100 Chinese rappers celebrate centenary of CPC with patriotic cipher
Published: Jun 22, 2021 07:55 PM
From left: The celebrity producers for the new season of The Rap of China - Chang Chen-yue, MC HotDog, Kris Wu, Wilber Pan and Gloria Tang Tsz-kei Photo: Courtesy of iQiyi

Chinese rappers at the show The Rap of China Photo: Courtesy of iQiyi

, a new hip-pop single created by 100 Chinese rappers from all over China, such as the Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions, hit the internet over the weekend. The new cipher not only excited rap music fans, but also allowed netizens to see how pop culture can arouse young people's patriotism in China.

The song's title does not just refer to the 100 rappers involved in its creation but also marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). 

"The song is more like expressing love for China, but not really telling the 'history,' you know? Hip-pop is all about being real and true to your beliefs, which means it is even more suitable for such patriotic emotions, because that's real," Stonie, a rapper in Chengdu, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

The rap group behind the song is mainly made up of young Chinese artists. Max Ma Jun, an artist from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, expressed "loyalty to the country" and "respect for different voices" in his verse, whereas Buttons, a rapper from Qamdo in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region wrote in the song that "the spirit of five stars is imprinted on my chest." 

Poster of the new cipher by 100 Chinese rappers Photo: Sina Weibo

Poster of the new cipher by 100 Chinese rappers Photo: Sina Weibo

The single surprised netizens on Chinese social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, with many of them showing curiosity about the new release since patriotism is an uncommon theme for rap songs. 

"I've never heard a Chinese rap song that is so mainstreamed all way through, and it features many of my most beloved rappers. So exciting!" posted one netizen on Sina Weibo.  

"It was a fun time to spot who is more talented and stylish by listening to them outdoing each other in the song and writing key lines for a not-so-typical hip-pop theme," Benny, a Chinese hip-pop lover in Chengdu, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Some others said they liked the song in particular because it showed how rap culture can enhance young Chinese people's love of the country by standing on the same side as their favorite artists.  

"Deng Dianguo's participation in the project gave me a new perspective on how to conceive new works based on my international background to express my observations and feelings toward China, because he has also been quite influenced by Western hip-pop culture," Zicong, a 20-year-old young rapper, told the Global Times. 

Hip-pop themed variety shows in China, such as The Rap of China and Rap for Youth, have not only brought in impressive viewership numbers on Chinese streaming platforms - the hashtag for the latter show's finale in 2020 earned more than 400 million views on Sina Weibo - but have also helped the culture to burgeon in China among young generations exploring how to express themselves.