The abbreviation MC — originally used to stand for “master of ceremonies” — is used in many rappers’ names, and is the title of a standalone category on yy.com, one of the most popular livestreaming platforms in China. This channel of the site mainly features hanmai (喊麦), a rap-like performance technique that literally means “shouting into microphone.” Hanmai “singers” tend to shout ancient poetry, or their own rhymes, usually about emotional love stories.
Here is a video of one of the the hottest MCs on YY.com, MC天佑, and his widely-known hanmai song, “Drinking Alone (一人饮酒醉)”:
It’s hard to believe that this job would bring him millions of RMB per month, as claimed in a recent GQ interview. Recently, this hanmai star changed his handle on Weibo from MC天佑 (MC Tianyou) to the slightly cuter 天佑吖 (Tianyouya), dropping the MC up front:
This might be a reaction to a new notice posted by yy.com “to purify the livestreaming environment and to build a healthy one,” which specifies that the words “MC” and “hanmai” must be kept off hosts’ names and out of their streams, along with gender distinctions and references to campus life and “making friends.”
In addition, 77 vulgar and improper hanmai songs were banned from the platform — songs relating to politics or sex that violate Communism’s core values, according to the YY.com’s latest rules. The list of banned songs include “It’s Meaningless to be Mad at Dogs,” “You Got In his Land-Rover,” and “Listen Up You Women,” one of MC天佑’s best-known songs.
Hosts are also required not to show their tattoos, not to smoke in front of the camera, not to wear military uniforms, and not to harm themselves or anyone else during their livestreams. “A host without a dancing certificate cannot dance in the livestream,” reads one of the rules, without an explanation of what a “dancing certificate” is.
Although there is still an MC channel on yy.com, and the audience still can watch hot hosts dancing online for now, these broadcasters must be careful about what they say or what kind of material they perform: over 1,000 hosts that SAPPRFT and the MIIT(Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) don’t like have already been removed from the platform.
Apparently, netizens aren’t too upset with this new rule:
“Always thought hanmai is… never mind. Afraid of trolls.”
“Hahaha, Kuaishou [快手, another successful video sharing app] feeds the three provinces of northeastern China.”
“Never liked 天佑Tianyou. This is good.”
Cover image: YY.com