Saturday, October 21, 2006

MC Hotdog: "I love Taiwan chicks"

Taiwan's MC Hotdog has stumbled upon a surefire method of meeting sexy Asian women: make a catchy song praising the beauty of local women. In this case, with Zhang Zhen Yue singing the main tune, he praises Taiwanese women in "Wo Ai Tai Mei" (我愛台妹), translated as "I love Taiwanese chicks." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that national identity is sexy and sells, especially in a catchy song sprinkled with Taiwanese dialect. (Click on the picture above or click here to go to a clip of the song put up by Malubud)

From what I've learned on the Internet, according to Mei Huang's article "The Ubiquity of Tai ke," in Taiwan, "Tai ke" is the equvalent of the U.S. redneck, something like a deragotory term now used as a marker of local Taiwanese pride. The "Tai ke" is supposed to dress all gaudy and loud (gee, fits in with rap style!) and the "Tai mei" is the female equivalent. So MC Hotdog is rapping an ode to the "Tai mei" in this video. And just for your info, MC Hotdog has the character for "dog" 犬 on his jersey.

Now the People's Republic of China views Taiwan as a breakaway province, and has made national reunification a top priority. But this policy clashes with the emergence of a distinct Taiwanese identity. The Japanese took over Taiwan in 1895 and ruled it for half a century, first using brute force to put down any resistance, then developing the infrastructure and creating a policy of assimilating the Taiwanese. In fact, Japanese became the common language of the schools in the colonial period and so many very elderly Taiwanese can speak fluent Japanese. By the time the Japanese were kicked off the island in 1945, Taiwan was the most developed province in China.

Many Taiwanese (descendants of people in Taiwan before the end of Japanese rule), although they suffered discrimination from the Japanese, suffered even more discrimination at the hands of mainlander Chinese who took over the island in 1945. In 1947 Taiwanese rose up in an uprising known as the February 28 incident in which thousands died in the resulting government crackdown. And in 1949, millions of mainlanders fled to the Taiwan following the Communist takeover of China, beginning a process of mainlander domination of Taiwan politics which really only ended with the rise to power in 1988 of President Lee Teng-hui, a native Taiwanese.

Given this history, today many Taiwanese speak their native dialect with pride. Take a rap (which seems to be based on the Spinner's "I'll be around" posted by shockg) , sprinkle it with Taiwanese dialect, and combine it with the fact that Chinese women overshadow Taiwanese women in the worldwide Chinese media. Now you understand why MC Hotdog is so popular among Taiwanese women, as seen in this video of a live club performance (click on the picture below or here to see the video posted by bj23tube). As you can see, all these Taiwanese women are hugging him and energetically singing along with his song!

So my friend, want to meet Asian women? Become a rapper and throw in a healthy dose of nationalism and identity politics and this is what you get! Now you know why he sings, "Wo ai tai mei! Tai mei ai wo!" (I love Taiwan chicks! Taiwan chicks love me!)


Anonymous said...

So does the "Free 9" jersey on the other guy mean "Free the Dawg" in Chinese?


Kakure Gaijin said...

Actually, what is "Free 9" supposed to stand for? I did an internet search and found out that "Free 9" is a Taiwanese group (or singer?) that performed with Zhang Zheng Yue and Mc Hotdog, the singers of this song.

Anonymous said...

actually,"tai mei"not mean "taiwan chicks".