Pop music in China is not known for its rebelliousness, instead plying its listeners with syrupy lyrics about men pledging undying love to the object of their affections. And yet, there are some songs out there that are so offensive to Chinese authorities that they must be outright banned.
China’s Ministry of Culture has put 120 songs on a blacklist for promoting obscenity or violence, and ordered them to be removed from all Chinese websites. The ministry said the songs “trumpeted obscenity, violence, crime or harmed social morality,” and anyone that ignores the ban will face “severe punishment” that was left up to the imagination.
The blacklist contains a number of famous singers including Taiwanese pop star Chang Csun Yuk, Taiwanese actor Stanley Huang, and even Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong. For the most part, the blacklist targets the rap genre with certain rap groups like Yinsaner and the New Street Talk Assembly appearing multiple times among others like MC Hotdog.
The song titles give us some clues into why they might have rubbed Chinese authorities the wrong way:
- Getting a Hotel Room Together Does Not Mean We are Lovers by Yiran
- Cheap Women, Bad Men by the Internet Singers
- This is Not a Song About a One Night Stand by Guangguang
- No Sex, No Love by Guangguang and K-Bo
- Mistress, You Are So Cheap by Benkui
- Fuck Your Love by the Internet Singers
The announcement the songs were banned caused a sensation among Chinese people, with one person saying: “These song titles are shameful in and of themselves. Is it right to publish them the way they are?” Another person took exception to not extending the ban further, saying “Why don’t they ban Myth of the Phoenix (the singers of many popular square dancing songs)? Everyday they massacre my ears.”
And citing the Streisand effect, another netizen said, “I have never heard of these songs before in my life, but now I really want to hear them.”
Anyone else interested in what songs the Ministry of Culture doesn’t think you should be able to listen to can find a full list published on their website.