hip hop music

February 14, 2004

The Lonely Road of the Taiwanese G

Damn, a gangsta rapper in Taiwan just can't get no respect:

Hanging tough?

Gangsta rap has come to Taiwan, but fear not-- they're firing blanks

We've been here before. Some shifty looking young males loitering on a street corner in East LA amid all the tried-and-true symbols of the ghetto -- the stray 50-gallon drum, the freeway overpasses, the graffiti, the cracked sidewalks and even a bucket of a ghetto ride that lurches to the curb with a boarded-up building in the background. It's a scene that's been played out a zillion times since N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton.

And that's the whole point. We're supposed to immediately recognize the symbolism in the opening shots of Iron Bamboo's (K˰) video and draw the conclusion that this rap group is only one hair's width away from spraying the entire city. That's how gangsta these guys are. They're just like Tupac or 50 Cent.

But come on; Taiwanese gangsta rappers playing it tough on the mean streets of LA? The credibility meter registers in the negative zone on that one.

Intrigued though, I tracked the band down through their label Alfa Music to arrange an interview and like rock stars, they stalled and delayed several times before a meeting could finally be arranged. Some apprehension set in that the interview might take place in a sketchy crack den or gangster lair, until their manager called to inform me to meet them at a downtown Rose English Tea House -- the type with the frilly curtains and genteel clientele. That didn't sound very gangster at all...

Posted by jsmooth995 at February 14, 2004 4:10 AM

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