News - February 8, 2018

Meanwhile in... China

Madhura Rao

In an effort to protect viewers from ‘low taste content’ and ‘vulgarity’, the Chinese government has recently banned all references to hip-hop culture and all artists with tattoos from the media. Xiyu Jiang is a big fan of hip-hop music, yet she understands the reasons behind the ban.

Young people imitate the hip-hop artists

‘The government banned hip-hop culture in order to promote a more positive atmosphere for viewers across the country. In recent years, the TV show ‘Rap of China’ set off a big frenzy. Many people became fascinated by hip-hop culture and the number of hip-hop listeners increased rapidly. The problem with this kind of music is that many underground artists produce songs which promote detrimental ideologies.

Xiyu Jiang, an MSc student of Food Technology from China, tells us about recent events in her country.
Xiyu Jiang, an MSc student of Food Technology from China, tells us about recent events in her country.

I'm really into hip-pop but I support the action taken by the Chinese government. Some young people are easily influenced by what is depicted in the media and start to imitate the lifestyle and behaviour of the artists. Undesirable habits such as smoking are on the rise because of this influence. For us, this hip-hop culture is foreign and it can have a negative impact on our native culture. Understandably, though, many people who are ardent fans of the genre are very angry about this regulation.

Artists with tattoos may have been banned from the media because of the negative connotations attached to having tattoos on your body. In the past, only members of criminal gangs had a lot of tattoos. As a result, even today, many Chinese people associate tattoos with undesirable characters. China's mainstream media has never accepted tattoos. However, this doesn’t mean that ordinary citizens are banned from getting tattoos. Many young people sport tattoos these days and will continue to do so.

Chinese hip-hop artists are a small group compared to other genres, so the industry isn’t big. The new regulation should not affect the careers of many artists because they will find other ways to promote their work, possibly by shifting their focus to Chinese rap or by performing at live shows.’