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Print of Note #8

Subject Citation Contents
hip hop in China "Hip Hop Generation" by Edward Shei, Far Eastern Economic Review, 22 February 2001, pp. 64-6. Describes an emerging scene in Shanghai and a major event in November, 2000 organized by Shanghai-born Gary Wang and ABC Angelito Tan, and sponsored by Northwest Airlines, Budweiser, and Nike.

"...warns Barme [China expert at the Australian National University], anyone believing they have found an easy way to market to young Chinese may be in for a bit of disappointment.

'This generation is more alert, and has a more ironic look towards advertisting,' he says. 'In a way, they've grown up with a sort of name-brand switch with communist ideology. The Communist Party sees themselves one way, but they act in another.'
  Still, even in the U.S. -- home of hip hop -- many of the original ideals have been lost. Big-name MCs spend more time rapping about how much money they've made --or want to make-- than calling for public protest or social change."
hip hop in China "Hip-hop bootcamp puts Chinese teens on stage", by Elisabeth Rosenthal March 10, 2001, New York Times Describes some new Chinese MC's that were groomed in Seoul. They gave a debut at the Workers' Stadium auditorium with the front rows filled with Communist Party officials and police. The performers included TNT (boy group), Tinkerbell (girl group), and Annie (soloist).
Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Guo Wenjing, Qu Xiaosong, Ye Xiaogang, Wang Xilin, Chou Wen-chung, Bun-Ching Lam and others "The Sound of New Music is often Chinese": "The Offspring of a Grim Revolution" by Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai and "A New Contingent of American Composers" by James Oestreich, New York Times, 1 April 2001. The first article talks about the Chinese composers in China. The second talks about Chinese composers in the United States.
Prach Ly "Hard rap on the rouge", by Gina Chon April 20, 2001, Asiaweek A report on a popular rap cd in Phnom Penh by a Cambodian American in Long Beach, Cali. When Prach Ly released his self-made recording about the legacy of the Khmer Rouge (more than a year earlier?), he couldn't interest music companies in the States in it. Unbeknownst to him, at least one copy found its way to Cambodia. where it became popular and was pirated. Apparently, no one else was discussing the history of Khmer Rouge rule in the pop culture scene in Phnom Penh, at least as bluntly as Ly. (Of course, no one would want to risk assassination by government thugs.)
Joseph Kahn "The Wrath of Kahn: Joseph Kahn's trek to music video stardom" by Jimmy Lee with Nicholas Choy, KoreAm, June 2001, pp.26-9. Kahn has made over 200 music videos for different popular genres. A recent one he did for Sisqo's "Thong Song" has raised some controversy.
...The video drew criticism for exploiting women as sex objects. And it's credited for starting a new wave of "booty" videos -- although it seems tame compared to early '90s hits like Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" and Wreckx-N-Effect's "Rump Shaker."
  The criticism doesn't fax Kahn. "I listen to ("Thong Song"), and I say, 'Well, this song is about asses.' So you can either accept it and do something like I did, or you can go and try and turn the 'Thong Song' into some kind of Chemical Brothers video and make it all pretentious; about some f__king communist upheaval or something. Let's just relax and make a booty video, and let's make a really good one, and make it fun.
  Is it exploiting women? Women get exploited every day in a hundred different ways. It's whether or not you have a sense of humor about it, if it's intelligent or not. I don't know the political ramifications, all I know is what I was trying to do was harmless," Kahn says.

(Sure, that's what they all say... If he really wants to know the political ramifications, why not screen the video before an audience of Communist Party officials (see item above about hip hop in China) and see if they can get jiggy with it.)
K-pop "Swept up on a wave", by Suh-kyung Yoon October 18, 2001, Far Eastern Economic Review J-pop has been replaced by K-pop.
...The 'Korea Wave' has been sweeping Asian for only the past two years. But there's no secret to why it's been so quick to overtake Asia's traditional content providers, Hong Kong and Japan: Simply, K-pop is hipper than J-pop, cooler than Canto-pop. Reason? Hip hop.
  ...Brought to [Korea] by Korean-Americans, the hard-core raps and harsh beats have been toned down and adapted by groups like Seo Taiji, The Boys and UpTown. Today, almost all the bands sport at least one Korean-American, usually a rapper, who adds vital street cred."
(And if you wanna make money off of this trend, check out the following stock recommendations.)
Korean pop-artist management companies "Quest for a Perfect Play; South Korean entertainment companies are taking the world by storm, creating animated hits like the role-playing game Lineage" by Kim Jung Min, Far Eastern Economic Review, August 23, 2001, p.50. Seoul-based analyst Park Lae Jin of Daehan Investment Trust Securities likes Korean entertainment stocks because of their growth potential in the next few years. He has a buy recommendation:
on the stocks of the two major pop-artist management companies -- SM Entertainment and YBM Korea. More than half their customers are teenagers, who make up around 70% of the pop-music market. "Teenagers are less sensitive to the down cycle in the economy," Park says. He expects 420-billion-won market to grow annually by around 6% over the next 2-3 years.


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