Yin (音, “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.
Earlier this week, we covered Xi’An rap phenomenon Hong Hua Hui’s fallout with their new label. We’re wishing all the members of Hong Hua Hui supreme strength going forward through China’s treacherous and newly-formed mainstream commercial rap scene. So on that note, we’re turning the spotlight this week onto PG One’s Middle School Syndrome remix.
The Chinese title is 中二病, where 中二 (zhong er) means the second year of middle school, and 病 (bing) means disease. It’s like when you’re 14 or 15, and you have your own, self-delusional way of thinking, my friend explains to me. The song is a straight-to-the-point trap banger. The beat is a modern throwback, hitting that historic sweet spot right between when trap music entered popular culture and when the Soundcloud-era of post-trap kicked off. There’s creepy, one-key-at-a-time synth melodies, gritty construction sounds, and booming round 808s. PG One, you might be aware, is fresh off his win on the debut season finale of Rap of China, where he was crowned co-champion with Gai. So it should come as no surprise either that the man is bringing heavy bars and flows to the table in this music video.
Yin: Rap of China Champion Gai Spits Bars Over His Hometown Hotpot
We should also mention at this point that the entire video is sponsored by Alienware gaming PCs. Remember when PG One did a song that was a not-so-subtle commercial for League of Legends, and his crewmate BrAnT.B did one for Nivea Men skincare? No? Hold on…
4 Fire Solo Debuts From the Rap of China Freshman Class
Yeah so all that happened. But it doesn’t change the fact that the track is a slapper. PG One hits like four flows in the first minute, and if you don’t think the man is going hard when he comes in at 1:09, you’ve got some serious explaining to do. Plus there’s a girl dancing hip hop in a cage and a dude breaking in a gas mask.
At the end of the day, we can forgive the neon glowing alien logos, copious unnecessary shots of Alienware computers, and the recurring implication that PG One is DJing off that laptop. This shit’s better than the League of Legends track. A few years ago, PG One was a kid in Xi’An playing video games and listening to American rappers, and a few months ago he was doing small festival tours with his crew. Now that hip hop is blowing up in China, you can’t fault the kid for getting that Alienware money. Hustle on, PG One.
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam