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Chinese reality show celebrates rap music by trouncing its contestants

Rap music has made its way back to mainland Chinese pop culture in a less than glorious return.

Hit reality television show Youth With You (青春有你) has gone viral with a segment during their second season that shows wanna-be pop star idols awkwardly mangling rap lyrics, all to the delight of Chinese viewers.

Rapper Jonj J is shown visually cringing as a group of young starlets take their turns performing the rap to David Tao’s “Melody.” Jonj J gives instructions like “You gotta find the pitch” only to be rendered speechless at his students’ poor performances.

The phrase that has become bonafide Chinese meme status is “yellow dresses and puffy hair” (淡黄的长裙, 蓬松的头发). The lyric is repeated several times throughout the segment and has become a Chinese media sensation.

Here’s contestant Li Xining during her moment of infamy:

The lyrics are:

“Yellow skirt and puffy hair
Holding hands, painterly, in a tableaux with flair
On empty streets and in my vacant home
I host a wild party all by my lonesome”

A lot of online criticism has to do with contestants not measuring up to the high standards required of a Chinese pop idol who are often triple threats that can sing, dance, and act. That said, the show depicts Jonj J as a poor a teacher who can’t provide the answers that his students ask of him.

While some people have taken this as an opportunity to show the world how it’s done, we shouldn’t take this as a sign that Chinese women can’t rap. The late Ben Kui (本亏) would perform her own raps on songs that she wrote herself.

China has had a tumultuous relationship with rap. After banning hundreds of its songs, China gave the rap genre its moment in the sun with The Rap of China, a hit reality show that was close to getting derailed after judge PG One got involved in a number of controversies involving sex and poor behaviour.

Images: Sohu

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