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‘Laowai’ Rapping About ‘Another Day in China’ is a Total Cringefest

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    You have to prepare your ears for this one.

    “Another Day in China”, a rap song about a laowai’s love for all things China, has been praised by fans as a loving ode to China while simultaneously deemed as a form of “propaganda rap” by critics.

    While the song is not actually produced by the Chinese government, it was heavily promoted by Xinhua on the state media outlet’s YouTube and Twitter accounts when it was released in December.

    The track, which is even made more cringey by its music video, is written and performed by Dylan Jaye, a New Yorker who went to Tsinghua University to study Chinese after graduating from Oxford University.

    The 21-year-old, who is also known in China as Zhong Yilun, raps about using local services such as Taobao, Wechat, car-hailing service Didi, and his struggles of understanding Mandarin and chopsticks — among many other facets of life as a foreigner in China.

    In a televised interview last year, Jaye revealed that he went to China in 2016 and studied Chinese for nine months to become a professional musician. Jaye has since gained some following on local social media, generating a respectable Weibo fanbase of over 50,000.

    While most of his followers praise the singer for his looks and vocals, critics have called his rap track “cringey” and a “cancer”.

    According to Shanghaiist, Jaye’s music video was produced by Ychina, a media outfit founded last year by 23-year-old Israeli Raz Galor who studied at Peking University.

    YChina, which now boasts of around 4 million followers on Chinese social media, has also been helping broadcaster CCTV produce online shows about foreigners residing in China.

    Check out the lyrics below (as transcribed by Shanghaiist):

    Yo, we here, with the hottest flows
    and the hottest jianbing.

    Rolling out of bed, Middle Kingdom
    Knocking feeling like a drum
    Breakfast at the door, jiaozi
    Last night ordered them

    Waimai dude speaking fangyan
    I’m feeling dumb
    But these days I’ll never get bored of ’em

    Because we’re living here in China
    I’m a rhymer
    Telling you the story of this setting
    through the eyes of another waiguoren
    The ones that came out here they call helmsmen

    And now I’m flipping through Taobao
    And somehow with the know-how and Zhi Fu Bao
    You can buy anything you want on this website
    And the things you didn’t know you wanted til sight

    Bottle opening fidget spinner
    A toaster that makes eggs
    Pink trousers for dog legs
    Whole collections of clothing with English words that make no sense

    What is Upsoab?
    Is that like a dog leash, but for hamsters?
    Buying that!

    Call me crazy
    Call me crazy, but I came here for something new
    Don’t say maybe
    We don’t say maybe
    We say this, well I can do

    You ask, why China?
    Yeah, we reply, why not China?
    Take on its confusing hutongs and streets
    and make it on your own

    You ask, why China?
    Yeah, we reply, why not China?
    With waimai, kuaidi, WeChat
    I’d be super screwed without my phone

    So now I’m out on the street looking for a few bikes with my friends
    So we can go to our favorite hot pot place right by Dongzhimen
    No, we ain’t expats, we ain’t tuhao, we ain’t got Mercedes Benz
    But yo where’s my kouzhao, can’t ride in this pollution

    Open WeChat, call a Didi, we be on our way
    Chinese friends order food, enough for 40 days
    Tofu with chopsticks is really hard, well that’s okay
    And then they fight to pay

    But we split the bill on WeChat
    And I use that app to call a Didi to go back
    And I don’t even carry cash anymore
    I use my phone to pay

    *ding* Is that my door?
    Yes, my hamster leash is here already
    but I…
    I forgot one thing
    I don’t have a hamster
    Think I can buy one on Taobao?

    Don’t think I’m just too cool to do a funny song and I
    I was hoping that you all could sing along and I
    I’ve been thinking after Donald Trump and Brexit
    And the chaos and the mayhem
    I’ll sit here and sip oolong and I
    Dancing with old people in the park and I
    Barely understand them asking “who we are,” reply

    Ni shuo shenme? (What did you say?)
    Wo ting budong (I don’t understand)

    Featured image via YouTube / New China TV

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