In his latest music video, Txmiyama is hanging out of the window of a bus and surrounded by his crew as he raps at the camera. The song he’s performing is a tribute to the city’s iconic minibusses, a local necessity for Hong Kong’s night owls, whether they be commuters on the night shift or nightlife denizens making their woozy way home. In another video, he’s rapping about Chungking Mansions, the infamous indoor complex full of street vendors, hostels, and much, much more hidden deep within its winding halls and 17 floors.
Most people are familiar with Hong Kong’s electrifying skyline and its reputation as a luxury shopping mecca, but the places and things that underground rapper Txmiyama focuses on represent a distinctly local identity.
Yet, despite the love and knowledge of the city displayed proudly through his music, Txmiyama still doesn’t consider himself a local. He’s lived in Hong Kong since the age of 12, but both his parents are Japanese and he was born in Toronto. “I don’t even know where I’m from, and I’m comfortable with that. I’m just a stray,” he says with a very subtle Canadian accent slipping out through his Os. “All my friends are here, and I definitely feel like I have a home here. But when it comes to the local community, they probably won’t accept me. So it’s kind of like I’m an outsider everywhere.”
然而，尽管 Txmiyama 在音乐中骄傲地展示了自己对这座城市的热爱和熟悉，但他仍然不认为自己是一个地道的香港人。他出生于多伦多，从 12 岁起住在香港，但父母都是日本人。“我甚至不知道自己来自哪里，但我接受这一点。我只是一个流浪者。”他的英语回答微妙地泄露出他的加拿大口音。“我所有的朋友都在这里，我觉得这里就是我的家。但是对于当地社区来说，他们可能不会接受我，所以不管在哪里，我都像是局外人。”
He embraces that role through his music, most prominently in the song “Outsiders,” where he raps in Japanese, English, and a little Cantonese, with even a line in Tagalog thrown in for good measure. It’s this appreciation of different cultures that has led him to hold places like Chungking Mansions—a popular gathering spot for many of Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities, including South Asians, West Africans, Filipinos, and more—in high regard. “The cultural diversity reminded me of Toronto. It felt like home,” Txmiyama says.”The people are genuine there. They’re like underdogs. They’re coming here and dealing with prejudices from locals, but they have real stories.”
Listen to to some of our favorite tracks from Txmiyama below:
点击即可试听几首 Txmiyama 的歌曲:
While cultural diversity is on the rise in Hong Kong, it’s largely due to migration from other Asian countries and Caucasian expats moving there for corporate gigs. Chungking Mansions represents a more truly global population, one that some people are unfortunately wary of. At the international high school Txmiyama attended in Hong Kong, other Japanese kids often commented about the people of color he surrounded himself with and shunned him, leading him to feel estranged from his Japanese roots.”They didn’t really like me because I would hang out with too many ‘brown people,’ and I thought that was fucked up,” he recalls. “So growing up, I had some animosity towards Japanese people at one point. I felt like they needed to step out of their comfort zone more. These are all good people, why can’t you just try to understand cultural differences?”
Even as an adult, Txmiyama often feels like an outsider among his peers, especially in the local rap scene. “There’s always a gap between international Hong Kong and local Hong Kong,” he explains. “There are people out here who won’t accept my music as Hong Kong music because I don’t rap in Canto or whatever.”
It’s an ironic situation, considering local promoters say that the more commercial clubs complain when they try and play Cantonese rap and prefer English-language rap. But it makes sense since rap’s always been infused with a heavy dose of hometown pride. Local rappers are reclaiming that lost element by showing a new preference for their own language. “I understand their perspective,” he adds, noting that some artists like Dough Boy and Young Hysan are working to bridge the gap between local and international Hong Kong. “The city is getting more diverse, with more cultures coming together. But it’s got some ways to go. We’re such a small city and I feel like we’ve all got to work together to put the city’s rap scene on the map.”
这种情况其实很有讽刺意味，因为许多的当地活动团队说，当他们尝试在主流夜店推广粤语说唱时，对方却表示会倾向英语说唱。但因为说唱总是充满了强烈的故乡自豪感，这其实也有道理。当地说唱歌手对母语的优先运用，重新找回了歌曲中丧失的元素。“我理解他们的想法。” Txmiyama 补充说道。他指出，像 Dough Boy 和 Young Hysan 这样的音乐人正在努力弥合本地化和国际化的香港之间的差距。“香港现在环境越来越多元，文化之间越来越共融，但前面还有一段路要走。这个城市地域很小，我觉得大家应该携手努力，将香港的说唱发扬光大。”
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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer & Videographer: Mart Sarmiento
供稿人: Mike Steyels
图片与视频摄影师: Mart Sarmiento