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Culture

Yin: Bohan Phoenix and Higher Brothers Go In on “No Hook”

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It’s a good day today. America’s favorite transcultural, multilingual rapper is back with a new video, this one drawing on some homegrown talent from his motherland: Higher Brothers.

“No Hook” is a series of crazy back-to-back verses, unhindered by the catchy pop sensibilities of a hook or chorus. The song was originally released as part of Bohan’s JALA EP, but the new video is fresh off the grill. The track finds the five rappers in peak form, spitting flames over a minimalist beat with samples of traditional instruments over a droning bass progression. “This is that worldwide, that lovelove, that Bohan/Masiwei, DZ, Psy-P, Melo,” raps Bohan just before the beat drops, shouting out his co-artists and kicking off a stacked posse cut of Chinese rap.

The video, too, is equally minimalist. Bohan and Higher Brothers stand amidst expensive cars on a flat, empty strip of concrete in some unidentifiable location, and rap what needs to be rapped. Other clips show them tearing up a local arcade or dabbing onstage at shows. All in all, the video is a crazy look into the no-nonsense firepower of some heavyweights from the new generation of Chinese hip hop (and yes, there are English subtitles).

Yin (, “music”) is a weekly Radii feature that looks at Chinese songs spanning classical to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. Drop us a line if you have a suggestion: [email protected].

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a Shanghai-based writer, producer, and multimedia artist, and the Associate Editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip-hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school so he could train at the Shaolin Temple, but now just uses it to interview rappers.

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