China’s rap scene is evidently ‘too obscene.’
The Communist Party aims to ban ‘subversive’ hip-hop acts and ‘rappers with tattoos’ on Chinese TV. LoL!
China’s Communist Party, in all its guile and good taste, has just gone full retard in its heavy-handed attempt to restrict hip-hop artists performing on the mainland’s airwaves. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT), recently issued another raft of draconian regs for media outlets and TV broadcasters, prohibiting “actors with tattoos” and railing against the “depiction of hip hop culture” on-screen. Here are the newest, totally nutty guidelines called “The 4 Don’t Rules”:
1. Absolutely do not use actors whose heart and morality are not aligned with the party and whose morality is not noble
2. Absolutely do not use actors who are tasteless, vulgar and obscene
3. Absolutely do not use actors whose ideological level is low and have no class
4. Absolutely do not use actors with stains, scandals and problematic moral integrity
Hip-hop has been on a tear lately in China. Throngs of songwriters, emcees, artists and performers — locals as well as international acts (many overseas Chinese have flocked to the mainland to make a name for themselves as musicians) — are creating a vibrant scene in cities like Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chongqing and elsewhere.
Last year, an experimental Chinese music show called ‘The Rap of China’ – 中国有嘻哈 (broadcast in Mandarin – below) proved to be insanely popular. The producers spent boatloads on the branding and content development (it was China’s most expensive show in 2017) and generated over 2.5 billion views as well as an endless gush of commentary across the PRC’s social media platforms like Sina Weibo and WeChat.
Minting stars like VaVa, a super-sexy punked-up songstress, Kris Wu (a host), Higher Brothers (an act now censured by the PRC’s overlords for touting “taboo” topics and sporting “hooligan” tattoos), PG One and GAI (a Chinese spitter who references the seedier aspects of life, including sex, drugs, crime, and sassy subliminal messaging that makes the CCP nervous), ‘The Rap of China’ is now aggressively filtered by the state’s crusty old thought police, the SAPPRFT. The authorities promptly cancelled numerous concerts and collabs and rebuked dozens of risqué rappers.
The grungy-looking GAI (the authorities detest him in China) has apparently been removed from Hunan TV’s competition show ‘Singer 2017’ (clips of the artist were pulled from the station’s official channel without explanation, although he still appears in a few of the show’s online teasers), while VaVa (below) was reportedly nixed from the program ‘Happy Camp’ altogether. Triple H, an underground rap crew, had their music removed from streaming sites, while a streetstyle-clad contestant on ‘Super Brain’ (a program that showcases Chinese nerds and academic overachievers) had his “gangster-style” gold chain ghosted out. China’s Foreign Ministry also warned Chinese Students and Scholars Associations in the U.S., E.U. and Australia to avoid booking rappers in their upcoming Spring Festival shows.
Anyway, for a country that fancies itself the ‘the next cultural superpower’, China’s Orwellian officials had better wise up to the notion of ‘soft power’ and ways to incubate and propagate subtle modes of influence. Coined by the doyen of international relations Joseph Nye in 1990, ‘soft power’ is all about the organic cultivation of mutual advantage and trust. That means open and unfettered interaction between brands, musical acts, artists and media. Period. By banning tatted out rappers with grillz and torpedoing cool creatives, the state — in all its infinite wisdom and omniscience — will in the end undermine its authority and legitimacy. Duh. Now go stream GAI – 周延, PG One – 王昊, and our girl VaVa here. Waaaa.
VIVISXN MEDIA – Music + Pop Culture + Crazy Shit in China + International Relations + 中国有嘻哈