Photo of the Day: Kris Wu Selling Kris Wu


Welcome to the final day of this week’s photo theme: Kris Wu selling shit.

Today, Kris Wu is selling Kris Wu.

Technically, the above is a spot for Rap of China (中国有嘻哈), the breakout reality TV sensation released earlier this year by internet video streaming platform iQiyi. But there’s more going on in this image than initially meets the eye.

Take a hard look at the ballcap that singer, dancer, film actor and professional fresh-faced lad Kris Wu is wearing there. Look familiar?

Indeed, Kris Wu is subtly copping the style of Cui Jian, the godfather of Chinese rock’n’roll, who is never seen without his signature white baseball hat with a red star. Cui had his own music competition reality show last year, China Star (中国之星), which was not as popular as Rap of China.

Notice that Kris has lifted this iconic style, but in the place of Cui’s famous red star, he has emblazoned his own initials. Like, “Hi, I’m Kris Wu, I’m on every conceivable urban surface that can contain advertisement, but in case you still aren’t getting the point, LOOK AT MY HAT.” Kris Wu has physically replaced Cui Jian’s star with his own name.

Over the course of this series, some commentators have posed the question: is Kris Wu selling these things, or are these things selling Kris Wu? The answer is both, obviously.


Rap of China: New Reality Show Stirs Controversy and Memes

It’s All “Freestyle” – How Meaningless English Buzzwords Define China’s Pop Culture Trends


Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a US-based writer and musician, and RADII's former Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, MIT Technology Review, Artsy, Bandcamp Daily and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.

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