Shanghai All-Stars @ The Shelter This Friday

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Aside from LOVE BANG I’ve also joined the Come Correct crew. We’re down at The Shelter playing hip hop every Wednesday and once a month on the weekend. That weekend date happens to be this Friday.  It’s the place to be for DJs, MCs, B-boys, B-girls, hip hop heads, music lovers, party monsters, and those who want to dance. We bring the best from Shanghai and around China straight down into the Shelter. More about the venue in this VICE article.

1月10号周五,上海最具影响力的HipHop地下团体Come Correct将请来SVBKLT厂牌的创始人Drunk Monk送上冬日特别曲目!妈妈都知道Shanghai All Stars是热爱HipHop小伙伴的天堂!本次还特别请到驾着七彩高铁来自杭州的D’Rocc,以及DJ Caution, Heatwolves, T-Plus和MC One Con!票价40,晚十点,不容错过!

This month we’ve got D’Rocc coming in from Hangzhou plus boss of the SVBKVLT/Sub-Culture Drunk Monk playing a hip hop set. It’s the only place in China you can catch a hip hop show like this so don’t complain about the 40RMB cover – that’s less than you’ll pay for a beer at most bars! See you at The Shelter on Friday.

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Love Bang Mixtape 04 – Ceezy

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So we tried to post this to Soundcloud, but the cloud fluffed back due to copyright restrictions. Pretty unfortunate considering how fresh this is. Free download right here, tracklist coming soon.

这里有上海大技术宅男CEEZY最新的MIX! 您可以免费下载点下面. 本来放在SOUNDCLOUD但他们不让因为侵犯版权…

LOVE BANG UNIVERSE MIX 04 – CEEZY

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This is actually the fourth mixtape he’s done for us. They’re all great – peep this one from last year.

And then check dozens of his original productions over on his Douban. Here’s a more recent beat of his I really dig, which appeared on my tape for Uptown Records. Definitely more of a Brainfeeder sound a la Samiyam on this one.

Ceezy – SSP

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Ceezy grew up in Shanghai and discovered rap when his dad brought a Brother Lynch and Ice Cube CD home from the music market along with some Mozart. But instead of just aping the 90s hip hop sound like some producers here, Ceezy goes back as far as the 1940s, drawing influences from jazz, soul, and funk to craft his beats, which can sound like magic carpet rides to mini worlds in a Squaresoft RPG.

He’s also the object of obsession for more than a few Chinese girls, who think he’s the most handsome thing ever, like something straight out of a manga/Japanese comic book. But they rarely see him in real life because he’s a total 宅男 (zhai nan), or “stay at home boy.” You may have seen this “宅” zhai character on on flyers, usually in the form of a ghost saying “不要宅!” meaning “don’t stay at home.” I’ve definitely realized that not all the local Chinese kids who love music go out, and not all the locals who go out love music.

There’s actually two kinds of zhai, 普通宅 (Pǔtōng zhái – stay at home and play Angry Birds or sleep all day and night) and 技术宅 (Jìshù zhái – stay at home and be productive). Ceezy definitely falls into the later category, as he’s always making beats on an old PC or doing sound design for those time-killing smartphone games that the 普通宅 love. He’s been quoted as saying he dislikes the outside world and he really just wants to make music in his own world. Luckily we’ve convinced him to visit our world and DJ this Friday night at 390 Bar.

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So get down to 390 early to catch a set of soul, jazz, hip hop, and original beats by Ceezy from 9:30 – 12, then a B2B set by DJ Caution and myself until about 4:00AM. We’ll be playing straight up dance music ranging from disco to house to baltimore club. It’s RMB30 with one shot and free before 11PM if you RSVP to holler@lovebanguniverse.com

 

 

 

Hip Hop in China: Some thoughts on last night at Arkham

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Crawl thru the SmartShanghai trenches and you’ll find options. That’s good. A city this big needs options and competition – that’s the only way the scene and individuals can progress. For a long time, I couldn’t believe that Shanghai had only one weekly hip hop night (Come Correct every Wednesday at The Shelter – a night I’m affiliated with), then I saw this on the world wide web yesterday:

“Are u miss some purely hip-hop shit and the real dance floor? Who killed it?
We don’t give a f**k those fake hip-hop lover!
Now, all of this will be changed again! Since we decided to rock the city
in Hip-hop again!
Whether you were a O.G of golden age or a rookie of the new generation
You can’t miss every Thursday night’s Black Bubble Party at Arkham
Purely hipster hip-hop music all night
The hottest dance floor in town
Coolest party folks and chicks
Every thursday night!Black Bubble @ Arkham, See U!!!”

Well, they decided to rock the city so I went down and gotta say I was impressed with the turnout. At least 100 local kids down there, looking very fashion with lots of streetwear. Lots of fake chains/ropes, lots of Jordans (admittedly this is not unique to shanghai hip hop shows). But the vibe felt like 2007 when Windows Jing An used to play hip hop on Friday/Saturday nights before they swept up the African dealers and South-East Asian hooks. Not exactly an old-school Muse 1 vibe but pretty damn close.

The warm-up DJ’s music selection was aight, featuring everything from Slick Rick’s “Lodi Dodi,” 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar to Beyonce “Crazy in Love” and DMX “Party Up.” But the programming (song order) and file quality were off. Way off at times, like Gang Star-into-Skrillex off, plus a lot of MCing and “put your hands up” -isms. I didn’t stick around long enough to see Choyce Kutz play though so maybe it got better. Who was there? Lots of rich Shanghainese kids, some of them some poppin or lockin I can’t tell the difference, but most standing around. Someone burned my girlfriend with a cigarette and didn’t apologize. A few foreigners were gettin down. Basically a fashion, fu er dai (rich second generation) crowd though, and not a particularly polite or friendly one. To be fair, hip hop and grime nights around the world aren’t exactly known for the politeness and good behavior of their patrons, and this is definitely not the only place I’ve seen rude peeps out lately, but bumping into peeps or burning them w/cigs back home and not saying sorry, at a hip hop night, would not go down well. Can’t do nothin’ bout it here though, especially as a foreigner.

Does hip hop objectively have more posers than any other scene?

Anyone who cares about the music scene in China wants to see more local kids coming out to shows and enjoying music. But one can’t help but feeling a little disappointed with the there-to-be-scene and so fashion crowd. I know cool locals who come out to nights who aren’t so fashion and just wanna hear good music and dance, and some cool kids who don’t go out at all. This fashionista problem isn’t unique to China and anyway, it’s hard to judge a club night on it’s first night, but that does set the tone. Maybe it will become a community vibe like Come Correct someday. I don’t know. Nights take a long time to build, and who knows if Arkham will even be open in six months.

Anyway, let’s be happy for the competition and options, and happy that a local crew  started a hip hop night in a venue where you can dance. That’s honestly refreshing in a town where most club nights are run by foreigners and big clubs like Muse and 88 suck. Maybe this will inspire someone else to be like “hey I like hip hop but I’m not so fashion” and start their own thing. You know, reactions.

Notes: Hip Hop Hijack does a weekly party at The Geisha (tip! it’s always a good spot to hit on Fridays and goes late) but that just became a weekly party fairly recently, after years of bigger one-off events, whereas Come Correct has been going on weekly at The Shelter for well over a year.