amw (amw) wrote,

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中国新说唱's not-so-subtle emphasis on the 新

I haven't read any hot takes in the English language press about this season's Rap Of China. I guess the novelty is gone now. The big topics of late are Luckin Coffee, climate change, the return of Google and the trade war.

So here's my hot take as a foreigner who is still trying to keep up with the talking heads segments, much less follow the lyrical content of the performances. This year's storyline is less about scrappy former gangsters becoming surprise hits on streaming sites while the Party scrambles to figure out what its stance on hip-hop should be. This year you can feel the weight of the censors keeping things harmonious.

Perhaps i am reading too much into it, but when three of the top 12 rappers are all from Xinjiang province, and at least one of them is an ethnic Uyghur who uses the catchphrase "i'm made in China", i feel the producers are deliberately going for a nationalist storyline. Don't get me wrong, those Xinjiang rappers are dope as fuck. Two of them in particular have amazing flow and definitely deserve their spots. But it feels suspicious that an entire province with less people in it than the city of Shanghai could have such a strong representation in a country with well over a billion people.

Then again, Hong Kong and Taiwan are even less populated than Xinjiang and they dominated the Chinese-language entertainment world for years.

It's kind of amusing that the judges on this show are Taiwanese Aboriginal, Taiwanese Han, Hongkonger and one Guangdong guy who grew up in Canada then became a K-pop idol. It's like... is there anyone from the inner provinces who makes any music at all?

Which, of course there is.

I am feeling a bit strange. Exhausted from work. Disinclined to do anything. So, pretty much the usual weekend for me.

Except this weekend i got an email from my mom saying she has cancer and is about to start chemo. So that's a thing. I feel like i should feel something but i don't. I am just tired.
Tags: china, tv

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