Illustration: Mingfei Shi
collage: Mingfei Shi
Art Director: Kelly Holohan
艺术指导: Kelly Holohan
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, was a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the 1970s. Hip-hop is extremely popular in America. However, as a niche music style in China, there is no good platform for hip hop music to show and win over an audience’s attention. In China, rappers are discriminated against, and people generally think that rap represents bad language and violence. Many people in China think that rappers can only be underground singers. In fact, China also has a group of excellent rappers who combine traditional Chinese culture with hip-hop culture. So, I designed this series of posters, combining the Chinese elements appearing in their songs with their photos, to tell everyone that China also has amazing hip-hop singers.
As the first female Rapper in China, the arrangement of Vava’s song named “New Clothes” adopts the classic Beijing Opera section named “Water Pedlar”. Been given some elements of fashion, clarity, and hip-hop rhythm, and coupled with Vava’s great ability to write words and rhythmic arrangement, this RAP combines tradition and fashion to the extreme. Speaking of Beijing Opera, what comes to mind must be Chinese culture. As an external carrier of music style and emotional communication, if hip-hop wants to become the mainstream music in China, it needs to rely on a catalyst that can quickly make people understand without losing its unique characteristics. As for this catalyst, Vava chose Beijing Opera. The traditional style of music is inherited in a trendy style, and the latest music is conveyed in the most traditional form. I choose Beijing Opera Facial Masks as the background and the lyrics of Vava are made into her hair in this collage, which deeply embodies the combination of Beijing Opera and Hip-hop.
In Bridge’s hometown,Chongqing, fast mask-changing is a very famous art. One of the special effects of Sichuan Opera is to reveal the changes in the heart and thoughts and feelings of the characters in the play, that is, to turn the invisible and insensible abstract emotions and mental states into visible and sensible concrete images. Sichuan Opera changed face is a stunt used to shape characters in Sichuan Opera art. It is a romantic approach that reveals the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters in the play. Therefore, in the background part of this college, I used the elements of Chinese mask-changing art. Dialect rap is a popular form of Chinese rap in recent years, and Bridge is one of the representatives of Chinese dialect rap. His creation will not pay special attention to the distinction between Putonghua and dialects, but more of the pursuit of comfortable listening. And this natural mixture brings a lot of surprise to the whole tune. I turn Chongqing dialect into the hair part of Bridge in this collage. .
The song named “The Last Emperor” can be traced back to the movie named “The Last Emperor”. Jony J deconstructs the classical tragic characteristics of the film from a modern perspective, captures the characters’ desire for freedom, and explores characters’ destiny and choice from a young perspective in the lyrics. He dispelled the solemnity of the original song with a dissolute attitude, and in the tragic atmosphere of the last emperor, he faced the variables with smiles. I adopt dragon design as the background part of this collage. The legend of the dragon and the dragon culture are the historical heritage of some East Asian countries such as China and one of the most representative cultural symbols of the Chinese nation. In ancient China, dragons were only used by emperors. The shape on Jony J’s head is an emperor’s hat.
Lexie has a dong names Mulan, which integrates Chinese element to combine traditional Chinese stories with hip hop culture. The Chinese and English lyrics are more innovative. The Rap is superimposed with new and refined operas. The multi-faceted nature of the songs makes the classic heroine Mulan seem to return to modern times. Mulan is a female character in the Chinese literary works who joined in the army instead of her father. The story took place in the the Northern Wei Dynasty against Rouran Khaganate. In this story, Mulan decided to disguise herself into a man to join the army instead of her father. The left part of this collage is Lexie’s face, and the right part is Mulan’s face.
If there are bandit gangs in American rap and “jianghu” in Chinese rap, then the word “jianghu” should be written by GAI. Rap is just a form of music, and the content is the soul of songs. GAI is the first rapper that combines Chinese style with rap, instead of just imitating American and Korean rap. He integrates the Chinese culture of Jianghu into hip-hop culture. The unrestrained and free rhythm of Chongqing dialect and the bursting rhythm of hip-hop, together with the beating of Chinese style, make songs appear, such as “Dry Weather and Flammable Things”, “Stratagem of The Empty City”, “Hushan Lang” and “Ascetic Monks” , which unexpectedly showed a real texture of rivers and lakes as never before. The combination of Chongqing dialect and rap make GAI find a unique hip-hop style. Although GAI’s rap style is a variant of the combination of American Gansta Rap and native rap, it is still a genuine pioneer of Chinese native rap. So I choose the elements of “jianghu” in this collage.