China’s Biggest Rappers Are Posting an Anti-Hong Kong Protest Meme
A pro-Hong Kong police meme created by Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily has gone viral in part due to support from an unlikely corner: clout rappers
Aug 14, 2019
1 mins read
A meme calling the protests currently roiling Hong Kong a “shame” blew up the Chinese internet today. The image — which reads “I support Hong Kong police, you can hit me” in traditional Chinese characters, with “What a shame for Hong Kong” written in English underneath — was released this morning at 1:50 AM Beijing time by People’s Daily, China’s largest newspaper and an official paper of the country’s ruling Communist Party.
Stoking fury in response to last night’s clash between police and protestors at Hong Kong International Airport, the People’s Daily meme has blown up in part due to widespread anger among the general mainland populace, but also thanks to support from an unlikely corner: clout rappers
Rap of China champion PG One, for example, re-posted People Daily’s Weibo this afternoon with the caption: “Support Hong Kong police, resist violent atrocities!!! I hope everyone is safe and secure!”
Another Rap of China star, VaVa, posted the meme to her 253,000 Instagram followers with the English caption: “Hong Kong is part of China forever.” The hashtag #VAVA INS# is currently one of Sina Weibo’s trending topics, with more than 300 million re-posts — somewhat ironic given that Instagram is blocked in mainland China, and inaccessible without VPN software (something some commenters have pointed out on her post).
Yet another famous-because-of-TV rapper, After Journey, joined the fray as well, ‘gramming the image with the caption (in Chinese): “Compatriots, remember this day, remember this moment.”
Less directly, two members of what is arguably Chinese rap’s hottest overseas export, Higher Brothers, shared images of China’s national flag on their Instagram accounts this afternoon. Melo from the Sichuan trap group shared the flag with the English caption “Once again.I’m proud i’m a Chinese.”, later responding to a commenter in Chinese (and Sichuan-dialect slang), “Hong Kong has been part of China’s territory since ancient times, you dumbasses should recognize your ancestors and origins”.
Three hours later, fellow Higher Brother DZ Know shared the same image with the Chinese caption “send me a [Chinese flag emoji],” promptly followed up with a comment (also in Chinese) reading, “China first [fire emoji]”.
Though such blatant — and, frankly, puerile — displays of nationalism might seem surprising coming from rappers who’ve been busy building an international following, keep in mind that some are reflecting a sentiment that has been growing on the mainland in recent weeks as State media outlets have devoted increasing attention to events in Hong Kong. Another consideration is that signalling allegiance to a pro-Communist Party meme heavily affects the domestic bottom line for rappers like Higher Brothers and VaVa, who need to remain on the right side of Chinese authorities and fans alike.
Well sorry to report that the Higher Brothers, heroes and inspirations to a whole generation of Chinese youth, have gone full on nationalist. No doubt some coercion was involved but core sentiment seems disappointingly genuine pic.twitter.com/VabbxQ2Ul8
What does the ideal weekend look like for you? Sleeping in, making yourself a coffee and a lovely brunch, meeting up with friends to shop or skateboard, and enjoying an alcoholic drink (or many) at the bar come nightfall? Many Chinese youths strive for this lifestyle but find it just beyond their reach.
According to a survey conducted by the Chinese online publication Tamen, many young people in China would like to be active on weekends but always do nothing or simply watch TV. The reason is that their busy workweeks leave them feeling drained. Around half of the respondents admitted that they find it hard to separate their work and leisure time, as many do overtime or frequently check work-related emails and messages on the weekends.
The survey revealed that only 1 in 10 youth spend their weekends engaging in outdoor activities. As a result, most rate their average weekend a low 5.7 out of 10. Interestingly, the younger they are, the more frustrated they feel. It would seem that while some young people embrace the idea of ‘lying flat’ at work, being stagnant on the weekends feels like a waste of time.
If given a choice, most young Chinese workers would spend their two work-free days with their partners and enjoy new experiences together. Surprisingly, very few chose to spend their weekends meeting and making new friends, instead choosing to spend time alone or with their pets.