Chinese Hip Hop Musicians React to Black Lives Matter Protests in the US
In the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, people across the USA have been protesting police brutality and urging justice and freedom for black people around the world. Across social media platforms, supporters of Black Lives Matter have been sharing stories, images and insights.
Many have compared scenes of protests in the US to those that have been ongoing in Hong Kong for over a year. Meanwhile, others have been quick to point out the years of collaboration between Black Americans and China, such as the visits taken by W.E.B Du Bois and Black Panther leaders Elaine Brown and Huey Newton to the country.
Such references have often been made while encouraging Asian communities to also stand up for Black Lives Matter and associated organizations. But what of China’s hip hop community, one that has explicitly benefited from Black culture? As is being excellently documented on Twitter by Chinese hip hop news account, RISING! CHINESE HIP HOP (@rapofchina), a number of musicians have shown their support for the movement.
Thread of Chinese hip hop artists who have spoken out for #BlackLivesMatter We will be updating this thread periodically, and we hope that everyone can donating, signing petitions, and raising awareness.
— RISING! CHINESE HIP HOP (@rapofchina) May 31, 2020
Among some of the more notable contributions, Asian-American rapper MC Jin took to Instagram to tell the story of his son, Chance, seeing a broadcast of the news report on George Floyd’s death. He ends the lengthy post by saying, “I told him, maybe you can include a message that you think he would want the world to know. Not only was he eager to include that but suggested, ‘We should also make sure people know his name.’ Indeed son. Indeed.”
Label 88rising — whose artists include Higher Brothers and Rich Brian — has also posted its support of Black Lives Matter, noting the end of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, while calling for awareness for equality everywhere.
To people in the Asian American community especially if you are Chinese, you must know about the history we share with the black community!! The support have always been there, and now more than ever we need each other. Please keep love in your hearts in times like now!! pic.twitter.com/jgJF4z6UNt
— Bohan 博涵 (@BohanPhoenix) May 30, 2020
Beijing-based rapper and producer Bloodz Boi noted his contribution to the cause on Twitter. If you want to follow his example, you can donate to the Black Lives Matter Global Network right here and to bail-out funds across the US here.
i have a lot black friends i hope they know i stand with you, love from far east china. pic.twitter.com/kjgVEX4IxO
— bloodzboi 血男孩 (@BloodzBoi) May 31, 2020
BloodzBoi was also one of the few to take to a Chinese social media platform (in his case Weibo) in an attempt to explain the situation and his support for BLM. AR was another, who referenced Kendrick Lamar and Tupac Shakur in his post.
Eastern Margins, a music collective based in London, posted these thoughtful pictures on Instagram:
They also pointed towards Music Black Out Tuesday, an initiative that music industry leaders will be undertaking, pausing all business for a day “in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.” That initiative is being led by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, according to CNN.
Jay Park and Cha Cha Malone’s record label H1GHR MUSIC is one of those to declare support for the day on China’s microblogging site Weibo, where the company’s official accounted posted using the Black Lives Matter hashtag.
Canadian-born Hong Kong actor and singer Edison Chen posted this image on his Instagram page:
However, some have pointed out that numerous artists and labels with considerable China followings could be doing a lot more right now. Here’s former RADII Culture Editor Josh Feola:
we should be seeing MUCH more than this. considering how much $ and clout @88rising @HigherBrothers #Vava etc make off Black culture they should be doing more w/ their platforms to increase awareness, esp in China where media coverage of the protests is borderline triumphalist https://t.co/NJO3mFSbWC
— Josh Feola (@joshfeola) June 1, 2020