Hip hop à la hongkongaise


In the interests of flagrant self-promotion, I’m sharing with you my first foray into the world of francophone music pseudo-journalism. Earlier this summer, Bande à part, the excellent web-based indie music radio station, asked me to do a segment on the Hong Kong music scene for their weekly video podcast, L’actualité musicale. I decided to talk about hip hop. My dispatch took the form of an interview and my photos were remixed by DJ Ma; you can find it 10 minutes in.

Cantonese is a particularly good language for rap, thanks to its many tones, nuances and potential for wordplay, and a number of MCs and groups have taken advantage of this, making what people tell me is some very clever music that reflects Hong Kong culture and is often quite critical of the social and political status quo.

Not everyone is happy about the way things are going, though. Some of the underground stalwarts feel that people in Hong Kong have no taste for real, meaningful hip hop, but others feel that the scene is starting to mature into something interesting and influential. Local writer Ben Sin is currently working on a long feature about Hong Kong hip hop for Muse magazine, which I assume will be on newsstands in November; in the meantime, you can peer into Ben’s head on his blog.

For your entertainment, here’s a music video from the sillier end of Hong Kong’s hip hop spectrum, which will mean something to you if you know anything about Hong Kong nightlife.


This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Wednesday September 16 2009at 09:09 am , filed under Asia Pacific, Music, Society and Culture, Video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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