China has a bad rap, uh, rep, and this video aims to confirm, uh, correct that

The members of CD ONE, a Chengdu-based musical group, should probably stick to rapping in Mandarin

The members of CD ONE, a Chengdu-based musical group, should probably stick to rapping in Mandarin

JISHOU, HUNAN — Let me be frank here. I’m an ignoramus when it comes to rap and hip hop. I freely confess it. But even I know the difference between good rap and horrible rap.

This new video from the Chinese propaganda office falls into the latter category. I mean, you can’t even call it rap. It’s more like spoken word or — going further back in history — bad beat poetry.

Of course, maybe it sounds better in Chinese, but the video is intended for a foreign audience and the spoken lyrics are in English.

It begins:

Regardless of all the prejudices in the past
Today I wanna restore the impression you have on my country, China
Which have been exactly fabricated by media for a long time

As an individual citizen based in the south west of the country
I wanna spit it then
You guys can know better about what the truth is and
How Chinese people access their own country
And how much we don’t wanna be disputants

Word, man. Word.

Here’s the thing. China has decent rappers (in Mandarin or Cantonese). And maybe the performers on this state-approved video can rap pretty good in their native language.

Just. Not. In. English.

And certainly not with a state-mandated message, which is, “Blame the West for all the bad stuff people think about China, and be sure to mention all the good stuff, like the Nobel Prize in medicine won by 屠呦呦 Tú Yōuyōu (but not the Nobel Peace Prize won by 刘晓波 Liú Xiǎobō).”

Some of the scenes in the video look as if they have been ripped from TV shows or movies. The makeup on the rappers is supposed to simulate the masks worn in Peking Opera, but would prompt most Westerners to think of the band, Kiss.

I suppose it’s a step up from last year’s 1960s-style Five Year Plan video with some kids singing on (not in) a VW Microbus, but not much of a step up.

Here are the complete English lyrics, so you can rap along.

[Verse 1]
Regardless of all the prejudices in the past
Today I wanna restore the impression you have on my country, China
Which have been exactly fabricated by media for a long time

As an individual citizen based in the south west of the country
I wanna spit it then
You guys can know better about what the truth is and
How Chinese people access their own country
And how much we don’t wanna be disputants
First things first, we all know that China is developing country
It has large population and it is really hard to manage
Especially after world war II, almost perished
I mean what I say is true, war is always scary

It is real that the pollution is severe at the present stage
In big cities like Beijing, Tianjin
Always pollution, haze
Similar to 1950s London and LA
It’s painful with higher growth rate you see

People are too busy with business
Everybody wanna have a better life
Make money, get married
But they are like the first or sec generation of rich
Not well-educated
But now young men like us, aspiring and friendly

[Hook]
This is China
We love the country, we the chi-phenomena
The red dragon ain’t no evil
But a peaceful place
The beautiful land with rich culture remain

[Verse 2]
At the second verse
It’s really painful to point out the problems as they are too much for us to even think about and mention
The food and drug security event
Melamine Milk had affected so many babies
And they all suffered from malnutrition
What’s more there was the Vaccination issue
Illegal business operation has caused expiration and led to
The panic in domestic
What’s wrong with the businessmen
And it’s reasonless to do business riding on them babies
The question is there were still somebody who wanted the situation to be worse
And their name is
You know who
They will get US dollar perks
The Spy, the traitor, the liar and the monkey making jerks
They are leading the public into another extreme and it worked

Also it’s shameful to talk about some politicians
Because of their corruption and malversation in bidding sections
Their sexual pics and the prostitution scandals
Are all as a disgrace to the country and its people

You are probably also confused about the situation in Taiwan
As you don’t know the relationship between it and mainland
Actually, for normal citizens, we just want us to be united as one
Cause we think we are from one family, the same

[Hook]

[Verse 3]
Although the country does have these terrible things to deal with
We’ve made a progress and we are trying to prevent these happening
The power of Chinese people in China are gradually proving
That we can make a better world as love, peace and harmony

Through developing mobile payments
We can now use apps to pay in nearly all the situations
Even to make an appointment with the doctors
We don’t have to wait in line and try so hard, cost so much to just pay to register

Meanwhile we can trust the public security
Cause the policemen are kind to the citizens but crucial to our enemies
We have tight gun control laws and we don’t fear gun slaughtering
Cause only cops and soldiers are able to touch it

As for scientific achievement we have Tu Youyou who discovered astemisinin
Also there are KBBF crystal and Shenzhou series in astronomy
We are now leading the developing or poor and backward countries
In technology, economy, science and other aspects
To make a better world just like the old, old history
Yes, we do want the recovery
Just for a better living and and our great great China Dream
You see

[Hook]

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