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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hong Kong Rapper MC Yan Interviewed by DongTing

MC Yan, with a LazyMuthaFuckaz toy
(photo source: dongting08)

Our friends at dongting08 has released a video interview of MC Yan in his Hong Kong studio. MC Yan is without a doubt, the "godfather" of the Hong Kong hip hop movement and Cantonese rap. His claim-to-fame was when he joined and became the lead rapper for the LMF (LazyMuthaFuckaz) hip hop group in 1998 till after it disbanded in 2003. Still, MC Yan is very active in the Hong Kong hip hop movement.

In this video interview, MC Yan talks about how he got invovled with Hong Kong hip hop and what is the current status of hip hop in Hong Kong. He begins by telling us that he was studying overseas in France for 7 years and returned back to Hong Kong in 1997. He got into the underground rap scene in Hong Kong and formed the first Hong Kong graffiti crew with local graffiti artists in 1994. Since then, Hong Kong hip hop has been gaining popularity, especially among the youth whom needed a voice of expression. However, MC Yan says despite the exploding popularity of groups such as LMF in Hong Kong, the reason why Hong Kong Cantonese rappers are not releasing material as "frequently" as compared to their mainland Chinese rapper counterparts is because rappers in Hong Kong are waiting for a major label record deals. Another factor is that Hong Kong currently leaves no room for new sub-cultures such as hip hop to thrive because the industry do not want to risk promoting hip hop if it does not make any profit. In his own words describing the current status of hip hop in Hong Kong, MC Yan says "Hong Kong has a package of hip hop" meaning hip hop, in its own true essence is being misrepresented in Hong Kong's mainstream media by adding extra frills and gimmicks just to make it more appealing to the masses.

Also in the video interview MC Yan tells us the story behind some of the artworks and designs that he has created. One of MC Yan's designs is marketing t-shirts with a memory stick sewn on the t-shirt. Stored inside the memory stick is music, videos and pictures which is a fresh new concept on selling music and bypassing the music industry. He also introduces his own label 宁死不屈 (Ning Si Bu Qu) which means "Death before dishonor" in Mandarin. By all means, check this video interview out.