Meet Dylan Jaye, a young foreigner living in China who just had a video go viral on Weibo. In “Another Day In China,” he runs around enjoying the food, apps, destinations, and social outings that China has to offer.
Opportunities specific to China like the “hottest jianbing,” “a dog leash, but for hamsters,” “confusing hutongs and streets,” and “pollution” all go sung and rapped for everyone to hear. It’s a dizzying hodgepodge of lyrics and references meant to to get young people psyched about looking for their fortune in the “Middle Kingdom.”
Some Internet commentators have noted the similarities between the rap video and actual state propaganda meant to promote tourism in China.
There are plenty of relatable millennial platitudes like “With waimai, kuaidi, WeChat/
I’d be super screwed without my phone.” There’s also a vague, yet surprising political bit to really find those who are lost and soul searching: “I’ve been thinking after Donald Trump and Brexit/And the chaos and the mayhem/I’ll sit here and sip oolong.”
The lyrics seem to seek to highlight China’s offerings while also calling attention to how it must be “weird” and “crazy” for the average visitor or tourist. In that way, it hopes to sell China while simultaneously other-ing it.
The closest thing to a thesis statement in the music video is this exchange: You ask, why China?/Yeah, we reply, why not China?”
And Jaye is a member of a larger group, the “Foreigner 2.0s,”a group of non-Chinese who seek to promote Chinese tourism with their sick beats and catchy SEO-approved tunes. The Foreigner 2.0s are in turn produced and sponsored by YChina, a company that makes its money off of (you guessed it) marketing China off to prospective young travelers. With Jaye enjoying 50,000 weibo followers and YChina cashing in at 1,000,000 followers, the business plan seems to at the very least be attracting a lot of attention.
Whether “Another Day In China” makes you want to learn the language and book a flight ASAP or gouge your ears out, it’s surely leaving an impression, and isn’t that all click bait culture aims to do?