‘The Rap of China’ Returns After Off-Beat Year

China’s first hip-hop reality show shone a spotlight on the local rap scene, but ultimately artists found themselves cast in a bad light.

Last summer, frizzy-haired Wang Shuyi was rapping in front of millions. Now, she splits her time between work and the gym, and occassionally busks for passersby.

Wang — who wears large wire-rimmed glasses and sports tattoos over her arms and neck — was one of dozens of contestants battling it out during last year’s “The Rap of China.” The show put contestants’ skills to the test in various rounds, from 60-second freestyles, to one-on-one rap battles.

On Saturday, the hit show will return for a second season on iQiyi, the online video platform dubbed “China’s Netflix.” The show will see 68 contestants rap and rhyme their ways through the elimination stages until one — or two, should they repeat last year’s controversial result — is declared champion.

But it’s a different world this time around. While last year’s show was praised for bringing hip-hop, including rap in different dialects, to the mainstream, the hype it brought about has also led to lows for the genre — and performers like Wang. Continue to read the full article here.


-This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.