24/01/2009

Hip Hop from...China

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Something a bit out of the norm now people. This probably isn't a topic that gets special mentions in hop hop mags all year round...but it caught our (and the NYT's) attention, and most importantly shows the global essence of hip hop (and that's cool).

Chinese hip hop (or "shuochang" as it's called in Chinese) appears to be going though an "underground" struggle to emerge from the darkness. Government censorship, pop stars claiming to be rappers and a desire for free self expression are some of the elements of the Chinese hip hop saga.

It's interesting, and it does remind me of the early days of hip hop in other countries. It is debatable whether the Chinese language works in rapped verses, but everyone has the right to drop rhymes in their own language...(and we've heard all kinds of stuff, from Finnish to Croatian).

Below is the track that kicked off Chinese underground hip hop, "In Beijing" by Yin Ts'ang. A very very simple yet catchy beat with energetic rhymes over it. Unfortunately, no idea about the lyrics, and it's miles away from world class hip hop. Some will hate, some will love...but I definitely can't say it's not a good start...

What next?


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