Well, that’s a wrap: season one of Rap of China (中国有嘻哈), the breakout reality TV competition aired on streaming video platform iQiyi and hosted by the inimitable Kris Wu, has concluded. The show premiered on June 24 and at first looked indistinguishable from others on the long list of American Idol-style singing competitions that had come before it — The Voice of China, China Star, I Am a Singer, et al. Two months and almost three billion views later (link in Chinese), Rap of China has turned into a bona fide cultural event, almost singlehandedly introducing Chinese hiphop into the mainstream.
We’ll have some kind of thinkpiece on this whole thing in the next week or two — everyone we know here has an opinion on this show.
In the mean time, here were the closing performances from rappers PG One and Gai, who ended the season in a draw to claim the title of co-champion and presumably return home to thousands of missed calls from agents hoping to guide their career trajectory over the next few months (years? minutes? hard to know how quickly this type of celebrity fades in Chinese-internet time).
UPDATE (9/22/2017): The videos of the closing performances by co-champions PG One and Gai that we posted here have subsequently been removed from YouTube, presumably for copyright violation. You can stream the full season one finale of Rap of China on iQiyi.
And here’s that thinkpiece we promised: