PG One under fire for lyrics glorifying drugs, sex, and the pursuit of wealth - SupChina

PG One under fire for lyrics glorifying drugs, sex, and the pursuit of wealth

Rapper’s song “Christmas Eve” is denounced by the Communist Youth League for promoting drug use and insulting women.

Wang Hao 王昊, aka PG One, one of China’s best-known rappers, who rose to fame this year on the hit show The Rap of China, issued an apology on January 4 after one of his old songs, “Christmas Eve,” was criticized for its dark lyrics.

The backlash started when some internet users complained on Weibo that the song contains “degrading and out of line” lyrics. The Communist Youth League made a post (in Chinese) on its official Weibo account to criticize the song for “encouraging teenagers to use drugs” and “insulting women.”

To help you decide if the accusation is valid or not, we have translated some lines from the lyrics that we think best represent the song’s general spirit.

Pure white powder walkin’ on the floor
Countin’ money in a party, kush kush kush burn them all
Good chicks approach me, so I don’t bother making a move
All bitches come to my house, raise their butts cosplaying little reindeers at Christmas
I’ll ride on their shoulders, exhaustin’ all fuel oil and singin’ Jingle Bells
Every bro of mine is mothefucking dope
Come with me and you’ll get addicted to me, it’s like drugs that bring you joy
Bad bitch good girls like me, we are so hot wherever
Girls who play innocent better stay in cuz no one wants to touch you
My music is like slow-acting poison
Don’t blame me for not picking up your call cuz I’m with my homies
Riding in a Maserati with my mouth full of money
Only Versace in my sight and they all become my Barbie dolls

Listen to the full song through this link.

The Communist Youth League said that “public figures on the internet should be a good model and provide proper guidance for the country’s teenagers.” According to the post, PG One failed in this role, and the lyrics about “white powder” may be illegal.

PG One released a statement (in Chinese) on Weibo, in which he apologized and announced that he would take down the song from all streaming service platforms.

“I was deeply influenced by black music in the early days of me being exposed to hip-hop culture. It made me misunderstand mainstream values and I sincerely apologize for that,” he wrote. “As I mature, I am more aware that I should have a stronger sense of social responsibility, advocate correct values, and get involved in more social service activities.” The rapper also added that the hip-hop spirit should and will always be about “peace and love.”

The apology, however, did little to stop the criticism (in Chinese). Many internet users focused their anger on his lack of remorse, saying that the rapper shouldn’t blame black culture for the toxic worldviews represented in his music. Meanwhile, some die-hard fans of PG One leaped to his defense, arguing that topics like crime, drugs, and loveless sex are essential to hip-hop culture, and that by no means does the personality depicted in the rapper’s music resemble him in real life.

This is not the first time that PG One has been in hot water. During his appearance in the popular rap show, he engaged in some feuds with his fellow contestants, which prompted him to write and perform a diss track titled “H.M.E.” In the song, he took shots at Zhou Yan 周延, aka Gai, his biggest rival on the show, while bragging about his songwriting skills. “Hypocrite Gai is the one I abhor the most,” he raps on the record. “Haters, stop teaching me how to rap. I can write four kilograms of your crap songs within a day.”

Earlier this week, the troubled rapper was embroiled in another scandal (in Chinese), in which he was condemned for secretly dating actress Li Xiaolu 李小璐, wife of actor Jia Nailiang 贾乃亮.

If you’re intrigued by PG One, watch this clip produced by his fan club to learn more about him:

And since we fully agree that musicians, for the most part, should be judged by their work, we invite you to listen to more of his songs:

Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.