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China’s Hottest Female Rapper Makes Hollywood Debut on “Crazy Rich Asians” Soundtrack

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We love VaVa. A long time player in the hip hop scene, the Rap of China fan-favorite finally caught her big break as a finalist on the show, and wasted no time leveling up her game with high-budget music videos and the hardest hitting performances of her career. We also love Asian representation in Hollywood. Unexpectedly, these two great things have converged, with VaVa’s career-redefining single “My New Clothes” making it to the official soundtrack for Crazy Rich Asians.

Photo of the day: Vava Evokes Peking Opera in New Music Video

We’ve written up VaVa and “My New Clothes” before. It’s an undeniable wop — catchy, has steez, dope feature from Chengdu rapper Ty., and has a high-energy, visually thrilling music video. It manages to communicate some Chinese cultural aesthetic, without forfeiting any of its hip hop credentials. That’s something impressive, especially in this era of Rap of China’s second season, one centered around finding “Chinese style hip hop,” but which nearly always manifests as stale lyrics about kung fu.

So if Crazy Rich Asians — a massive phenomenon for Asian American audiences — can help spread her music overseas, we’re here for it.

VaVa finds herself rubbing shoulders on the OST with classic Chinese singers such as Yao Lee, who was a major recording artist in swinging Shanghai’s 1930s heyday, and 1950s Hong Kong idol Ge Lan (Grace Chang). Another, more contemporary artist to feature is Shanghai-based jazz singer Jasmine Chen, who performs a number of songs for the film including a cover of Chang’s “Wo Yao Ni De Ai” (“I Want Your Love”):

For more Rap of China femme fatales:

Meet the Women of “Rap of China” Season 2

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a Shanghai-based writer, producer, and multimedia artist, and the Associate Editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip-hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school so he could train at the Shaolin Temple, but now just uses it to interview rappers.

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