Since its conception in the 70s, Hip-Hop has never been restricted to one nation or one gender, with one of the earliest Hip Hop records ever made being Lady B’s To The Beat Y’all in 1979. This brings us to another lady of Hip-Hop, not from the east-coast but the East.
Shanghai’s Lady Cha Chahas been making a name for herself as the first lady of China’s underground music scene for the last seven years. Her work extends beyond her home country, having collaborated with Hyperdub bossman Kode9, Finnish Dub maestro Desto and produced her debut album with Amsterdam’s Jay Soul. Her biggest international breakthrough was in 2011, when Cha Cha became the first Chinese mainlander to be awarded a coveted place at the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid. But it didn’t stop there. Cha Cha is a busy and accomplished woman, who is currently working on a Reggae album with Jamacian legends Sly & Robbie and is the mastermind behind ‘The Hip Hop connection’, which congregates musicians and producers with a love for Hip-Hop to showcase talent from across the country while growing the local music scene in Shanghai.
For her most recent release 19, Cha Cha teamed up with the Guangzhou producer Along, whose Cantonese rap is a playful contrast to her endearingly lilting Mandarin. A truly lovely production, with lyrics playing around the theme of youth and a resounding feeling of freshness and excitement. A feeling that is also apt to describe this most original artist.