PG One misguided, but still has rights

By Ryan Yaoran Yu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/1 19:13:40

After drawing criticism from authorities and fans, PG One, a well-known Chinese rapper, and former "Rap of China" champion, is seeing his fan base continue to dwindle.

The young rapper fell under public scrutiny for his offensive rap lyrics filled with sexist comments and depictions of drug abuse.

And as if that wasn't enough, rumors have emerged of him having an affair with his best friend's wife, actress Li Xiaolu.

Chinese netizens took to social media, pouring their wrath upon the rising entertainer, while Li also came under fire for allegedly betraying her husband.

While the moral outrage is understandable, some have forgotten that criticizing public figures does have boundaries.

Just like anybody else, the private lives of public figures should be respected and safeguarded from unnecessary scrutiny.

First, we have to admit that PG One should be able to handle the criticism directed at the abusive lyrics in his songs.

It was reported earlier that he claimed his ­sexist lyrics and narcissistic behavior were a result of the African-American music he listened to as a teenager. But such superficial claims cannot be taken seriously as they are bereft of practical thought.

Rap is an art form borne out of African-­American culture. It is used to voice anger and frustration, and often features lyrics laced with profanity.

But in China, a country with different ­cultural and social backgrounds, rappers should be clear that if they want to thrive, they need to take ­Chinese culture and public interests into ­account.

PG One will not get off the hook by explaining what rap is in the US. Instead, he should be thinking about where rap in China is headed.

Jay Chou is a famous Chinese musician, who also happens to be a good rapper. He combined rap rhythms and Chinese kung fu elements in the song "Nunchakus," which depicts a passionate kung fu story featuring strong and clear lyrics. It was a hit with the public and set a good example for Chinese rappers to follow.

On the other hand, public opinion on PG One and Li has gone too far.

Ever since a photo of them walking arm-in-arm surfaced online, social media users have been inspired to come up with theories about their alleged relationship.

On Weibo, China's version of Twitter, entertainment writers desperately searched for clues that would confirm the rumors of their alleged affair.

Being a public figure means having less privacy, but overexposing the lives of the famous is never in the public interest.

Instead, disregard for privacy will inspire paparazzi to find news that isn't noteworthy and in bad taste just to appease reader demand.

Clear and convincing evidence of an affair between the rapper and the actress has yet to emerge. But even if it is true, it's still personal, and they should not be dragged over the hot coals of public criticism.

Public figures should present a healthy image, but are still entitled to their rights to privacy, which should always be protected.

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