Chinese rappers take aim at US anti-missile system in South Korea

CD Rev, a Chinese rap group, in Chengdu, China on Dec 7, 2016.
CD Rev, a Chinese rap group, in Chengdu, China on Dec 7, 2016. PHOTO: NYTIMES

HONG KONG (NYTIMES) - First, China's consumers started boycotting South Korean cosmetics and other products. Then the Chinese government began blocking videos of K-pop bands. Now comes the latest weapon in Beijing's battle against Seoul's deployment of a US-made anti-missile system: the anti-THAAD rap video.

The anti-missile system, known by a cumbersome name, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, is the target of a rap that warns South Korea: "How many times do I hadda warn you, my lovely little neighbour boy?"

"This time, kid, you going too far," the rap continues in English, later switching to Chinese. "What's THAAD - terminal what? It ain't gonna terminate violence."

The video, which had roughly 50,000 views on YouTube by Friday (May 12) afternoon, features Sichuan-based group CD Rev, whose members say they are influenced by hip-hop stars like Eminem and Dr. Dre. The group has also produced music videos about China's claims in the contested South China Sea and Mao's legacy.

The video's release comes amid something of a thaw in relations between Beijing and Seoul after the election Tuesday of Moon Jae In as South Korea's president.

Moon has spoken out against THAAD and had a warm conversation with China's leader, Xi Jinping, on Thursday. THAAD is designed to protect South Korea from a North Korean missile attack, but China fears that it will undermine its own security.

In the video, the group also takes aim at the US alliance with South Korea and the rise in tensions. President Donald Trump recently warned of the possibility of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea.

"Why not choose us rather than Uncle Sam?" the rappers ask of South Korea. "The situation seems to be out of control."

The video is bookended by clips of news accounts about the deployment of THAAD by the U.S. military.

"Now I'm telling everybody all over the globe about THAAD," the song ends. "We say no, no, no!''