Topic Change

So I have decided that I’m changing my topic to the underground hip hop movement in China. There are a lot of non-traditional sources (blogs, music videos, short documentary film segments, lyrics, etc.) and I feel much more excited about this new topic. Basically I am going to still be researching censorship – but in the music industry instead. I am going to be narrowing this weekend so if anyone knows anything about Chinese Hip Hop, or runs across and information on the topic – please let me know. -Elle

One response to “Topic Change”

  1. Hi Elle,

    I think this is a great topic and you can definitely find a lot of information about music censorship in China. I am assuming you are also Elizabeth from the post on my blog. I unfortunately can’t get an email from Blogger, so I am going to just address your questions here:

    “any suggestions for more information/more opinions/what artists I should focus on.”
    — While Hip Hop artists are certainly subject to the same restrictions, if you want to find more published material on music censorship in China, you might want to focus on Internet music or Rock & Roll. To start, search for China music industry and censorship on and Two books I would recommend are Like a Knife by Andrew F Jones and China’s New Voices by Nimrod Baranovitch, they a little dated but provide a really good overview of the development of Chinese pop music. The artist who has had a lot of very public experiences with censorship is Rock & Roll legend Cui Jian. Even if you don’t write about him, it’s worth checking out his life story.

    “More importantly for my research is the question – where do I find the “rules” that everyone’s music must follow? Who decides? What is deemed appropriate…”
    — I don’t know if anyone really knows the answers to these questions. The rules are purposefully vague and enforcement is influenced by the political climate and the arbitrary decisions of bureaucrats. But music censorship is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture. As a starting point, you should look into how they work and their published regulations.
    Ministry of Culture:
    This is a good introduction to censorship in general in China:

    Good luck and please email directly at if there’s anything else I can help you with.