On June 23, MC HotDog dropped his new album 姚中二 (Yao Zhonger), and in the following days, controversy erupted on Chinese social media over lyrics in its sixth track, ‘Ladyboy.’
In the song, MC HotDog raps, “You are my Angelababy / or are you just nasty,” and hints at their relationship being “more than just a friendship.”
The Mandarin word for ‘nasty’ (or — more precisely — ‘despicable’) in this verse is beibi, which has a very similar pronunciation to the English word ‘baby.’
Following the drop, a hashtag related to the controversial lyrics went viral on Weibo, amassing over 150 million views at the time of writing.
In another bar, MC HotDog similarly refers to songstress G.E.M. (or Gloria Tang Sze-wing) using a homophone to describe sexual intercourse.
Netizens did not enjoy the tone of the references and called the rapper out on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, deeming the lyrics a tasteless diss. One comment that has been liked more than 40,000 times states that the track is “disrespectful towards women,” followed by a puking emoji.
However, some hip hop aficionados rushed to defend that artist’s freedom to rap about whoever he wants, pointing out that homophones and puns are part of the fun and an important aspect of hip hop culture.
On June 29, Angelababy responded to the drama, with one of the members of her team posting a statement on Weibo on her behalf: “Sorry, I am not your Angelababy.”
The post was accompanied by a meme reading “sister is not buying it,” which immediately went viral, with a related hashtag amassing more than 78 million views on Weibo.
MC HotDog’s controversial lyrics bring to mind the 2016 track ‘Famous’ from American rapper Kanye West, which included the lines: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous.” The song was one of the numerous incidents that comprised the infamous Kayne-Swift feud that began at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009.
Both Kanye and the Taiwanese rapper mention high-profile female celebrities in association with sexual intercourse in a rather misogynistic fashion.
MC HotDog has yet to address the matter publicly.
Photos via Weibo, cover image designed by the author