The ringleader; from Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong; worked as a waiter.,
Down-Lo Mein: (or D-Lo), the "Yellow Gigolo". From Ping-tun, Taiwan; worked as a cook.,
Futomaki: One of the original members; had to leave the group due to the deportation by the INS in 2003; from Japan; worked as a cook.,
Funky Buddha: (September 8, 1973 -- October 2, 2005). Real name Benson Lam. Replaced Futomaki; mainland China; worked as a dishwasher; according to the news and the group's story, was killed outside of a restaurant in Chinatown in a drive-by shooting.,
The Hunan Bomb: The Killing Machine, Replaced Funky Buddha after Funky Buddha's untimely death; from Inchon, South Korea; used to make a living as an underground fighter.,
Noodles, drummer and lover of big, beautiful ladies. From Hiroshima, Japan.,
Billy D. Wang, guitarist and self-proclaimed expert on meditation and stress relief. From Hollywood, Florida.,
Mr. Lucky, bass guitarist and ladies' man. Also from Japan.,
Angus Wong, highly respected godfather of Chinatown.,
In 2006, PRI's The World reported that the trio was in negotiations with Comedy Central to develop a series.
Notorious MSG's website had a few singles for download. Their first cut, "Wok the Party", was received with mediocre fanfare. Shortly thereafter, they released three singles (such as Chinatown Hustler) that showed their potential for splicing rhymes to background beats, and garnered much popularity.
In 2003 and 2004 Notorious MSG started to give small, organized concerts, generally to a few hundred people at any given time. One of their earliest performances was given at Rutgers University. Their first West Coast performance, given in February 2005, just outside of Los Angeles, was part of a night of Asian-themed stand up comedy.
They performed on August 4 and 5 at the Vans Warped Tour 2007 (Nassau Coliseum and Raceway Park, NJ).
In recent years, the Notorious MSG has also performed in various music venues in New York City, such as Bowery Ballroom, CBGB's (just before it closed), Santos Party House and Brooklyn Bowl.
After concerts they stay around to mingle with the audience, sign autographs and have their pictures taken. The members stay in character during and after the event.