I was so happy to instantly recognize Jackson Wang when he started singing in the Shang-Chi trailer! Honestly, I had just assumed Marvel would go Black Panther on this and give us a pure kpop soundtrack. It looks like the soundtrack is done through 88rising, so I’m going to go on a limb and say we might also hear Higher Brothers in the soundtrack. Either way, so happy for Jackson Wang !
Also, I never realized how much physics and thought went into martial arts filming in even C-list Chinese dramas to make them at least somewhat believable until I watched Marvel films and saw how bad even their fight scenes are. They all just look so staged.
I’m still bitter that THE9 hasn’t had a single official practice room dance together, but here’s a round-up of my favorite covers recently.
First up, my bias Lu Keran. Her dancing style and personality is so unique and captivating in every aspect. She has the most sensual dancing style in THE9, but she’s also the shyest. She’s the most babied, the most bullied, but she also can beat everyone up (literally).
Rap of China is really boring this year so far, but luckily Rap for Youth has stepped up to the plate. The casting and editting is hilarious, and the arrangement and production level of this show is absolutely stunning. Each of the stages for the first round features at least one live instrument working with the rappers on stage, and many flawlessly combine Chinese instruments with the beats.
Here’s my favorite song of the round, a battle song that samples Eminem’s Lose Yourself while using Chinese drums. The chorus for this is ridiculously well-written, and the whole performance is perfect.
Youth With You 2 group THE9 released their first MV and I have so many thoughts. First up: props to iQiyi for following up (ish) with their international fans for actually getting a YouTubbe channel. Downvotes for blocking external sites for playing it, though.
I love it. It’s bold and somewhat risky, but they all look so good. Youth With You 2’s debut group THE9‘s first EP, titled SphinX, will reportedly have a mythology X outer space theme (hence Xu Jiaqi’s alien ears). chose a decidedly girlcrush route for a group of women with equally bold personalities.
R1SE in a rendition of Roles have no big or small 角儿无大小. This is really their best style – mostly rap + some opera. Yan Xujia and He Luoluo are missing for college examinations. Yan Xujia got into Beijing Film Academy, not sure about He Luoluo. Congrats to Yan Xujia for being the final member of X-Fire to get accepted into college!
This stage might be better than every other stage on Chuang added together. I honestly didn’t think they could pull off this song when I first heard they were doing it, but Zhao Yue, Wang Yiqiao, Xu Yiyang, Hua Chengyan, and Ma Sihui all pulled it off perfectly. They could honestly debut this group and I would stan. I think this might have a run for my top three favorite stages if it were on Youth With You 2.
Remember the attractive pink-haired leader from the androgynous group Acrush three years ago? She got even more attractive. This is an appreciation for Lu Keran, leader and lead dancer of Fanxy Red (the revamped version of Acrush) and the embodiment of the undefined and unlimited X factor of girl group survival show Youth With You 2.
Lu Keran exudes a sensuality that can be defined as neither masculine nor feminine, but uniquely hers. She is confident but sensitive, childish but mature beyond her age, traditional but a rule-breaker, sweet but aloft. In every performance she’s in, she is able to mend her style to fit the song without ever losing her uniqueness. The only thing that defines her is perhaps her intro to the song No Company, “if you try to define me, you’ll find no company.”
I know iQiyi videos doesn’t let you watch it embedded but this is really my favorite performance of hers yet and probably my favorite performance of the season so far: