At the moment I’m listening to a Rap/Hip-Hop Mixtape in Chinese [download link here], but here’s the thing about Rap. It does nothing for me if I can’t understand it. I don’t understand Chinese (Mandarin or Chinese or Hakka or Shanghainese or Taiwanese, etc), so while I’m listening to this mixtape, I can’t connect — this doesn’t happen in other genres. At least doesn’t happen to me. I can still find a way to connect to the music.
Then there’s the whole “I don’t like Rap or Hip-Hop,” it’s not like I hate the genre — I don’t — it’s just too much bitches and hoes for me to sit down and listen. If I go through the over 300 artists in my iPod (over 600 albums), I can only find Eminem, Lauryn Hill, Dr. Dre and Sal ‘N Pepa (though just one or two tracks by the last two). What does that say about me? I really like Lauryn Hill’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill… I also listen to Erykah Badu, The Fugees and I also own a Wyclef album xD I tried listening to Kanye and Lil Wayne, but couldn’t stand them…
Anyway, I ran into this blog (now, not active) that talks a little bit about Hip-Hop in China — DonTing08 — The blog contains some interesting posts on the music scene, the song of the week and Hip-Hop culture. In one of the posts, the author gives her thoughts on an article on the New York Times titled “Now Hip-Hop, Too, Is Made in China.” In a response, the author quotes;
Concerning the current state of Chinese hip hop in the mainstream I agree with Brendan. Jay Chou’s appearance on CCTV’s 新年晚会 sums it up quite nicely. It’s garbage and so is most of the underground hip hop. Why? Because most Chinese hip hop fans only listen to the music of a rap record but are oblivious to the lyrical content, which does not allow them to understand hip hop culture comprehensively. Naturally a Chinese kid, who does not speak English and tries to make a rap song that sounds just like the one he just heard at MIX (Beijing’s most popular hip hop club) will say “Make it rain” without knowing that the phrase entails poring dollar bills on a stripper.
and then writes;
The audience has no understanding of the development of Hip Hop and the music industry in general to appreciate the significance of pop-rap and Jay Chou as compared to In3. The paragraphs on In3 and Jay Chou are also too sparse. Also, unlike the article suggests, I’ve read nothing to suggest that Jay Chou considers himself to be a rapper now and I do not think Jay Chou and In3 fans are mutually exclusive.
I also hardly think that Jay Chou considers himself a rapper, and any of his fans that consider him a rapper should think about it a little more. I think Jay Chou’s strength lies in his Zhongguo Feng style songs, at least for me. I don’t really care about his more R&B tracks that are supposed to be danceable.
However, I do enjoy LeeHom’s music. I never would have imagined that Hip-Hop and Rap could combine with Beijing Opera. LOL I really dig the whole combination, and it’s the main reason I listen to him. I doubt I would if he were just doing straight Hip-Hop, or straight R&B.
On an unrelated topic, but similar nonetheless~ AfterEllen.com wonders about female rappers on the post titled Women rappers stay under the radar. And yeah, you hardly see any female rappers out there… at least on the radio or MTV. You only need to see what’s the target market for Hip-Hop (or any genre) music nowadays — young people. Rappers sing about bitches, hoes and bling because rappers are the new rock stars. Teenage boys grow up wanting to get their own entourage and have their own bitches and hoes. Everything in the music industry has become banal… Rock, Rap, Pop and Punk~~~ no one is safe. LOL
Anyway, you can’t have a female rapper singing about bitches and hoes, so the industry just doesn’t bother with it. Rap music is overly macho, while the Pop music scene suffers from the gayness of it all. You get dozens of females solo pop stars, over-sexualized lolitas in skimpy innocent outfits, while the guys are just as easily labeled with the “GAY” tag.
Music is an effed up business.