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Yin: Skr-less Avant Rap from Beijing’s DVC

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Yin (音, “music”) is a weekly RADII feature that looks at Chinese songs spanning hip-hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. Drop us a line if you have a suggestion.

ENOUGH with the skr’s already. With China’s hottest rap beef centering around an ex-boy band idol, “Chinese hip-hop’s greatest hope” tied up in luxury cruises and polo-popping beach parties, and the emergent slang being copped by banks, it’s about time for a corrective on the underground level. Let’s hear from someone not in it for the ratings or the 50,000USD guarantees.

Ah, here we go:

 

Nice to come across a 2018 Chinese rap track that doesn’t sound like it was produced by a market research department. “neon light” is the standout from 倦怠の超克, a short, self-released demo from Beijing rapper and producer DVC. He describes himself on his Douban page as the “dumbest nerdcore artist ever, period,” and while he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, he does pull off a pretty solid bilingual flow, paired with an original production style that moves freely between lo-fi hip hop, IDM, ambient pads and non-hype trap.

Download the demo for yourself here.

Bonus round: if you want a little more lofi Chinese hip hop in your life right now, here’s a beautiful, drone-shot video for Dali rapper Kaimulu (卡姆路), made for his 2018 album West Side of Erhai.

Cover image: DVC Douban

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Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a Shanghai-based writer and musician, and RADII's Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, Artsy, LEAP, Tiny Mix Tapes, 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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