Thursday, 22 September 2011

How British Chinese Musicians Can Find Inspiration In Chinese Rap Music

Some British Chinese dont speak Chinese too well. Most British Chinese can only write 300 characters. But you don't need to speak Cantonese to relish the Chinese pride of the 1997 Hong Kong Band L.M.F.

 Lazy Mutha Fucka or LMF for short, is a Cantonese hip-hop group in Hong Kong. LMF were represented by Warner Music, in 1993, split up in 2003 and joined up again in 2009.

All members of LMF come from poverty, their material is based on real life and struggle in the lower class; and this created a lot of commotion and controversy, due to cursing and subject matter.

To me, LMF epitomises everything that needs to be expressed and defined clearly within our Chinese western identity- learning from our western background and then expressing Chinese pride, speaking out, against political injustic.

This is MC Yan. If he were British Chinese,  it wasnt so long ago that such an individual would be considered by the community as a 'white wannabe hippy'. But as one of the main writer of LMFs lyrics Yan's wisdom is more like a rebellious taoist scholar.

Seems like that doesnt stop the females wanting to take photos with him.

Welcome to the MC Yan fan blog!

From wiki:

LMF concentrated a large amount of their effort in expressing their discontent towards the political and economic turmoils in Hong Kong, such as the Asian financial crisis, as well as the incompetence of the Hong Kong political leaders, as demonstrated through the song "WTF". they also attempted to reinforce a distinct and unique Hong Kong cultural identity in which the youth of Hong Kong should be proud of as illustrated in the song "1127" taking Bruce Lee as a Chinese role model.[3]
Many of LMF's songs reflected the cultural problem of having a lack of an identity for today's youth to look up to and be proud of in the modern Hong Kong society. In their song "債" (Debt), they stated that many Chinese parents send their children to the opposite side of the world only to have them grow up to be "Caucasians with yellow skin" (Cantonese lyrics: "黃皮膚嘅鬼仔") while the parents have distanced themselves with their children and are not assuming the responsibilities of raising them.[4]

We British Chinese have issues that we can only identify with...working for our immigrant parents whilst some hoodie smashes the takeaway window for the nth time asking for a discount on a packet of chips.

Being brainwashed by western culture that we are so white we make a white man ashamed.

Snide racism from fellow employees at work.  Seeing our people represented for the nth time by an all too eager Chinese girlfriend of heroic white man  in the media. Reading more anti-China crap or hearing about it wherever we go. Our own self-perpetuated apathy.

Lots of hangups. But why dont we express it in music? Are we so eager just to put on a face and pretend that everythings okay when really its not? Where's our fury?

Bands like LMF have expressed their distinct voice that is unique, and British Chinese, clearly the largest and oldest group of East Asians in the UK haven't even made the effort to discover our political voice yet. Isn't it time we did?

PS For those who prefer mellower music here is British Born Artist Stevie Hoang

 For those who like their music edgier heres LMF

Plenty of room for both kinds of music, but in these politically corrupt times, why dont we have our own LMF?


  1. OP, what sort of snide racism u got from ur colleagues?

  2. @kai. It was an example. Most of the snidisms i have experienced have been in public/public transport.lets just say that I dont get much racism nowadays, but when i do,on the offchance, white racists are usually in their groups/pairs as usual. too cowardly to do it alone, even though i know what they are thinking thanks to their brainwashed western imperialist media brains.

    How about yourself?

  3. ^ I've experienced quite a few racist slurs by strangers too. Even my black teacher referred to me as a '...Chinaman'. She didn't even know that was racist and offensive till I told a classmate about it and then he told her. She apologised after that.

  4. 'Cuz if you try to explain to our hard working immigrant parents that they have a hard life of takeaways just because you want to be a hip hop star, it's just not going to go down very well at all.

    Plus I can't put 'chavs stealing and smashing again for a sweet and sour chicken' in rap and not offend a possible record producer who will no doubt be white or black. (Because you know you'll have to write a song about chinese mothers and the impossibility of getting with a black partner, racist old ladies, the bunch of them. LOL)

  5. @Yin. Doesnt stop BBC musicians from creating their own record label or myspace or promoting with youtube part time. Look at Timdelaghetto and dumbfoundead on youtube. two asian americans both promoting their music/selling tshirts and doing well, and independent. It can be done.

    BBCs really need to wake up from our slumber.we are WAY too conformist.

  6. Why not? If black rappers can write lyrics about White Mother f*****'s why can't chinese do the same? Altough, I have'nt hard MC Jay Differ who is probbaly the best british Chinese rapper write such material either.

    If you look at British Chinese singers, most of them tend to do the same genre - under the genre of dance club/urban music. its not like Far east music at all, no canto=pop style, theyre really basically just artists who happen to be of Chinese origin.

  7. @BBCz, thats true about the whole dance club/urban culture. Personally i cant stand it- in the back of my mind it always smacked of spineless 'yeah lifes good and grooving' bleh. posers music i call it . however the song above by stevie hoang isnt bad. MC dj differ - thats the guy you mentioned i was trying to recall. I may re-edit this article now and include him

  8. There's a famous BBC slut:

  9. haha, you been reading zoo again kai? Good link actually, could be worth an article.

  10. british version of THE NOTORIOUS MSG?

    chris li