I wish there were a more concise way to write this headline, but this is the best I could do.
Hong Kong’s favorite anime-loving trap rapper YoungQueenz has a new song and video. This song is called Fotan Laiki, and features a verse from Fotan Laiki. If you’re confused, don’t worry, so were we. We’re about to break it down.
YoungQueenz is the leader of Hong Kong hip hop collective WILD$TYLE. His music delves into themes not normally explored in hip hop – anime, video games, and the South China grit of his hometown – and combines it flawlessly with traditional rap motifs. He’ll rap about DMT and weed, and then about his favorite anime heroes, and somehow it all works.
Fotan Laiki is a different story. She’s the confused, art-loving everyman of Hong Kong’s lost youth, and she’s killing it. Having graduated from the Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, she’s now doing… who knows? She bounces between odd jobs to make ends meet, and might be a waitress, shopkeeper, or bartender, depending on when you run into her. More than that though, she’s one hundred percent her own brand. You might see her face on the cover of indie band My Little Airport‘s album, Fotan Laiki. Maybe you’ll catch yourself bobbing your head to one of the songs from her group “Cooking Bitchess.” Or maybe you saw her on stage at Hong Kong’s huge Clockenflap festival, trapping like there’s no tomorrow.
Actually, that’s how YoungQueenz and Fotan Laiki got to know each other. YoungQueenz reached out to the virally-known Fotan to boost the draw of his own performance at Clockenflap after realizing he shared the same performance time with acclaimed Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ross. The unlikely pair raged it out onstage together with some other rappers from their scene, and apparently it went well, because they decided to link back up for this wonderful, weird-ass music video.
The video is directed and edited by YoungQueenz, under the alias Ozma. It rocks a distinctly vaporwave-style aesthetic, filmed entirely on an old school handheld camcorder. Quick cuts, angry art basel security guards, gold grillz, and angst. It sets YoungQueenz angry, distressed rapping, and Fotan Laiki’s aloof too-cool-for-school verse against a constantly shifting, fabricated background of cityscapes, juvenile antics, and snapchats. All this over the booming 808’s and ambient trap melodies our 21st-century world has come to love. YoungQueenz shared some more of the story behind the video with Neocha:
When we started shooting the video in Art Basel, a lot of people got rowdy with us, thinking that it was an art performance. But when security showed up, their view quickly went from “I’m interacting with an art performance” to “This is a stupid prank.”
Interact with this art performance/stupid prank and see this thing for yourself.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.