Chinese Hip-Hop duo DMOB's US Intro c/o HBO's "Silicon Valley" followed by Select US Tour inc. SF & LA @ 1015 Folsom & The Mayan

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2018 09:57pm | Post a Comment
DMOB "Breakup, Just Breakup"

Already a household name in their homeland where they were recently voted the country's best rap group, Chinese hip-hop duo DMOB only very recently caught the attention of most hip-hop fans Stateside. That introduction came a couple of weeks ago, care of their music appearing in the popular HBO comedy Silicon Valley and is been followed up with a short premier US tour by the Chinese  contemporary rap group that's not to be confused with the similarly named early 90's UK house/rave act D Mob. Currently DMOB are in the midst of a one week tour of the USA. The duo comprised of After Journey and BooM kicked off  their select five date tour in Boston, followed by shows this week in New York City and Chicago. Tonight (May 10th) they play San Francisco's 1015 Folsom and on Sunday evening (May 13th) they'll play their final US date at The Mayan in Los Angeles.

Main rapper After Journey, who cites Wu-Tang Clan and Kendrick Lamar as among his favorite acts, got his formal introduction to hip-hop when, before beginning college in Beijing, he had an opportunity to study overseas for a semester in business school in Australia. While there he also schooled himself in everything hip-hop by making daily visits to the local record store. However once back in China finding American hip-hop proved way more challenging. “A lot of the CDs we could get had holes drilled in them by the government, because you weren’t allowed to sell imports. So we could only listen to one or two tracks off the CDs,” said the 26 year old rapper who, along with 27 year old hip-hop collaborator BooM, continues to witness government intervention first hand.

Earlier this year DMOB were among those in the cross-hairs of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China who issued a statement indicating that hip-hop (and people with tattoos) would be banned from television due to it been deemed a “tasteless, vulgar and obscene” attack on Chinese culture. The move was seen by most as the government's fear fueled reaction to the rapid recent growth in mainstream popularity of rap/hip-hop. In less than a year China's witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity of the American urban rooted art-form. This cultural takeover parallels the rise in popularity of the national TV show The Rap Of China that began airing last June and has since become huge with breakout stars including seemingly anti-establishment rappers PG One and Gai and a cast of others that includes DMOB's BooM and After Journey.

Like a Chinese rap version of The Voice but with the national influence reminiscent of YO! MTV Raps in the States three decades ago, The Rap Of China grew too fast and got too big and influential for its own good; at least from a controlling government's perspective. Many see the Chinese authority's recent attack on hip-hop as only temporary while limited to mainstream TV. They see hip-hop as a music and culture whose roots have already been sown in China and even if driven underground it will continue to thrive.

As far as the musical make up of Chinese rap, much of it borrows direct influence from modern American mainstream hip-hop. But it also has its own unique qualities. “In Mandarin, wordplay is different than English. We have four different tones in our language so we can play with that aspect," noted DMOB's After Journey adding that, "Because each word is one unit in Mandarin, there is a kind of rhythm we can use that is different than with English. We use words like a drum."

Rapping in both Mandarin and English DMOB’s track “Breakup, Just Breakup” (video above) was recently featured in the soundtrack for the popular Chinese movie Ex 3 while their “I Got My Slash” became popular from been featured in a major car commercial. More recently was their intro to American audiences when their version of Atlanta artist with Japanese derived name MadeinTYO 's "Luxury Life" played out over the end credits of the Season Five Silicon Valley episode that aired two weeks ago. It was the episode that involved the HBO show's main Chinese character Jian-Yang back in China and about to develop his New Facebook, New Snapchat, and New New Internet. DMOB's song joins an impressive artist list on the series' consistently well curated soundtrack. For example this past weekend's episode end credits were accompanied by the Edan and Mr Lif featured track "Metalstorm" off Cut Chemist's recommended new album Die Cut (also avail on vinyl/LP) while past  seasons of the Mike Judge created show (when T.J. Miller was still in the cast) have included such other hip-hop artists as DJ Shadow, Nas, Run The Jewelsand Danny Brown.

DMOB "Sorry" Lyric video (2018)

Relevant Tags

Chinese Hip-hop (1), Mr Lif (3), Edan (4), Cut Chemist. Mike Judge. Silicon Valley Season 5 (1), Dmob (1), Silicon Vally Soundtrack (1)