Chinese rapper Young Jack introduces “FRESHTAPE” project.
A visit to Xiamen City. Chinese rapper Young Jack introduces “FRESHTAPE” project.
by Fabio Nalin (for World Hip Hop Market)
Xiamen is a sunny city located on an island facing Taiwan in the Fujian province, Southern China, about 600 kilometers from Hong Kong. The city was one of the Special Economic Zones and was opened to foreign investments in the early 1980s, but is also a leisure city and is one of the place which are most suitable for living in China.
Since I saw the live concert of local artists Young Jack, rapper, and Celie, R&B female singer, I was asking myself, how’s the hip hop scene in Xiamen? The reply comes from Young Jack himself: “Xiamen is a rallying point for cultural streams, and I’m absolutely not exaggerating. Obviously also hip hop culture penetrated into the lives of local youngsters. From breakdance, graffiti, to the latest trends as fixed gear and skateboard, Xiamen gathers all elements at best”. Young Jack, whose real name is Man Shuke (满舒克), is a rapper from Yunnan province, now based in Xiamen. His style is basically hip hop, with electro and jazz influences, from classic hip hop to pop elements. His crew, FRESH TAPE, is composed by Celie (苏西利), and rappers Anner and 42.
Young Jack: In Xiamen there are also old school hip hop crews. I was deeply influenced by local rap crew called Fu Lin Ge, I was always attracted by their attitude and style. Nowadays in Xiamen there are a lot of young guys who do rap music as well.
WHHM: When did you get in touch with hip hop? When did you start making music?
Young Jack: I got in touch with hip hop culture in 2002, at that time I was already a massive hip hop listener. Rappers who influenced me the most are J-Kwon, Nelly and Chingy at their early period of their career. In 2009 when I began university I officially started making few rap music creations. I started to write lyrics and, like the most part of Chinese b-boys, I got deeply influenced by Eminem’s movie “8 mile”. I was writing lyrics every time.
And the in 2012 I founded an independent hip hop label called FRESHTAPE.
WHHM: Tell us about FRESHTAPE
Young Jack: FRESHTAPE is my music label and is also the name of my crew. Combining the two words FRESH and TAPE, the cassettes used in the past, we want to convey the concept of a tape, which has today’s freshness but at the same time which keeps rooted in the past. We make up-to-date fresh hip hop music, and we also record classic rap, timeless and evergreen.
WHHM: Which is your most representative work, or the song you are most proud of?
Young Jack: Is hard for me to choose my most representative work, but if choosing the more widely popular one, then I should say “YOUNG JACK” track, from the mixtape of the same name. This song gave me the first motivation for keep on making good quality rap music. Regarding the song I’m most proud of, again is difficult choosing only one. I think the whole “YOUNG JACK” mixtape is a really valuable work. But obviously, the new album with FRESHTAPE crew, which we will release at the beginning of next year, will definitely reach a new level!
WHHM: What are you doing at the moment? What are your plans for the future?
Young Jack: My latest live tour includes some commercial events, underground lives and performances in music festivals. After all, live shows are always these. So I’ve been putting the most of my strength on the release of our crew’s next album and on FRESHTAPE brand promotion. But this year I’m going to release also a mixtape of 42 tracks called “South Min People Love Rap”(South Min is the name of the area of Fujian province where Xiamen is located). This mixtape will be released under the flag of FRESHTAPE, I believe that young people in South Min area will like it!
This I was mostly preparing and accumulating, after all, we just started making some plans and arrangements in our crew, we still need more experience and attempts. But I believe that all future projects will succeed!
WHHM: Thank you Young Jack!
“YOUNG JACK” track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SePoP56b9lA
FRESH TAPE page: http://site.douban.com/FRESHMUSIC/
Young Jack’s page: http://site.douban.com/jimmy/
Celie’s page: http://site.douban.com/xilly/?ref=similar_sites
Anner’s page: http://site.douban.com/anner/
42’s page: http://site.douban.com/forty2/