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Shaolin and hip hop in the age of a rap ban in China

Jul 03, 2018

In 2018, China banned what it deemed to be controversial hip hop content from television.

In this interview with 36th Chamber, one of Beijing’s original b-boy dance crews, the group talked about how the ban affected China’s culture, the Black-American struggle that gave rise to the early hip hop pioneers in New York, and the intersection of Shaolin martial arts and hip hop from the 1970s to modern day.

Just like the Wu-Tang Clan album of 1993, 36th Chamber was inspired by the art of discipline and self-mastery from the movie “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.”

Resources:

China’s hip-hop culture ban: authorities send mixed messages, South China Morning Post

'Kung Fu Kenny' Is Just the Latest Example of Hip-Hop's Fascination With Martial Arts, Complex

Full video of 36th Chambers’ performance on Beijing’s dance competition

 

Directed by: George Zhi Zhao

Written by and produced by: Dolly Li and George Zhi Zhao

Voiceover by: Dolly Li

Shot by: Timmy Shen and George Zhi Zhao

Edited by: George Zhi Zhao

Mastered by: Victor Peña