‘Succession is the Issue’: Rap Ditty on the Kim Clan and Sino-North Korean Relations

If you want footnotes or typed lyrics, then they shall be produced.  Otherwise, enjoy this little ditty, which began in the pre-dawn with a civilized train ride and a consequent eyeful of Mount Ranier red sunrise over frozen fields (the peak appearing to erupt in slow motion), and ended twenty minutes later in a gust on top of a garbage can.

A model for future production?  You can be the judge of that.

The windup to the actual rap/song runs until about 1:40.  This prelude includes an overview of the week’s writing on North Korea and China’s role in North Korea in the leadup to, and aftermath of, Kim Jong Il’s 69th birthday, and includes a brief description of the musical meter employed for the song.  I don’t know how many of you read Bertold Brecht, but I spent about three hours last night with the German poet’s anti-Hitler poems, and this piece (while of course not reaching Brechtian heights, I mean seriously my head would explode!) reflects the spirit of that work as well.  Of course if just straight up prose facts is what you’re after, just do yourself a favor and get plugged in with Richard Horgan’s North Korea tweets from that other Korean capitol city, Los Angeles; the man is unstoppable.

Link to the video here.

The thoughts of North Korea analyst Chris Green, whose February 15 essay served as the impetus for verse one, can be read at his blog Destination Pyongyang or in translation into English at the always-worthwhile Daily NK.  I doubt I’ll be challenging Chris, or Joshua Stanton or Marcus Noland for that matter, to a rap battle, but Joshua’s idea of Yo-Yo Ma playing a cello sonata about the Korean War (which I can also do, although recording a more perfect version of my performance of the Shostakovich Cello Sonata is currently higher on the rep list) certainly appeals to me.  So keep your ears peeled!  The gates of a powerful nation are opening!  We may be starving for original content, but these meager crumbs are still nourishing, confirmation that we aren’t dead yet!  I have not yet begun to fight!  Sinologistical Violoncellist is veering into audio realms!

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