Friday, February 3, 2012

hip hop in Yangon

Rangoon: Are you ready for hip-hop paaarty, calling the singer Eint CHINT, pointing to the public. The answer sounds in unison: - Yeees!

Burmese HIP HOP: The singer Eint CHINT with rappers Phyo Lay and Nay Win in "Snail".

Hip Hop: 18-year-old Honey, his girlfriend and friends Zay Ya Lin Lin and Htein Lin has his own hip-hop group, but uses every opportunity to learn from the more famous artists.

The time is one in the morning and it's hip-hop festival at the International Hotel in Rangoon, Burma's largest city.
Teen girls at the front screaming in falsetto and begins to sing with "Sun Yoke Ma Bu Hope" ("I'm not a robot"). They can each stanza and do their best to mimic the movements on the idol stage. Behind them sway a forest of baseball caps to the rhythms.
It's cramped in the small basement room. Five hundred children, mostly in their twenties, have come to see r & b singer Eint CHINT and other artists. Tobacco company Blue Diamond handing out free cigarettes.
In the bar to buy beer and spirits.
- I like to come here and dance with my friends. It does not know my parents, they think I'm doing homework at home with a fellow student, said she Wah (19) who is studying to become an engineer at Yangon University.
Trying to learn

Eighteen-year-old Honey not dancing, she follows only concentrated on the performers on stage. Honey is here with his girlfriend and friends Zay Ya Htein Lin and Lin Lin. They have their own hip-hop band, "The prayers" and struggling to break through.
- We see every concert in Rangoon and try to learn from the big names. We listen to music, of course, but also study how they move on stage and creates contact with the public, says Honey.
She is studying physics at the University of Dagon, but spend all their spare time to music. The goal is to provide the record within two years.
- We already have the songs, but no money. To record an album will cost at least ten thousand dollars. There is much to scrape together from his own pocket, says Honey.
Signs of a thaw?

Youth culture influenced by Western hip-hop, punk and hard rock has begun to emerge in isolated Burma. Last year it started a television channel for popular music, and the number of private radio stations is growing. When the country's alternative rock bands have concerts in Yangon parks on weekends, the area filled with young people with green-colored hair, comb and rivets.
All events require a permit from the country's culture ministry, which in some cases would like to see both the costumes and dance numbers in advance. The concerts usually take place mid-day and monitored by the police and officials from the Ministry.
The new openness has led some to talk about a thaw in military-controlled Burma's cultural life. Others believe that the increased tolerance only applies to consumer-oriented popular culture. Front social criticism is still unthinkable in Burma, where over two thousand people imprisoned for their political views.
Stopped nine of twelve

In his studio "Diamond Pussy ', north of Rangoon city, put the thirty-year-old musician Soe Tha final touches on their new album" Ngway Myin Yin Lin Lote Me "(" To marry for money "). But still remains the greatest challenge: to get through the bureaucratic eye of the needle.
When his album "Natkanar Medium Party" was released last year, the Ministry of Culture dismissed nine of the twelve songs.
- How could I release an album with three songs? In addition, they maintained that the word "party" in the title was inappropriate in advance of the election. I tried to explain that it's about a dance party, but they would not listen, says Soe Tha.

As one of the veterans in Burmese pop music he knows censorship conditions better than most. In addition to the political message was also put an end to the references to sex and phrases that could be in conflict with the Burmese tradition. Tha SOE's special variant of techno with influences from the thousand year old Burmese brahmanmusikk, Nat Doe, was culture ministry to impose a general prohibition against mixing folk and pop.
- They say that I destroy the Burmese tradition, music and other nonsense. Many in the ministry of culture is narrow-minded, they do not realize that musicians are always inspired and borrows from older plants. But there are also people in the ministry who like me, inviting me to play at festivals in Naypyidaw (the generals' new capital. Editor.), Said Soe Tha.
The sensors have also turned down for Tha SOE's literary ambitions. The editor of the magazine Popular Journal reported a few days ago that the poem his "worthless" and "Change" is stopped. "Worthless" is about a worthless king who reigns in a worthless country, says Tha.
- I wrote that the king lived long ago in a land far away, but it was not enough. The second poem "Change" was a tribute to Barack Obama.
Political apathy

Music that is aimed directly at teenagers are relatively new in Burma.
- I write about how it is to be unhappy in love, or to be nervous before the exam, such as young girls and boys can recognize from their own lives, says the nineteen-year-old artist Eint CHINT.
Get Burmese youth interest in this year's election. The situation is very different from the campaign in 1990, the last time Burma went to the polls. When students were foremost in the ranks with the demand for increased democracy.
- When I was young, there was a shortage of food, and it was practically impossible to obtain such as shampoo and toothpaste. Today are all in abundance for those who have money. Young people are too concerned with clothing and hairstyle to get involved in politics, consider a magazine editor in Rangoon who wish to remain anonymous.
A 32-year-old who is one of Burma's most widely read bloggers, do a different analysis.
- The traditional political parties and democracy movement has not succeeded in changing something in twenty years. No Burmese under 38 years know how to vote. The fact that the younger generation are looking for new ways to unleash your enthusiasm is not so strange.
Coach of 1932

Back to hip hop festival. On stage now is the duo Phyo Lay and Nay Win, known as "The Snail".
- Everything falls apart as the 39-bus, rapper Lay Phyo. Everything falls apart ...
- As a 39-bus, answer audience.
The song "39" is about the bus route that goes to the poor southern suburbs of Rangoon. Along the 39-route shaking the passengers on wooden benches in the buses of the 1932 vintage. Text lines on the buses' maturity were removed by censors as "Snail" would be releasing her album, but here on stage, no one can stop them.

The Swedish journalist Mattias Nordenskiold recently visited Burma, a few weeks before the national elections in the country. Burma is boycotted by Western countries and has for years developed its own political and cultural courses partially isolated from the outside world. Running a traditional political journalism in the country is virtually impossible under the current military regime. This article reports the Nordenskiold on the new western-inspired youth culture in the country.