From track & field to swimming/
From the Bird’s Nest (National Stadium) to the Watercube (National Aquatics Center)/
China’s people are realizing an Olympic Dream/
Participating determinedly, achieving victory/
Winning glory for our socialist country/
Our national flag rises above Tian’anmen with the sun
Blogging Beijing has a full interview with In Three, or check out the rap here:
The topics of their rap are not uncommon for China. Chinese rappers do not tend to rhyme about ‘guns and hos’; partly perhaps because they wouldn’t be speaking from any experience, but also for cultural reasons. The current social climate is such that topics tend to centre around daily life – as The Times’ Jane Macartney puts it “the right to party is still controlled by the Party”.
Rap in China is a relatively new phenomenon in China – pop music is dominated with sickly-sweet ballads sung by cute, clean-cut stars. However Bob has been lucky enough to see one Chinese crew spit when Beijing’s Dragon Tongue Squad came to London to play the Royal Opera House. As part of the China Now festival in London – a programme of cultural events leading up to the Olympics – DTS came over and spent a week collaborating with British born Chinese (BBC) artists DJ Phat and Suki Mok.
About the topics of their raps DST’s Kirby Li (aka Verbal Confucius) tell Jane Macartney:
“We have to keep our lyrics real,” Li says. “The life of people in China has nothing to do with drugs, guns or violence but it’s more about how hard it is to find a job and how you feel when your boss curses you or your girl dumps you.”
‘Beijing welcomes you back’ is suitably patriotic and upbeat to fit the profile of an Olympic tune; In Three know that “The Olympics are a business, you know”. But asked about this bringing them global exposure they respond: “Don’t count on it… streets will be blocked, nightclubs shut down. There won’t be hip hop in the Opening Ceremonies.”
Finally, for a historical look at the origins of rap in China see this informative advertisement: