At the risk of becoming Kunmingist for the day, we wanted to pass along info on a Kunming rapper who looks like he could be China’s answer to Digable Planets (are we showing our age?). Here’s a snippet from GoKunming’s profile of Hu Xuan:
Only a year ago, Kunming native Hu Xuan was in the thick of the rat race in the fast-paced coastal metropolis of Guangzhou, working as a journalist during the day and a musician at night. One short year later, Hu has returned to Kunming and established himself as one of the pioneers of the city’s nascent hiphop scene.
At the end of five years in Guangzhou in which he obtained an English degree and worked as editor of a popular webzine, Hu also spent a short time as frontman for a rap/metal band whose song lyrics were primarily in English. When the band’s guitarist decided to pursue a career in pop music, the group disbanded and Hu decided to return to Kunming to make his own music.
After returning to Kunming last year the 22-year-old Hu – rapping under the name Tang Ren Ti (唐人踢) – wrote, rapped on and produced Jazz-rap is in the city now, arguably one of the more interesting albums released in China in 2006.
Hu’s lyrics forego the gangsta rap-influenced trash-talking that is growing in popularity in coastal cities in favor of a jazz-infused and thoughtful diary of modern life in urban China.