In 2017, hip-hop took over China, in a large part due to a popular internet-based reality talent show called 中国有嘻哈 (Rap of China).
I was really late to hop on the bandwagon. So late in fact that by the point I binge watched the entire show earlier this year, rap has essentially been soft-banned in China.
Nevertheless, I was inspired to try write something myself, with the idea of mixing Chinese & English being something I was particularly interested in doing.
As some of the contestants said in the show, the most important part of rap is to “keep it real” and tell your own truth so that’s what I tried to do. If I couldn’t incorporate any complex rhyme patterns or have sophisticated flow changes, at least I could take a snapshot at my life in 2018.
I feel like this attempt is very juvenile and rushed but it was from the heart and so much fun so I wanted to share it anyway!
Now to be clear, it’s pretty evident, even if you don’t understand what I’m saying, that my musical background isn’t the strongest and I tried to force my lyrics into a backing track that wasn’t tailored for it (& therefore about 1/3 of the through I’m painfully offbeat) so that’s my bad, I didn’t have time to make it better/was too eager to put something out even if it’s really rough.
That’s my longwinded pre-amble, I hope you can find something in here that speaks to you.
Original lyrics & translated version (English) below:
You know, I used to be so scared of dying.
It was the rounding of a circle, the fade to black, permanent non-existence if you will.
Nowadays, death seems less daunting, more like a spoiler alert, you know? At first I thought it meant I grew up but maybe that’s not it. I used to want to leave a legacy, now I just want to stop feeling so… numb.