In search for Chinese Hip-Hop (Part 1: Oogee Woogee goes to China)
From the moment I applied for my travel visa my curiosity took over. I’ve been a part of the Hiphop culture my entire life but until now I only knew what it was to me and people like me. This would be my chance to see what it is for others and live it as they do. I did not know what to expect but I’d rather regret taking a chance than not taking that chance. I began asking friends who have contacts in China, who should I meet out there that can really show me what Chinese Hiphop culture is? As soon as I had a few names I did my research and made my appointments to see them.
Al Rocco was one of the first rappers I would connect with. I was actually familiar with Rocco before we spoke. I’ve seen his music floating around and thought it was dope. I never thought I would have the chance to be in China and meet the homie but that’s exactly what happened. Rocco lives in Shanghai but I would be in Hong Kong for most of the trip before I reach Shanghai so Rocco plugged me with Khaki who is the man to know in Hong Kong. Khaki works as a hypeman at one of the hottest clubs in Hong Kong and is a heavy Hiphop head. He raps but has been working more on producing music for others. My friend Tom Ngo (appreciate the help homie!) familiarized me with Kiki Tam and said she’s someone I have to meet. Kiki is self-described as the only female rapper in HK really doing it. Her talent was recognized by MC Jin of 106 & Park Freestyle Friday fame. I was going back and forth with Jin the entire time we were in HK but he’s a very busy man there and our timing never worked out. No love lost, definitely chop it up next time, big homie! Fortunately, we did get the opportunity to link up with one of his main producers, Doughboy. Dough is killing it in HK. He has placements with everybody who’s anybody, has music in major movies, and is taking the stage and accepting trophies at award shows. As soon as we left Hong Kong and landed in Shanghai, Rocco introduced us to the locals we had to meet including the Busy Kidz who were the only Mandarin rappers we interviewed the entire trip. These would be the characters that played into our experience of Chinese Hiphop.
They showed us what the culture is to them and they took us into their hood. We broke bread, popped bottles, rapped, and much more. Through a few installments the OW team and I will share our experience and have you take this trip with us so that you may better understand the culture just as we do now.