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Daily DripMusic

Gai’s New Album ‘Dou Hong’ Puts a Cyberpunk Spin on Chinese Rap

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2022 is shaping up to be a productive year for Sichuanese rapper Gai. In addition to releasing the introspective tune ‘Weiyuan Story in February and announcing his participation in the next season of Rap of Chinathe artist has dropped his fourth album, Dou Hong.

Its 13 tracks include two lauded singles: The aforementioned ‘Weiyuan Story’ and ‘Clouds in the Mountains,’ the latter of which was performed at New Generation: Hip Hop Project in 2021.

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Promotional image for Dou Hong

Combining Gai’s lush lyricism with futuristic electronic influences, Dou Hong is comprised of a diverse range of sounds, from dreamy autotuned tracks such as the album’s namesake song to darker, harder beats, like ‘Not Friendly.’

Speaking of which, May 7 saw the launch of the official music video for ‘Not Friendly.’ Mere weeks prior, Gai teased fans by releasing behind-the-scenes snaps of the MV, which is set in Chongqing, on Weibo.

Colloquially known as ‘Chtlanta (Chongqing + Atlanta)’ or ‘重特兰大’, Chongqing is where Gai launched his rap career — hence the choice of setting for the music video, which also stars members of Chongqing hip hop label Go$h

While showcasing the ‘gang component’ of Gai’s identity as a rapper, ‘Not Friendly’ gifts us with stunning aerial views of the city and neon-lit underground scenes.

But don’t let the cyberpunk visuals, fancy cars, and Dobermans in his recent music video distract you: Gai is spitting real fire, addressing criticism, and reminding everyone of his status and skills.

All images via Weibo

Beatrice Tamagno
Beatrice is a graduate student in sociology at Fudan University in Shanghai. Her writings have appeared on SupChina and ChinaNauts, an online magazine she co-founded with fellow researchers from Fudan. When she is not researching gender in contemporary China, you will find her playing mahjong or binging Chinese TV shows.
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