Shanghai is in need of a Musical Revolution

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What is Hip Hop?

It’s Rakim,

It’s Run DMC

It’s Talib Kweli.

What is Hip Hop in Eastern Asia?

It’s nebulous,

It’s misrepresented

It’s Black Eyed Peas.

The influence of Hip Hop culture in Shanghai is booming, from the array of shops showcasing urban gear, to the offerings of Hip Hop inspired dance classes. It seems that heaps of discotheques have jumped on the band wagon, as almost every club in Shanghai has dedicated at least one night, purely to this genre of music.

The Chinese are well immersed in the punk/indie/hardcore rock scene. I have occasionally made appearances at these grungy, social abysses and observed the crowd’s liveliness. The Chinese also share a deep love for house, drum and bass and trance music. I believe this is true because blathering noise and ecstasy compliment each other. Another crowd pleaser is Shanghai Jazz, which intertwines Chinese folk melodies with Western Jazz. And of course, there’s Western pop, which is all too familiar to all of China.

Shanghai dj’s and clubbers are well versed only with songs and artists that control the radio stations. There are a ridiculous amount of venues that rock the common crowd pleasers. The city is distinctly out of the loop when it comes to wholesome, uncommercialized, consciousness, organic music. China doesn’t realize that there lies a great, big world beyond mainstream music, a world full of wicked baselines and poetic style.

Shanghai is constantly on a mission to open, reopen, rename and revamp mature clubs into “modern” ones. What changes are the drinks, the décor and the view of the city’s skyline, not the music.

You would think, in a city that is trying laboriously to adopt Western customs, emulating the lifestyles of Western jet setters, would also catch on to the eclectic variety of music, we have circulating in the West.

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~ by deliciousnoize on December 28, 2007.

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