Most Popular Hip-Hop Artists in China

Jan 18, 2019 | Pop, Pop.China

Breaking Asia | Editor

Meet the Most Popular HipHop Artist in China

Hip-Hop is exploding in the Chinese music scene. Perhaps this is the main reason why the Chinese government is less accommodating when it comes to the popular genre. Early last year, the Chinese government banned hip-hop artists from appearing live on national television channels for fear of spreading the ‘immoral’ culture. Despite the government censorship on hip-hop music, Chinese rappers are fast gaining the global recognition. Here are some of the most famous hip-hop artists.

Vava

Vava (Mao Yanqi) is the ultimate hybrid between Rihanna and Angel Haze. Her artistic style is constantly changing but her music is full of energy with beautiful ‘struggle’ lyrics. Vava rose steadily from a humble beginning to a leading hip-hop star.  She began her rap music career by ghostwriting songs for pop stars before appearing on Rap China Show with the hit song Shady Wit Me.  Her style of rapping is tough but pays homage to the Chinese culture. Vava has more than 4 million followers on Weibo. Her official Weibo account is @VaVaMiss. Vava was a runner-up on China’s The Rap of China hip-hop competition. Her accomplishments include being featured in the film Crazy Rich Asians that brought her stardom on the international stage. 

Vinida

Vanida became interested in hip-hop culture at age of 13 years old. She gained the attention of the public after her performance in the show Sing! China in 2016. She also participated in The Rap of China. In 2017, Forbes China selected her as the most influential female artist in the under 30 years old category. Her music glorifies the female power as evident in her two popular hits Queendom and Run This.  Vanida commands a significant number of followers in social media. Her official account on Weibo is @Vinida.  She has more than 1.2 million fans. Besides, Vanida has had little negative criticism in the press. This is attributed to her style of music and choice of words when performing.  

GAI (Zhou Yan)

GAI is a rapper, singer and songwriter. His famous hip-hop music includes Gangsta (2015), Empty Fort Strategy (2016), and Hot Pot Soup (2017). He rose to fame after participating in iQiyi’s Hip-Hop reality show, The Rap of China. He won the show together with his colleague PG One. His popularity in the hip-hop industry rose considerably after winning this show. He had since released a number of viral hits since 2015. His music concentrates on his life as a gangster.

GAI is a force to be reckoned with in the Chinese rap industry with more than 2.4 million followers on Weibo. Gangster is one of the accomplishments of GAI include starring the first hip hop film dubbed, Burst Rap. He is part of the new cycle of hip-hop stars that have revolutionized the Chinese music industry. Apart from winning the admiration of millions of followers in China and abroad, GAI attracted negative criticism from the media after posting a message insulting a fellow rapper on his Weibo.

Higher Brothers

Higher Brothers is a group of four from Chengdu province, China. They rose to international fame after a New York-based Media Company, 88 Rising, promoted their music in the international stage. Their hit track Made In China went viral in 2017 and the rappers were invited to perform in many cities including the United States. In 2018, the group performed in the popular Clockenflap festival in Hong Kong. Their music style has contributed to their admiration by K-Pop lovers across the globe by their style.

The greatest achievement of Higher Brothers is their rise to international fame. As a result, the rappers have made a series of travels in Asia and the United States including as well as a recent talk at Harvard University. The official twitter page of Higher Brothers has over 270,000 followers.

Regardless of interference with the government, the future of hip-hop music in China looks promising and will continue to thrive for years to come.

Higher Brothers’ newly released single “OPEN IT UP”