In my daily life, I listen to many types of music. As very distinctive and with rhythm and rhyming singing skills, Hip-hop music attracts my attention the most. So I find William Yu, who plays hip-hop music and loves rap culture very much, as the interviewee. And the subject of my interview is “The meaning and importance of hip-hop music to you?” This project is not about an academic visit, and I will not take you to hip-hop culture’s historical or technical aspects. I will focus on listening to the stories behind William’s love of hip-hop music and the changes in his mood after he came into contact with hip-hop music.

Interviewee: William Yu (classmate)
Interview Language: Mandarin

Through the interview, I learned that the story of William’s first exposure to hip-hop music contains his family factors. He shared that he was a very rebellious child since he was younger, and it was easier to cause some troubles. His father had strict control over his grades and various behaviors so that he wanted to get out of discipline. But he couldn’t, and he didn’t know how to express his destructive emotions. Therefore, he had symptoms of depression for a while, and during this period, he had a defeatist mentality of suicide and revenge against society. I noticed that during the interview, William kept a calm tone and expression telling his story, but I felt his sadness. Perhaps he was reluctant to explain the details of his inner hurt, but he mentioned many times that hip-hop songs can “lead him to escape from negative emotions” can also “cheer for him.” His narrative made me feel in his heart as if hip-hop music was his savior. During his saddest period, hip-hop singers and those powerful hip-hop lyrics led him to become better and more optimistic.

Regarding why to like rap, he recalled that he first heard the rap songs of the movie transformers, and then he began to check more rap movie theme songs and songs created by rappers on the Internet. Since he was a child, he has loved English songs, and by chance, I heard Rihanna and Eminem singing “Love the way you lie.

William became entirely in love with rap because of rapper Eminem. When he learned about Eminem’s birth background and personal experience, William was very touched, and he has appreciated the rebellious and self-persistent spirit in Eminem’s bones. William also mentioned that he be violated campus discipline in high school. He has deducted credits and was punished by the school. After that, he was severely beaten by his father’s rope and suffered long-term pressure from his elders, which caused him to fall into depression. He would hide in the room during that period and listen to Eminem’s Rap and rap songs from China or the United States. The primary purpose is to heal yourself through these songs.

Because the singer’s Eminem was born in a slum, squeezed out by many people in the early days, and suffered emotional pressure from the family, William felt a connection at his psychological level. Since William comes from a wealthy family environment and has a good quality of life, he especially appreciates Eminem’s hard work for his rap career and the attitude of success. It is not easy! This is an indomitable spirit. On the psychological level, William believes that the connection between himself and Eminem is “repressed emotional pressure.” Eminem is a person who works hard to make songs for life and rap music; William has the pressure from the family to perform well and be perfect in everything, but also to hide his interest in rap. Because in the eyes of traditional elders, rap music is not upbeat and good music. Although they are different, they share the same psychological pressures in life. This connection touches me, proving that music can connect people with different kinds of lives together.

William especially shared a favorite song with me called “lose yourself.” He believes that every opportunity in life is essential. Must understand to seize the opportunity. Like the lyrics, “If you have one shot or a chance. Grab everything you want, in an instant, will you seize it?” William has felt a substantial inner injury and has always insisted on his favorite rap art. He hopes that in the future after he graduates, he can return to China to participate in rap shows and seize any opportunity in his life that can make him better. Because he has been depressed, he cherishes any opportunity to make him happier. Rap songs are like medicines, which can heal William the chance to become happy. When William is practicing rap songs by himself, whether he is bathing, driving, or playing music in his room, he can feel positive energy. I appreciate William’s ability to face his weakness and find strength in rap to heal himself. It is the reason why I invited him to be my interviewee. And after communicating with him, I hope he can continue to work hard for his rap dream. In my view, William may not be good at narrating the origin or history of rap culture, but he knows his goal and the meaning and encouragement that rap brings to him.

For me, rap songs often encourage me to move forward, too. It is an art that conveys the author’s emotions and a dramatic plot. Whenever I hear a singer’s work, it’s like listening to a good friend telling a story can always produce some empathy. I think that Rap songs are becoming more and more popular. I hope readers can also enjoy the power of rap in their lives!

Why do people like “Rap songs” so much? In addition to the song’s distinctive beat and letter rhyme, what everyone will remember most is the sincere and story-rich lyrics! Next, I will post four of William’s favorite rap songs. These songs tell the stories of the singers’ own lives, which may be positive or negative. But for William, these are full of power and can make him treat life Calmly and Sleep Well! Due to the poor sound quality of the interview video, I specially formed the four songs into a music file for everyone to enjoy. Then let us listen to the songs carefully. After listening, I think you will start thinking……

Listen Up!!

Eminem-Lose Yourself

Eminem- Not Afraid

宋岳庭 Shawn Sung (Taiwanese American)- Life’s A Struggle

歐陽靖 MC Jin (Hong Kong American) / Wyclef Jean – Stop The Hatred

Thank You For Listening! Respect Everyone!