Chinese rapper under fire for sexist lyrics blames influence of ‘black music’

PG One points to ‘early exposure to hip-hop culture’ in apology for vulgar song, drawing even more criticism

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 January, 2018, 7:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 February, 2018, 2:44pm

After drawing public criticism for lyrics deemed sexist and promoting drug use, one of China’s best-known rappers has dug an even deeper hole by blaming the influence of “black music”.

PG One came under fire after official media on Thursday highlighted lyrics from the 24-year-old rapper’s 2015 song Christmas Eve, in which he uses obscene language to boast about forcing himself on a woman.

He also raps of “sleeping in the day, shouting at night, pure white powder walking on the board”.

The China Women’s News, which is published by the All-China Women’s Association, posted an opinion piece on social media on Thursday accusing PG One of “instigating drug use among youths and publicly insulting women”.

It said his lyrics were “essentially offensive to women”.

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The rapper responded later on Thursday on social media with an apology, saying he was removing any offending songs from the internet, and promised to promote “positive energy” in his future work.

“The spirit of hip-hop should always be peace and love,” said PG One, who rose to fame last year when he was declared champion of The Rap of China, the country’s wildly popular hip-hop reality show.

But he undercut any goodwill by saying on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform that “early exposure to hip-hop culture” and the “deep influence of black music” were to blame for his vulgar lyrics.

That drew even more online criticism.

“What does insulting women have to do with black music? Strictly speaking this is racial discrimination,” wrote one angry commenter on Weibo.

“Chinese hip-hop draws from hip-hop the musical style and rap techniques, not their swear words!” wrote another.

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State-run Xinhua news agency followed on Friday with an online post saying “vulgarity cannot be branded as an individual character, and infamy cannot get you money”.

“This kind of singer disrespects the industry and the audience ... and doesn’t deserve to own the hip-hop stage,” it said.

PG One’s victory on The Rap of China brought him over four million followers on Weibo.

The first season of the internet-based show, which concluded in September, accumulated a stunning 2.94 billion online views, shining a light on China’s emerging hip-hop culture.

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