Hundreds of fans lined at Julu road on Friday evening waiting for rookie rap star Lil Yachty taking over the Billboard charts. What do the fans waiting for him really know about him? How deep is their knowledge of artists in the culture that propelled him to stardom? Do they know what inspired him?

Miles Parks McCollum, also known as Lil Yatchy, is a twenty-one-year-old American rapper born and raised in Mableton, Georgia. His first appearance was with singles “One Night” and “Minnesota” in August 2015. Since then,  he released two albums, “Lil Boat” in March 2016 and “Lil’ Boat 2” in March 2018. He collaborated with artists such as  Kyle, LeBron James, Chance the Rapper, and many more. Since his career debut, he’s been  nominated for multiple awards such as the Grammys,  Billboard music Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards. During an interview for the magazine Rolling Stones, he was asked his musical inspirations. Yachty mentioned famous artists like Outkast, Coldplay, Kanye West, Daft Punk and Fall Out Boy.

But, he was also influenced by internet rappers such as Lil B and Soulja Boy, who performance at renowned hip-hop nightclub in Shanghai ASL in 2017.

Last January, American rapper A$AP Ferg performed in Shanghai and posted on his Instagram page that he had an amazing time with his Chinese fans. Next month, the city will receive one of the hottest rappers of the music industry, A$AP Rocky. He will perform at the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center of International Sourcing on April 12th. This will be his first time performing on Chinese territory


Now that a lot of young artists are now coming to Shanghai to perform,  how do we guarantee that the rich culture and history of hip-hop travels with them? How can we ensure that the hip hop which blared through boom boxes, causing controversy and revolution, reaches the masses of young hip hop Shanghainese fans today?

Spoken word artist Diesel explained how she does it for the culture. “l make sure that l choose to highlight artists l draw inspiration from, especially those that may or may not be known in China. l choose to stray away from the Chris Browns and Lil’ Waynes to highlight legends like Common and Talib Kweli.. l incorporate lines from their work and their names, to pay my respect and expose the inspiration for my own art.”. Diesel’s intentional fusions of personal style and legendary language is just one way performers entering Shanghai’s hip-hop platform can educate hungry adherents. As we welcome the influx of young Billboard artists, hip-hop loyalists place the burden of responsibility with hip-hop youth to honor legends. DO IT FOR THE CULTURE. Do it for the MC’s that boldly expressed themselves with flows and beats none had heard before. In the same way fans fell in love with hip-hop’s first stars, young Shanghainese deserve a chance to fall too. Hip-hop in Shanghai is depending on the Lil   Yachtys of  the world to educate the masses.





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