1.28.2014

Still Paying Attention to Mongolian Hip Hop

Previously

"CYA" ~ Street Man Crew
Couldn't just post this on FB and walk away

I've been meaning to do post like this for a very long while, and since Macklemore just walked off with all of Kendrick Lamar's Grammys, I felt now was as good a time as any.

Let me be clear; I don't think that only Black people should perform Black music.  I do, however, think our artists deserve far more credit they than actually get.  I also think people don't understand hip hop's significance.  Remember, hip hop has four elements: b-boying, emceeing, turntabling, and graffiti.  When used correctly, separate or together, these elements provide the participant the means with which to examine and express their identity, to share their story and their truth with the rest of the world.

And this is why the Mongolian hip hop scene has my attention.  Now, they may have adopted certain "tendencies," but they never stop trying to be themselves.  There's a very unpretentious quality to their particular brand of hip hop.  They're fierce, but not fake.



Please watch the semi-live version STAT.

I have watched this video countless times.  I could "feel" it right away.

Gee is the big, strong bear of a rapper; he's got the deep, gruff  voice, the warrior's body, and any Mongolian film studio worth its salt will tap this rapper to play Genghis Khan.  He's that guy you want to marry, cook for, and have babies with (I'm serious).  He looks like that big, strong provider/protector type and you just want to crawl into his arms.

Tulgat is the firebrand, the smack-talking rebel; if you were to go on a date with all three of these rappers, he'd be the most fun, the most memorable...and probably the most trouble.  He's cute in a natural, defiant way; his snark has charm, and his snicker has bite.  I've yet to hear him actually rap in Mongolian, mind you.

Rokit Bay is a friggin' pretty boy, and he knows it.  He knows exactly how to dress to flatter his body (which I've noticed he keeps fit), and he's not afraid to show off his lips. To be honest, I find him to be the least gifted and entertaining of the three rappers, but he's so easy on the eyes that you don't actually care.

Then again...he knows how to throw down live.



(See also the Mongolian Live Sessions Facebook)



Did NOT know Tulgat is a cancer survivor. Big ups, main man. Keep fighting the good fight.



I love Gee.  That is all.



I've been paying attention this crew right here, mainly 'cause they've got a female. Don't be fooled by her crooning, though; she can spit fire.

6 comments:

  1. I'm feeling the first song too! The last video was weak to me but the first one was really good so I'm just going to talk about it and the live version.

    After a few seconds of getting used to the language, I noticed their good flow and delivery, the beat, the music is really catchy and you can feel those guys are real.
    The video is down to earth, without bling bling or mimicking American gangsta MVs, so that's a good thing, it reminds. They sound and look underground, which is good.
    And I'm just realizing that there are subs lol Tulgat's English is helping me get a little of what they're saying. I didn't find translation of these lyrics online.

    The live version was cool, they felt the song and the audience (who was so close to them!), and they really enjoyed themselves as a group, not just as individuals. So few people attending though, so I wonder how big the hip hop scene is Mongolia.

    As for the good looks of Rokit Bay, I can't really tell, I was watching this in low quality because of my bad internet connection for videos lol So far, he sounds a bit too "harsh" and kinda basic, I can't describe it with my limited English but I like him a bit better than Tulgat, for now.
    As for Gee, he killed it.

    I've given up on finding good Mongolian R&B but hip hop is the way to go, it seems. It really depends on the countries...Thailand and hip hop on the other hand...I haven't found something solid I could jam to. But their pop and pop rock music is good.

    As for the Mongolian girls rapping...nah, sorry but they're not doing it for me (City Bone's video). I'm usually rooting for the female rappers but not this time.

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    Replies
    1. A little bit off-topic, sorry, but here are 2 vids of Japanese female rappers :)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5PfQEfbEcE
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QdRPSTLpDQ

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    2. I think hip hop is more the focus in Mongolia, while pop is more the focus when you head south (Korea, China, Japan, etc).

      Of all the people featured, Gee is hands down my favorite; I just really, really, really love his voice. And I have a feeling Tulgat would sound even better in Mongolian.

      "Harsh" and "basic" are good descriptions for Rokit Bay; it's like he's a just too stiff. But if you can watch his vids in good quality, you'll see what I mean about his being so good looking that you just don't give a damn.

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    3. Yeah, I think the same for Tulgat and Gee. Oh, and I realized (after following your links) that I already commented on Rokit Bay before so I'm supposed to kinda know him *facepalm*

      Here's a link, it's a teaser video of the documentary Mongolian Bling, about the roots of hip hop in Mongolia, released in 2012 I think. Gee is in it.
      Here's the official site with the teaser:
      http://mongolianbling.com/
      The director is trying to get even more festival screenings around the world, Australia has a licence or something to broadcast it, and a DVD is out I think. Too bad I can't watch for free, I'll wait to see if it's really worth it, though I've already read good reviews about it. And yes, the director (or producer?) is a white Australian man who originally knew nothing about Mongolian rap (he said so himself) but hopefully it doesn't affect the quality of the documentary, as he's spent 6 years filming it there, he said.

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    4. And yes, the director (or producer?) is a white Australian man who originally knew nothing about Mongolian rap (he said so himself)

      *raises cynical eyebrow*

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    5. I knew you would have said that! I was a bit disappointed as well when I read that (his interview).
      But then I was like "Are many directors of documentaries actually knowledgeable on their projects? Is it always a prerequisite?"
      The thing is, his documentary seems, so far, to be based on people's knowledge and experiences (from rappers to academics - the latter was mentionned in an interview). I'm sure we could find flaws in it though, and I'm still a bit skeptical. The obvious good point about it is the English subs. That's what got me interested in the first place as I can't find many Mongolian lyrics translations (or was my search lazy?) to have some insight on the scene.

      Thoughts on the teaser? Anyone?

      You might like it, I found an MV of Gee with English subs and a sample of Michael Jackson, yup, he did feature a part of MJ's MV to give proper credit. It is the same message, interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkctGikkl4I
      But you probably have already seen it.

      By the way, there's also another documentary on Mongolian rock and pop scene: Live From UB. The director is a white American woman...again, who had to do her search there.
      http://livefromub.com/
      I don't like it as there's no talking there. But as long as it is about music or culture I'm curious.

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