Monday, May 02, 2011

Tibetan Hip Hop

Hip hop has provided a voice for rebels in the recent uprisings in North Africa, notably in Tunisia. So perhaps not surprisingly other repressive regimes are scouring the internet for the signs of rap-borne revolt.

The Chinese government has apparently attempted to censor a recent hip hop video by Tibetans living in Switzerland, seeking to have it removed from some web platforms. The content of the Shapale song is relatively politically innocuous - it plays on the dual meaning of Shapale as a tibetan meat pie and a slap on the bum. But seemingly the fact that it expresses sentiments of Tibetan pride is enough to draw it to the attention of the state.

(the name of the artist isn't stated on this video - anybody know? Love the use of the pastry 'medallion', put me in mind of Flavor Flav - this kid certainly knows what time it is)

This is by no means the only example of Tibetan hip hop. For instance, High Peaks Pure Earth last year featured a track from a group called Green Dragon, based in the Amdo region of Tibet. Some good lines in here 'See the polluted sky and know, We can't afford to wait for tomorrow's sunrise, Now wake up...'

"New Generation" by Yudrug (Green Dragon) from HPeaks on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for this post.. I'm working on a project related to Tibetan pop music and hadn't heard of this video.