SHANGHAI — It’s two steps forward, one step back for China’s burgeoning rock/hip-hop scene, as authorities canceled Jay-Z’s upcoming China debut with less than two weeks’ notice.
New York rapper was due to make his China bow in Shanghai’s Hongkou Football Stadium on Oct. 23. His Asia tour includes gigs in Seoul and Taipei.
Cancellation was made public by the state-controlled Shanghai Daily newspaper, whose story began: “The Ministry of Culture has decided to protect the city’s hip-hop fans from nasty lyrics about pimps, guns and drugs.”
His concert would have come hot on the heels of the Black Eyed Peas and the Rolling Stones, who both played in China this year. The Stones were instructed by authorities not to play several of their most famous songs because the lyrics were deemed too risque.
“Some of Jay-Z’s songs contain too much vulgar language,” Sun Yun, of promoter KS Production Co., was quoted as saying in the Shanghai Daily story.
A response from Jay-Z on the Web site of Roc-A-Fella Records, of which he is a founder, reads: “I look forward to rescheduling my concert date in Shanghai. This world tour has been a life-changing experience, and it has only been made better by touching the fans that I am seeing for the first time.”