Hip-Hop Busts Out in China

Youths find freedom through rap
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2009 1:30 PM CDT
American-born-Chinese rapper MC Jin poses for a photograph during an interview with the Associated Press, Tuesday, Aug 12, 2008 in Hong Kong, China.   (AP Photo/Jerome Favre)
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(Newser) – You might not expect to hear freestyle rapping in Mandarin, but that sound is growing in China as youths grab hold of the outlet hip-hop offers, Time reports. “This music is free and creative. We can say what we want,” says one rapper. “There are no restrictions.” Even so, another artist points out, “the main concern is social stability. I can’t say anything that gets close to politics.”

Hip-hop is creating a common language shared by expatriates and locals, foreigners and natives. One radio show featuring up-and-coming Chinese DJs has grown to 10 million listeners and is syndicated in 85 cities, but the Chinese-American host says survival as a freestyler is still a concern among young artists: “They’ve seen people in the states get rich doing it. Nobody here’s gotten rich or famous doing it.”