本周的歌曲来自深圳的说唱家JR Fog和Fredii。JR Fog得了2008中国
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MC Young Kin
This week’s song comes from Young Kin, of Beijing’s Yin Tsang, featuring Big Dog, formerly of Wuhan’s No Fear Family. In “为什么,” or weishenme, which is Mandarin for “Why,” Young Kin and Big Dog question many of the restrictions and inequalities they find in modern Chinese society. “Why” is a politically charged song that came out right before the beginning of the Beijing Olympics. It touches upon issues that range from freedom of expression, to the One-Child policy, to the right to congregate, to ethnic inequalities. With unique flows and strong lyricism, Young Kin and Big Dog have succeeded in creating a provocative anthem for Chinese youth.
本周的歌来自北京隐藏的Young Kin，feat. 来自武汉No Fear Family前员的大狗.
在“为什么,” Young Kin和Big Dog 说到现代中国社会普遍的限制和不平等的现象.
北京奥运开摸之前发布了，“为什么,” 这个充满政治色彩的一首歌发布了; 它涉及的问题
强烈的歌词,Young Kin和Big Dog成功地证明“为什么”谈到的内容.
Click here to read what Young Kin has to say about his song "Why."
"Why" by Young Kin featuring Big Dog
One Love, One Heart,
Let's get together and feel all right,
As it was in the beginning,
So shall it be in the end,
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right . . .
- Bob Marley
In the video, “What is Hip Hop?”, many Chinese artists said the power of Hip Hop lies in its ability to bring people together. People, who perhaps may not otherwise have reason or opportunity to, can bond over the mutual enjoyment of music, dance and art. For Hip Hop artists, the connection can be even deeper as they also have the shared experience of living a Hip Hop lifestyle in Chinese society. As they face similar struggles and have the same goal - to develop Hip Hop culture - many artists have called for the Hip Hop community to unite. Some have organized local and national UNITY or Da Tuanjie (大团结) parties and performances, while others have established online networks and artistic collectives. While these community-building activities have been successful, there is much criticism of both the UNITY parties and the Da Tuanjie movement. Both are undermined by conflict, in Hip Hop jargon - beef. How the Hip Hop community responds to these concurrent issues will be telling for the future growth of Chinese Hip Hop. Furthermore, the influence of unity and discord are especially relevant to China today.
Unity in Chinese Hip Hop
UNITY or Da Tuanjie parties began in the city of Guangzhou in 2007. They were first organized by Guangzhou crew Dumdue and, later by Hiphop.CN. The March UNITY party was held in Guangzhou and included performances from Beijing’s In3 and Kunming’s Co Op Sol. In May, the party was held in Beijing and included performances from Beijing’s Long Jing (龙井) and Xi An’s Luan Zhan Men (乱战门). Both events were highly attended by Hip Hop fans and artists, and they accomplished their objective of both throwing a great party and also promoting the unification of the Hip Hop community.
On the local level, efforts towards unification include organizing parties, performances and events, collaborating on songs, and forming online communities. In Kunming, Hip Hop artists are just starting to organize da tuanjie events with BBoy Crew KGS, BGirl crew KLT, rappers Co Op Sol and Green Clan, and DJ DSK all performing together. In Guangzhou, several rap crews worked together to produce a Guangzhou anthem titled “Guangzhou Rules”. In Xinjiang, artists share their work and Hip Hop news on the community website www.xjrap.com. These projects all serve to create and strengthen relationships between artists, to encourage them to pursue their artistic path, and to gain recognition of their existence and accomplishments.
On the national level, besides Da Tuanjie parties, artists also use the Internet as a forum to communicate and collaborate on projects. Hiphop.CN is the perfect example, a website and a company dedicated to building the national Chinese Hip Hop community. Hiphop.CN is often also a co-organizer of Da Tuanjie events. Many artists also create nation-wide informal networks or lianmeng (联盟), similar to the Native Tongues Posse or the Quannum Collective. Such networks provide support and strengthen individuals through association with other crews in China.
The vast majority of Hip Hop artists agree that, whether on the local or national level, Hip Hop artists in China should unify. Although, they vastly differ on the best method – focusing on just your city, creating a mainstream Hip Hop star and capitalizing on their popularity, establishing nationwide underground networks, etc. The question then becomes not whether or not unification is something that should happen, but whether or not it can happen.
Ever since the Tupac and Notorious BIG murders, the subject of "beef" has been popular in Hip Hop journalism and academic writing. "Beef" is a grudge between two individuals or a crew of Hip Hop artists. "Beef" is often settled through competition. Rappers "beef" by making dis tracks, criticizing their opponents lack of skills and championing their own talent. Bboys break against their rivals and writers write over their opponents tags. Audiences often decided who made the better track, busted the better move, or threw up the better tag, and that should settle the beef. However, today, "beef" is too often settled by violence. Many critique how beef is exploited by the industry and artists and hyped by the media to the benefit of sales and the detriment of communities and individuals. Though this is a very important critique, it does not relieve the necessity to talk about conflict, competition and violence in Hip Hop. Hip Hop is as competitive as it is creative and promotes as much aggression as love.
Wuhan's Special King Crew - Winners of Best Team Routine at Shanghai's OTS
This past weekend we attended the three-day On The Stage (OTS) Hip Hop dance Competition at Dino Beach in Shanghai. OTS was organized by Stanly Wong, the founder and director of Shanghai’s Dragon Dance Studio. Stanly has been dancing for almost twenty years and has been very influential not only in the development of Hip Hop dance, but in the development of Chinese Hip Hop culture in general. To quote Shanghai rapper Tang King of Red Star: “Stanly, he is REAL Hip Hop.” And with students traveling all the way from Xinjiang to study with him (such as Purcat, the leader of Urumqi’s DSP Crew and Ha Shan, the leader of Karamai’s Dancekid Crew), praise for Stanly can still be heard far away from Shanghai.
Which means…when Stanly Wong holds a Hip Hop Dance Competition, Chinese Hip Hop dancers show up. Dancers and dance crews traveled from all over China to compete in OTS’s three main events:
Individual Battle, (click here for Individual Battle video)
Team Battle, (click here for Team Battle video)
and Team Routine Competition. (click here for Team Routine video)
The individual battles were divided into four categories, New Style, Funk Style, Girl’s Freestyle and Breaking, with each winner receiving a prize of 10,000 RMB (approx. $1,500 USD).
New Style: Cheng Jie of Hangzhou
Funk Style: Huang Jingxing of Beijing
Girl’s Freestyle: Zhao Qian of Shanghai
Breaking: Wu Yaofeng of Shanghai
Guangzhou’s Speed Crew won the Team Battle Competition, and Wuhan’s Special King Crew won for best Team Routine; each team received a prize of 15,000 RMB, approx. $2,250.
In addition to bringing out Chinese Hip Hop dancers from all over the country, the OTS Competition was judged by a panel of premier International Hip Hop artists, including Ken Swift of the USA’s Rock Steady Crew, break-dancers O-Hashi and ISOPP of Japan, and New Style dancers Meech and Clara of France.
Check out the highlights from the 2008 OTS Hip Hop Dance Competition by clicking the links above.
This week’s song is a collaboration between two groups from the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang Province – Free Soul and Soul Clap. It is serendipitous that both of their names have the word “soul”, as soulful is exactly how I would describe this song.
Free Soul is an all-female group that formed a little over one year ago. They sing and rap in English, Uyghur and Mandarin. Their voices are already so strong (the influence of their idol Christina Aguilera can certainly be heard) that people doubt they sing their own songs!
Soul Clap is an all-male group that is also multilingual, rapping in English, Mandarin, Uyghur and Russian. Their self-produced tracks mirror their linguistic diversity ranging from melodic love songs to hardcore rap songs. “Lil Luv” is a perfect example of the former and talks about . . . well . . . young love.
本周的歌曲来自两个乌鲁木齐的团体－Free Soul和Soul Clap。真巧他们俩的名字都含有“soul”这个字。我觉得他们的音乐很有灵魂。Free Soul，一个女生团体，是大概一年前组合的。她们用英文，维语和普通话唱歌。她们的声音已经那么强，有时听众怀疑她们是真的在唱歌。（难怪其中一个影响是Christina Aguilera。）Soul Clap，一个男生团体也用好多语言唱歌，包括英文，普通话，维语和俄语。他们是自己作曲，风格也很丰富。他们有情歌，比较硬核的歌，等等。“Lil Luv”好代表他们的情歌。