Hip-hop China

First take a look at the article, and then read a blogger tear it apart, syllable by syllable. Quite hilarious. Totally merciless.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 29 Comments

So, the NYT tried to make a Dynamite Hack wannbe look like NWA? :P

January 28, 2009 @ 4:35 am | Comment

uuuuuuuuuuuggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

more low american culture poisoning the world

January 28, 2009 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

Are they saying the PRC Chinese lack freedom of expression or creativity? On the latter I am furious in meetings with marketing/PR professionals who are pure foreigners and some returnees who have basically claimed, “locals have no ability to think creatively in marketing.” ‘Heard that in 3 different languages, bascially the same message from 6 different professionals.

I argue that’s simply not possible to be true. These rappers are followers. Their not an argument about Chinese ingenuity.

So much of what’s happening in the market these day has to do with what my former European CEO called the “BPC” (before PC) generation. Now, it’s about what I call the “BAI” (=before addicted to internet) generation.

Well, the BAI generation is more here in China than it is anywhere else except perhaps equal to (not countries, just a few venues), such as Seoul, Tokyo, Bangalore and Silicon Valley. NYC doesn’t qualify, you can find a forum to bitch, scream, find love or sell your soul without any shame at any age!

As a company CFO, I am only trying to find ONE marketing person who says, “I can promise you this # of new clients (and give me a range of minimum and maximum result) from the Beijing (not even China) market within a specified time-span.

All we are doing is keeping skin young in a serious American medical practice in the healthiest manner here in Beijing. 10% of our Chinese clients are all celebrities. 80%+ of our clients are expats. http://www.cmsclinic.com. And there is NO competition.

So, this should be the easiest marketing task for a taxi “shi fu” or …. why can’t a “marketing expert with 30 years experience” figure that one out?

I guess the same reason lazy journalists are still writing idiotic stories about the lack of creativity on the music scene here.

Last bit on the music scene, when was the last time we saw anything remotely creative in the Western music scene?

Date me, but … Sinead, Prince… to some extent Cyndi?

XoXoX…to the Duck, Here’s to the year of the Bull

January 28, 2009 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

This NYT article missed one critical factor in its analysis of the sorry state of Chinese hip-hop. The absence of groupies in China.

If you can’t get laid constantly, what’s the point to become a hip-hop musician?

January 29, 2009 @ 1:03 am | Comment

Bill, that is borderline comment spam, don’t you think? Not a marketing technique I would recommend!

About the perfect marketing person who can promise to increase business, let me just say this: Every business on earth is looking to boost revenues/customer base, It is a long, never-ending, often expensive process involving building loyalty, offering incentives, differentiating your product/brand, etc. Any marketer who makes guarantees or says he has a magic wand is lying to you.

That is about as off-topic as I can imagine a thread going.

January 29, 2009 @ 1:11 am | Comment

Hahaha

That’s one of the strangest comment I’ve read here. And God knows I normally get the first prize for those…

January 29, 2009 @ 1:24 am | Comment

I give a nod to Richard for putting the number crunching expat boob in his place. I imagine him aping the line from “Trading Places”: “Get out there and sell! Sell! Sell!”
Basically managers like that want people to string themselves up with their own rope. Those same managers have no ability to lead and motivate people, only flog them, and that is a big reason why they are sent to developing markets.

As for the lack of creativity in Chinese hip hop, the best rap has always been angry political/social rap (NWA, Public Enemy, Dolomite, Boogie Down Productions, Gangstarr, Ice Cube, Queen Latifah) or party and sexually oriented rap (LL Cool J, UTFO, Run DMC, Fat Boys, Skinny Boys, The Real Roxanne and pretty much the entire new generation of rappers)

And we already know what the official line on anything political and sexual is.

So, China is stuck with sugar pop, sugar crooners, sugar punk and sugar rap. You’d think there’d be a major cavity epidemic in China.

January 29, 2009 @ 1:42 am | Comment

pretty much anyone can learn how to program a drum machine, sample someone else’s music and create a loop. there can be some creativity involved, but the bar is rather low. that being said the finest jazz rock fusion musicians can make some extremely complicated elevator music requiring a virtuoso to perform.

mp3s, itunes, drum machinese have affected music in a profound way. is it the end of music? i don’t know. maybe there will be a backlash when the chinese hip hop kids are in their 30 and 40s to rediscover traditional forms and learn how to play real musical instruments.

my guitar teacher said the arrival of the beatles in the early 60′s pretty much killed the live music industry, prior to that every tiny town in america had several dance bands that provided employment for people who actually played musical instruments as opposed to spinning beatles records for the high school dance.

it would be an interesting sociological study to analyze the relationship between technology, music, and culture in american and other societies over the last 100 years. there was a time when music was something individuals in small communities and groups made themselves and shared with others. now music is something packaged and purchased as a commodity by people who mostly do not make their own music anymore.

January 29, 2009 @ 1:51 am | Comment

I prefer the term “saccharine”, real sugar is even too much to describe most of the the music here.

Anybody watched the new year’s eve gala? It was an epic moment of tackiness.

January 29, 2009 @ 1:54 am | Comment

Please delete the double post, I hate Witopia.

January 29, 2009 @ 1:55 am | Comment

Which are the CH characters for Hip-Hop? Cannot find :-(

;-)

January 29, 2009 @ 2:45 am | Comment

说唱 (rap) or 嘻哈(hip hop) ?

Did you read the article ecodelta ?

January 29, 2009 @ 2:56 am | Comment

Sorry, didnt notice charcaters.

January 29, 2009 @ 3:04 am | Comment

To nanheyangrouchuan:

I’m banned from posting on Shanghaiist but just wanted to let you know that Zhu Haiyang was holding Yang Xin’s head in his hand when police arrived at Virginia Tech; it never hit the ground.

I was going to post this in the “open thread” below but it’s closed.

January 29, 2009 @ 7:41 am | Comment

Ichabod, there’s an open thread right below this post. Thanks for enlightening us about Yang Xin’s head.

January 29, 2009 @ 10:09 am | Comment

I think Lindel nailed the bull’s eye.

“there was a time when music was something individuals in small communities and groups made themselves and shared with others.”

That time goes back at least through the Renaissance … and probably goes back to the advent of singing and instrument-making.

I see two main culprits.

Ironically, the technology that has made music so much easier and convenient to enjoy, has, in the process, cheapened it to omnipresent “background noise”.

And the forces of modern, mass-consumption economics, in a ceaseless quest to commoditize every possible thing of value, transformed personal participation in music in the same way that personal correspondence was transformed into pre-printed commercial greeting cards.

I wonder if Richard still sings Wagner arias, or if he now samples Wagner mp3s into “mash-ups”? :-)

January 29, 2009 @ 11:53 am | Comment

Slim, you are so brilliant, and as usual manage to get right to the heart of the issue. Omnipresent background noise – I like that. And no, I still enjoy Wagner the old-fashioned way.

January 29, 2009 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

Yeah Lindel that would be an interesting study.. My opinion is that culture in general is something that should be done in the community, like dancing and stuff, why did people stop dancing? Probly materialism…

I heard that the Chinese character for medicine is the same as the one for music..

I think hip hop and stuff is a vary base way of expressing oneself… It’s just expressive talking and I find it grating, but it’s good if people want to express themselves and think about stuff.

I saw a funny video at CDT, the old ladies in China are bustin the moves in hip hop dance classes and there was a rap contest where the two guys just insulted eachother in rhyme (not sure if it rhymed) so that was really stupid.

I find it really bad that they’re taking the band and music and stuff like that out of schools, that kind of stuff is fun and gives you really good exercise and expression and makes kids feel accomplished and happy… I was really happy when I learned that I could actually play an instrument well and the inner exercise is really neat and the sound is cool, and it’s fun to play music with other people.

I wonder if that alternative quality of life survey from that Asian country (??sorry??) includes anything about cultural expression and art…

video ( I only watched the last one : http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/01/video-naked-china/

January 29, 2009 @ 12:33 pm | Comment

And the forces of modern, mass-consumption economics, in a ceaseless quest to commoditize every possible thing of value, transformed personal participation in music in the same way that personal correspondence was transformed into pre-printed commercial greeting cards.

Yet another reason why American “cultural products” need to be outright banned. Following a ban, there should be a huge pyre in every major city where (c)rap cds, lyrics, hip-hop related clothing and other assorted garbage are burned out of China’s psyche.

January 29, 2009 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

Ferin, you really are a fascist, aren’t you? Somebody else used to talk about burning the books and shops of Jews and eradicating them from his country’s soil as if they were a bacillus. You sound a bit like him. Seriously.

January 29, 2009 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

Ferin has also used the term “subhuman” more than once. And do you remember what he had to say about mixed marriages on a thread here not too long ago? I think we are getting a picture here.

January 29, 2009 @ 5:28 pm | Comment

Good point. I can see him salivating at the idea of ethnic cleansing. Blood & Soil, all the way!

January 29, 2009 @ 5:37 pm | Comment

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January 30, 2009 @ 3:06 pm | Pingback

Ferin, you really are a fascist, aren’t you? Somebody else used to talk about burning the books and shops of Jews and eradicating them from his country’s soil as if they were a bacillus. You sound a bit like him. Seriously.

Except hip hop isn’t a peoples. It’s garbage that should be incinerated, like a mound of dog doo.

February 1, 2009 @ 6:40 pm | Comment

Surprisingly, we do share a common point of view here bum loving scum raider. Although I am not advocating an extremist point of view similar to the third Reich, I also tend to think that the Hip Hop culture is garbage. For most of it, the values that it’s promoting are in my opinion, mostly all wrong.

Really, how can’t we bow in front of such elegant poetry. Thanks to Lil’ Wayne.

Some song’s title excepts:

Real Shit
Play That Shit
Fuck
Bitch Please
Shut Up Bitch Swallow
Pop That Pussy
She Lick Me Like A Lollipop
Nymphos
Alphabet Bitches

Very inspiring…

February 1, 2009 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

That is actually relatively tame stuff

February 1, 2009 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

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February 2, 2009 @ 4:31 am | Pingback

Well, I wrote a lot of the music and engineered the first propppa rap disc in Mandarin, it was all a bit of laugh really, but be assured at no time did I sample anyone else’s music and virtually no preset sounds were used, like it or loath it, that was 6 years ago. No news is bad news, so its good to see its controversial.

beijingbass@yahoo.com

July 15, 2009 @ 4:28 am | Comment

Zhong Cheng is an egotistical cock like the rest of them. They get to be the dancing monkey for westerners and are viewed as more bizarre than even close to interesting.

December 7, 2010 @ 8:53 am | Comment

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