Plenty of young Beijingers do the hip hop thing but fail to individualize it. Here, Mr. Shen has given this imported fashion his own smart flair. Beijing has countless, very scrawny, young rich kids who wear baggy jeans below their hips and walk around with huge headphones. These hip hop enthusiasts tend to be so swathed in loads of fabric that one cannot really notice their face or anything else – talk about the clothes wearing the man. This is clearly not the case with Mr. Shen. Describing his style, Mr. Shen shrugged and said “hip hop” and he also said that I probably wouldn’t have heard of the groups he likes. Stylites will be featuring much more on local hip hop culture and style in the very near future – this will include the best stores and analysis of what it means for a Chinese person to live the hip hop lifestyle.
In China, hip hop ranks as an aspirational lifestyle, rather than as a response to some grim reality.