As a “safe,” sanitized version of hip hop continues to make waves in China, it’s been a major fall from grace for one of the country’s first mainstream rap heroes: PG One.
Not long after the rapper tied for first place in the first season of hugely influential TV show The Rap of China, a string of scandals left him effectively banned from performing in mainland China. He’s since resorted to releasing new music via a pseudonymous private account on WeChat after seeing public comebacks consistently thwarted thanks to a sex scandal and old lyrics that suggested drug use and abuse of women in his song “Christmas Eve.”
The artist attempted another ill-fated comeback this weekend, with a performance at a bar in Xi’an, in northern China. The bar, named Supermiami, hosted PG One on August 29, but he appeared to perform for just 10 minutes before leaving.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by PG ONE🇨🇳 (@pacemak1r)
A post shared by PG ONE🇨🇳 (@pacemak1r)
According to netizens who were at the scene, the rapper wasn’t actually allowed to take to the stage, but instead had to perform to the side of it.
After posting the performance to his account on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, PG One wrote, “Sorry, this is not what I wanted.” He later commented beneath the post, “Wait until I come back and talk with you.”
Fans of the rapper flocked to his Weibo account to show support. One netizen commented, “It’s not your fault, baby.” Another expressed hope that the rapper would get another opportunity at a comeback, writing, “There will be a chance in the future, brother. You are great.”
PG One’s fate is in stark contrast to that of his fellow Rap of China first season joint-winner GAI, who is now appearing on the wildly successful iQIYI variety show’s new season as a judge and mentor. GAI’s star has continued to rise over the past few years, after he briefly suffered some minor setbacks in the aftermath of an apparent “hip hop ban” in early 2018.
Rapper GAI Abruptly Removed from Reality Show Following Reported New Hip Hop Ban
Among GAI’s more notable moments from this latest season of Rap of China, which first aired in early August, was his encounter with controversial rapper Pissy (Li Yijie). The CD Rev member (who also happens to be a prominent lyric writer for Mandopop star Lay Zhang) made an appearance on The Rap of China this past weekend where he was praised for his flow by the show’s judges, who moved him on to the next round.
Pissy is perhaps best known for his “Hey Sweden Hey Sweden” freestyle rap aimed at the Scandinavian country, released in reaction to an incident in which a Chinese man and his family were removed from a Swedish hotel after turning up too early to check in.
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