Shangri-La or Exoticism: Leehom Wang’s Chinked-Out Hip Hop and the Shifting Identifications
|關鍵字:||王力宏;「華人嘻哈曲風」;流行音樂;認同;異國風情;Leehom Wang,;Chinked-Out style hip hop;popular music;identification;exoticism|
Leehom Wang, an American-Born Chinese singer, declares that “Chinese pop music does not have a strong enough sonic identity.” So he went all the way to Tibet, Yunnan, and Xinjiang in 2004 to collect traditional music as materials for his album Shangri-La, which initiated his Chinked-Out style hip hop. However, research on Wang’s identity often limits itself to his announced intention, ignoring that his main means of constructing identity is music, and fails to notice the ambiguity between his announced intention and the produced music. Even in discussing his songs, the focus is on the lyrics, neglecting the interconnection between his background, identification, and music. This thesis, therefore, starts with the gap between the discourses and the music, and utilizes the inherent binarisms of the exotic according to Ralph Locke—self and other, the real and the fictive, then and now, nearness and distance—to classify and analyze Wang’s 14 albums published since 2004. This paper argues that Wang’s intention to strengthen the Chinese Self confuses with the exotic Other represented by the temporal and spatial displacement of the Chinese elements in his songs; and this shifting between the Self and Other signifies indeed Wang’s own shifting identifications.