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Daily Drip

China’s Newest Propaganda Rap Video is Goddamn Ridiculous

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Yes, “newest” — the horrific, shining disaster below is just the most recent in a series of bizarre propagandic hip hop music videos from various arms of China’s central government. This time, rapper (?) Su Han goes f*cking balls to the wall talking about the “Two Sessions”, a pair of major annual political gatherings. I wish I could give a better intro than that, but there are no more words to describe this music video:

Well, I’ll give it a go anyway. Misguided? Thrilling? Undeserved? Watching this video alone in my home, I screamed out loud at the over-the-top beat drop on the words “the true essence of our country’s development”. I then watched the video three more times. This thing is like a car crash that you just can’t look away from.

The beat is stylistically about 11 years too late, driven by low rumbling horn stabs and alternating trap/EDM rhythms. Against a backdrop of sped-up, oversaturated government PR materials, Su Han delivers this rousing hook:

We’ve got two sessions, w-we’ve got two sessions

For the fragrance we’re blessing to the world we show our affection

See, we’ve got two sessions. Let me show you Chinese manners

Tramp the bygone session we’re the fortitude presence

DAMN. Tell ’em!!

For the fragrance he’s blessing! If that’s not hip hop, we don’t know what is. Through his acute lyricism and his impression of Eminem, Su Han tells the story of exciting topics such as the Jiaolong Submersible Vehicle for ocean exploration, or the hard work of the Saihanba Afforestation Community.

The visuals hit all the sweet spots. Robots in classroom? Check. Time lapses of lush environments at sunset? Check. Smiling ethnic minorities? Definitely check.

Straight bars.

We wish we could say that the rest of the lyrics made more sense, but alas, they only devolve into more and more convoluted and extended streams of nonsense. Here are some highlights:

Every civil needs to acquire knowledge, as human can’t live without attire

You see we’ve attained landing on the dark side of the moon/All the hardness absorbed like carbon dioxide in the woods/Joy of success is like a weekend car ride around the pool/Process and delightful achievements tied up the mood

Will we ever meet satisfied Popeye?

And then there’s this part where homie straight up transcends all ties to the meaning of language:

Poverty’s such a tragedy, a clumsy travesty/Guess it’s kind of hohum allergy, fallacy/Making extremely accidie (sic)/Generating negative energy, jeopardy/Ask you please get it away from our territory/Nobody should get in with that disgusting pit/So we got 26 out from that per minute/cast off the poverty reach the prosperity/I believe, it’ll be devastated and dying leave/When finally comes the fancy prodigy, wonderful melody/Just shake off the gravity and ride with me

Somehow this beats out a completely separate Two Sessions rap from last year (!!!), for the title of “Worst Two Sessions Rap”:

Ok, now that we’ve spent so much time eviscerating this poor rap fellow and the media bodies that stand behind him, let’s end on a positive note: the breakdown at 3:05 is fire and you know it. Silver lining.

Tune in next time, as we inevitably continue to cover the unending stream of government-sponsored PR rap projects.

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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