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Is “The Rap of China” Set to Return Under a New Name?

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Weibo and WeChat are all aflutter today with screenshots purportedly showing a new name for season 2 of The Rap of China, the game-changing, controversy-spawning hip-hop TV contest.

In case you’ve somehow missed it on these pages, The Rap of China was an enormously successful TV talent show that made huge stars of many of the performers that featured on it and made hip-hop a mainstream genre in China in just a few short months.

Then came a wave of controversy over its co-champions, resulting in an apparent “ban” from mainstream TV — the fall-out from which continues to rumble on.

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Following all of this, the show’s second season was seemingly put on ice, but now it appears to be readying for a comeback. A screenshot is doing the rounds showing the approved VIP Weibo account for something called 中国新说唱, which effectively translates to “China’s New Rap”, but could potentially become “The New Rap of China” in English. The name uses a different term for the music the program will apparently be showcasing, going with “rap” (说唱) compared to the original show’s “hip-hop” (嘻哈). (The original show’s official English name wasn’t a direct translation of its Chinese one.)

Numerous commenters have speculated that this is the new Rap of China, due to the account being attributed to iQiyi, the streaming platform behind the original hit show.

So far, the account is yet to post anything and has a generic background pic. At time of writing, iQiyi themselves have kept quiet about it, but of course that’s doing little to dampen speculation.

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Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.

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