Chinese Hip Hop and Identity


The recent economic reforms and social changes experienced in China have encouraged more young people to embrace the power of hip hop culture. Modern technologies are encouraging many Chinese youths to share their ideas, skills, and concepts (Hernandez, 59). This development explains why such youths are embracing the power of hip hop music. Many Chinese citizens and youths are currently using hip hop music as an influential instrument of self-expression, socio-cultural identity, and communication. This paper examines how Chinese hip hop supports the socio-economic and political needs of many youths. The essay will also discuss the major issues associated with hip hop identity in China.

Analysis of the Selected Topic

The Chinese have been constructing and negotiating “their images with every kind of discourse” (146). One example of such discourses is music. They have been using different types of music to construct their images. The Chinese always borrow numerous musical elements from their cultural and historical practices. Such practices have reshaped their musical discourses. The Chinese “are aware of their past and their future” (Liu, 149). Chinese hip hop has become a powerful genre. Many Chinese youths use it as a sign of identity.

I am a member of this youth subculture. That being the case, I have acquired new freedoms and ideas that can support my future goals. It is agreeable that Chinese hip hop music has become globalized. This development has resulted in many cultural, geographical, and social implications. Many Chinese youths are appreciating the power of hip hop music. This move emerged when the government of China implemented several economic and social reforms. The “government’s open-door policy has created numerous changes in the country’s social and economic positions” (Liu, 151). New changes have defined the lives of many Chinese youths. A new form of identity has emerged whereby more youths are focusing on their personal freedoms. They listen to hip hop because it supports their economic and social statuses.

Many Chinese youths are using hip hop music to identify themselves with the rest of the world. Young individuals appreciate Chinese hip hop because it portrays their emotions. They have been able to express their attitudes and feelings. Hip hop music is making it possible for these youths to pass across their voices and messages. Chinese hip hop “differs significantly from American music” (Lam, 29). The Chinese have been using this kind of music to highlight their social conditions and economic needs. The “dances, emotional orientations, languages, and rhythms focus on the changing needs of these young citizens” (Lam 31).

Analysis and Elaboration of the Above Thesis Statement

Many Chinese youths have several challenges. Such youths have been focusing on the best practices in order to achieve their goals. They are looking for new jobs and personal freedoms. They also want to express their feelings and opinions to the government. They also want to join their counterparts in different parts of the world. This kind of identity has compelled these individuals to embrace the power of hip hop music. This fact explains why Chinese hip hop music is associated with more youngsters (Lam 67). This music genre makes it easier for more Chinese youths to express their identities.

Chinese hip hop music has become a powerful artistic force. This force is currently shaping people’s popular culture. New youth fashions “have emerged in this country” (Liu 151). More youths are embracing various sporting activities such as skating, football, and American soccer (Lam 65). According to different analysts, the Chinese are using hip hop to interact with the government and other leaders. Chinese hip hop is associated with political liberation in the country. This popular music is expected to expand in the future. It will also become a critical part of the country’s mainstream culture.

The Chinese “are using hip hop music to interact with other youths in different corners of the globe” (Liu 149). Such “youths use pop music to express their Chinese self” (Lam 32). They also focus on their socio-economic and cultural needs. The people of China have not forgotten their cultural and historical roots. The Chinese youths have been looking for a new identity in order to voice their needs. This analysis explains why Chinese music “presents a discourse of globalization and planned goals” (Liu 150). For example, many youths have been embracing modern dress codes. They are also using music to deliver their messages to the government. The “individuals have been using hip hop music for entertainment” (Liu 150). This practice has given them a sense of cultural freedom.


The Chinese are known to embrace their historical past. The Chinese youth have embraced hip hop with caution. They use it as a powerful tool to express their views. They also use Chinese hip hop music to voice their concerns and needs. This kind of music has also given them a new identity. Many Chinese youths are interacting with other individuals across the globe while promoting their cultural heritage. This discussion explains why Chinese hip hop music will become more meaningful in the future.

Works Cited

Hernandez, Deborah. “Race, Ethnicity and the Production of Latino Popular Music.” Global Repertoires. Ed. Andreas Gebesmair and Alfred Smudits. New York, NY: Ashgate, 2002. 57-72. Print.

Lam, Joseph. “Music, Globalization, and the Chinese Self.” Macalester International 21.1 (2012): 29-77. Print.

Liu, Xuexin. “Across the Borders: Hip Hop’s Influence on Chinese Youth Culture.” Southeast Review of Asian Studies 32.1 (2010): 146-153. Print.

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Premium Papers. "Chinese Hip Hop and Identity." April 26, 2022.