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Online feud sparks discussion about use of hip-hop slang in China

2018/8/2 11:17:20   source:Global Times

Canadian-Chinese rapper Kris Wu released a new hip-hop diss track on Tuesday as part of an ongoing online feud with users of Chinese sports platform Hupu.

The song is titled "Skr," a popular online slang term used to praise something. The term rose in popularity on Chinese social media after Wu frequently used it to praise performers while acting as a judge on Chinese reality show The Rap of China. However, the rapper's frequent use of the term also led to him becoming the butt of a joke among users on Hupu.

The feud kicked off when the official Hupu account Hupu Pedestrian Street posted an unedited music video on Sina Weibo of Wu singing his song "Bad girl" with the caption: "What is this crap? Skr."

The post was liked by many Hupu users and netizens on Sina Weibo.

"This is too skr," netizen TheGreatT9 joked in a comment on the post.

Fans of Wu rushed to defend their idol.

"Essentially he is just playing with words, should this be criticized every time in any culture?" Chinese netizen Pikaqiuaheng wrote on Sina Weibo.

Others pointed out that the word didn't actually originate with Wu, noting that it was originally an onomatopoeia describing the sound of a car making a sharp turn and then evolved into a slang term in Western hip-hop culture.

"There is no right or wrong in oral language," Lingweiheyellow wrote in a long post defending the rapper's usage of the term.

"I have met a plenty of Americans who use skr in their daily conversations, just like we use 'Haha' or any other modal particles. It is just the way of showing your own personal style."

Skr is not the first hip-hop term to be popularized by pop stars in China. Previously, English words such as "freestyle" and "diss" have also been imported into the lexicon of young Chinese due to their appearance on rap programs in China and the rising popularity of the rap genre in the country.

As one of the most influential rap stars in China, Wu has a great many fans and his speech habits are often mimicked by his followers.

"Freestyle" for instance rose in popularity after Wu asked one of the participants to perform a freestyle rap in the show The Rap of China. Nowadays, "Do you have freestyle?" is used as a greeting among many young Chinese.

"I think Wu has quite a great influence. Last year 'freestyle' went viral and this time it was 'skr,'" Chinese netizen Yishizuchengmahoupao noted on Sina Weibo.

"However, only Wu can popularize these words, others cannot," netizen kriswu666 wrote.

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