Guest Author - Caroline Baker
Anyone who has ever listened to popular Chinese pop/rock music will realize just how different it is from the top 40’s in the US. The Chinese have learned a lot from their Western counterparts, wild hair-do’s, trend-setting attitudes and fashions, and rhythms from hip-hop to love ballads.
What has resulted is a new brand of music that many Chinese-Americans are familiar with. Music that speaks to various struggles or feelings that the young generation of Chinese encounter. And to express the multi-cultural nature of our worlds, they are sung in many dialects of Chinese and even English.
MTV has come to recognize this and the growing interest in Chinese-Americans with identifying in their culture. On Tuesday, December 13th 2005, the great music station which defined the 80’s and created new outlets for music, launched MTV Chi. This is the second launch of a channel dedicated to the minority population that MTV has done this year. The first was back in July with MTV Desi, focusing on Asian-Indian teens.
The launch was hosted by the now world-reknowned actress, Ziyi Zhang. Interestingly enough, they opened the show with a very traditional Chinese music playing in the background. Of course, just like the culture they are trying to represent, it doesn’t stay very long in this calm state.
As will go down in MTV history is the first video that aired on MTV Chi. They selected Jin and his “Learn Chinese” song. This hip-hop, ganster rap, Chinese-American song was an interesting selection. It exemplifies the growing interracial feel that hip-hop has been gaining over the last few years. It also shows just how different and diverse the music of Chinese-American youths are today.
So when will MTV Chi be coming to an area near you?
Just like MTV took awhile to reach every cable company, no doubt the same will be done with this. Interest is probably the largest deciding factor and the areas of largest Chinese concentration, like major cities, will be the first to receive this new station. But if it proves popular, who knows?
Meanwhile, if you want to check out some of the videos they are playing or tap into what’s happening, visit their website at: http://www.mtvchi.com.