Updated: Apr 22
Su Qinglan couldn't tell that Yin Suli was actually doubting his ability. He nodded happily, "I practice melodic rap more, especially of the R&B genre, but I also listen to just rap alone."
Yin Suli raised her brows. "Such as?"
Su Qinglan thought about it carefully for a moment, then answered, "Many, but I often listen to Eric B nowadays."
This caught Yin Suli's interest. She was a little curious to see if this little curly ball was like the previous batch of trainees who pretended to know things they didn't, or if he indeed had some ability.
She tapped her ballpoint pen in her hand on the table twice. "Can you freestyle? If yes, let's listen to one verse."
The trainees sitting on the pyramid-shaped seats couldn't help but feel nervous for him. Yin Suli was harsh as she was the rap mentor, and she had already made many people feel embarrassed and ashamed of themselves with her words. Su Qinglan seems to have a happy-go-lucky type of personality; they didn't know if he would collapse and not be able to get back up if he was criticized.
Just when everyone thought that he would refuse, Su Qinglan simply raised one hand and grinned, showing his cute canine teeth.
"Mentors, can you give me a beat? Make it a little louder, thank you!"
Rash, he's simply too rash.
Yin Suli could tell that Su Qinglan wasn't nervous. The mentors granted the request, but the beat given was extremely unfriendly to people who didn't have any ability.
The little curly ball, who was constantly all smiles, followed the beat of the music, getting himself familiar with the rhythm. He looked very relaxed, with not a hint of nervousness in him.
When he started, mentor Yao Cheng who originally didn't have many expectations was slightly moved.
Yin Suli, who had been mentally preparing herself to listen to some horrifying ear-piercing music, sat up straight instantly after he started rapping his first line. Her face showed a rare look of astonishment.
She could tell instantly if someone's rap had a real foundation or if they were just faking it.
Although Su Qinglan looked like a newbie, in reality, not only was he not a newbie, but he was also completely unrelated to that term.
He had a good sense of the beat and could stay on it. He could switch his flow according to the beat, making every line of his rap end right on the beat and he could even predict what was coming next. He also made facial expressions that corresponded with the music style and livened up the atmosphere.
The entire studio began vibing with him. Su Qinglan wasn’t like other trainees who tried their best to rhyme when rapping. Instead, he effortlessly gave people a sense of ease. If it had to be described, it just meant that it sounded very soothing.
TL/n: One line of rhyme and two lines of rhyme. From what I heard from my Taiwanese friend, the more lines you can rhyme, the higher points you’ll get in shows like SMTM.
This was a very difficult thing to do. There were many great rappers who could rap fast with great enunciation while also having a great stage presence that could make the audience feel hyped after listening to it. But there was also a problem——they pursued 'richness'. It was good to have rich content but overdoing it would make people feel cramped inside. It was just like having someone behind chasing you, making you go faster and faster. Although everyone recognized you as a good rapper with great talent, it was still tiring to listen to.
But for Su Qinglan, it was very clear to others what his personal style was.
It was freedom.
Although there were parts that had a faster tempo, and also parts that had a slow and light rhythm, his rap was distinct, unique, creative, and overall had a good structure.
Su Qinglan, who had picked up the microphone and started performing, seemed to have become a completely different person. He emitted a glow that couldn't be defined with a simple description. He was shining.
Yin Suli couldn't help but start to groove to the rhythm, her eyes showing a rare sign of appreciation.
Not bad. In fact, not only was he not bad but it can also be said that he was extremely good.
——He's enjoying the music.
Indeed, there were many trainees who worked extremely hard, putting in a lot of time, sweat, and tears. Of course, they were serious about it as well. But despite having exceptional abilities and flaws that even a trained eye would have a hard time detecting, they lacked individuality. They were exactly like an essay with a perfect score——beautiful on the outside but missing a soul on the inside.
Rap originated from the African Americans in New York City. When they heard the music, they would improvise one line after another following the rhythm. Their lyrical content didn't have to be meaningful; it could simply be about how someone had stolen money from them which made them upset, or it could be about how they had met a beautiful girl today, making them feel elated.
Rap was used to convey emotions and to express oneself. This kind of creative work had no constraint, no framework tied to it. There wasn’t anyone who would shackle it. You can express yourself at will and set yourself free, regardless of the kind of emotions you’re feeling.
Be it worry, anger, happiness, or sadness, as long as it was something that you wanted to express through the lyrical content of a song, there won't be a single restriction. You can be wild and unrestrained or hide your inner self deep within.
Rap was not limited to only rapping with a fast tempo. It can even be done in a simple and straightforward manner. You can slowly tell your story using three minutes of your time.
State what you think, show your attitude, and declare your stand. It's up to you to decide if you want it to be simple or full of complexity. Letting the world hear your pure voice was the right given to every human born in this world.
Rap is free.
Rap isn't only music; it also represents the fire burning in your soul.
When Su Qinglan finished rapping the last verse, the atmosphere in the entire studio reached a high.
"I misjudged you, that was too cool."
The lenses were once again, focused on Lu Zhi who had been reacting to each and every trainee earnestly. He was currently talking to someone beside him with fervor, rapidly shooting out praises. Even the director himself was utterly convinced that he was a complete chatterbox. After all, he couldn’t have pretended for so long——
He was too good at talking!
The trainee sitting beside Lu Zhi had been listening to him chattering away for almost three hours. In the beginning, he was amused and laughed at what he said. Now, he was already numbed to it, having entered the phase of 'soul leaving body'.
Help! Is there anyone who could throw this fella out and make him shut his trap? Even the Tang Monk wasn't that good at talking when he was alive!
TL/n: Tang Sanzang.
However, the director won't know what he's saying in his heart. He was also embarrassed to tell Lu Zhi to stop talking. Lu Zhi was a pretty nice person after all.
He'll just silently recite a scripture.
TL/n: The scripture mentioned here is a Buddhist scripture referring to the four great elements that make up the universe. It is believed that these elements came from emptiness, so everything in this world is an illusion. It is to pursue nothing in life.
On the stage, Yin Suli expressed her admiration for the first time, "You're very talented. When did you come into contact with rap?"
Yin Suli will soon regret asking this question.
After finishing his performance, Su Qinglan turned into the little cutie with a silly aura again. He thought about it seriously for a moment before saying, "Middle school, maybe?"
"...That's not right." He seemed to have recalled something and continued firmly, "I remember. My first experience with rap had something to do with you, teacher."
"Me?" Yin Suli was already used to being flattered. Mn, that's right. She's the widely-known female rapper who created a new era in rap——
"I heard that teacher's first rap song was called Love Battle!" Su Qinglan exclaimed. He had to think long and hard before he could call out the name of the song with confidence.
Yin Suli instantly stiffened: "..."
It had been almost 20 years since someone mentioned this matter. Yin Suli had been painstakingly avoiding the topic of her dark past, the bubbly and girly raps that she made during her teenage years that made her uncomfortable now.
TL/n: In Chinese, it means that you unknowingly watched something that made you shocked and uncomfortable.
Yin Suli had also been a teenager once, but she absolutely doesn't want to look back at that time.
It's still all right if no one mentions it. Yin Suli debuted so many years ago. She understood how these kinds of variety show work and how they would edit the shots later——
Right at the moment, Su Qinglan finished saying the last word, a clear view of her history would appear on the screen. The MV that she dreaded watching would be played repeatedly for at least three times. It can even be sped up, slowed down, or in a freeze-frame... They may even input words describing her current feelings, the text box on the side having three big words: Ye Qing Hui.
TL/n: To think of their youth again.