China has been cracking down on artistes for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, this includes Malaysian singer-rapper Namewee (黃明志). His latest song “Fragile Glass Hearts (Fragile玻璃心)” with Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陈芳语) has resulted in him getting banned from various Chinese platforms.
“Fragile Glass Hearts” presents itself in a cutesy pink themed video. However, the lyrics and props in the background paint a very different picture. The song touches on China’s censorship, Covid-19 and the Uighurs. Needless to say, the satirical duet has not gone unnoticed.
Currently, the music video (MV) has over three million views. Viewers are treated to a warning when it begins, saying : “Please be cautious if you are fragile pink“. While the song initially sounds like a love song, it’s hard to miss the giant panda dancing in the background. Several references to China also appear, such as leeks which represent those oppressed in the country and a flag with “NMSL” on it. Translated, the abbreviation stands for “Your mother is dead,” a commonly used insult.
The two singers also make several references in the lyrics themselves. One line mentions a love for “dogs, cats, bats and civets” which apparently alludes to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, they took a dig at Chinese leader Xi Jinping with the lyrics, “It’s illegal to breach the firewall, you’ll be missed if the Pooh discovers it.” The line touches on China’s censorship and a previous issue which involved comparing Winnie the Pooh to Xi’s looks. The lyrics also contain the term “common prosperity” which is apparently the theme of Xi’s most recent political campaign.
Both artists have been removed from platforms like Douyin, Baidu Teiba and Weibo. Their musical works have also been removed from various streaming platforms such as Tencent Video and QQ Music. Although Namewee opened a new account for the song on 16th October, it has since been removed.
The song may have led to their Chinese socials being blocked, but neither Namewee nor Kimberley are shook up over it. In fact, the Australian singer proudly responded to the matter via her Instagram and Facebook on the same day.
“I’m sorry for hurting you. It’s okay to delete Weibo,” she sang, parodying the song’s lyrics. “Oh, I hear a sound. Fragile self-esteem has broken into pieces. It’s okay, I still have IG and (Facebook).” She thanked fans for their support and said: “Don’t be afraid to be yourself!”
Namewee is also encouraging more people to check out his MV. “This MV was filmed and prepared for a long time. There are many details worth noting in it. As long as you keep pressing pause, there will be surprises,” he remarked on his Instagram.
His agency has stepped in and stated that the song is about “love for small animals“. Namewee later added in his post’s comments section that the song is “actually very positive”. “It’s about loving small animals, such as puppies, kittens, bats, and civets. It’s (like how) I love cow, sheep, pig, chicken and seafood too,” he wrote on Facebook. “I think this song is great for little ones to listen to. (It) is a rich and educational song.”
Namewee is known for being a controversial artist in Malaysia. However, he seems to be involving himself more in China’s issues recently. Last month, he took a stand for singer Wraya (WENGIE)’s modernising a classic Chinese opera song.
“Fragile Glass Hearts” is pretty catchy, for all that it insinuates. Check out the music video for yourself here: