Two Bros Rap Delightfully In “We Livin In Xi’an”

We know laowai song-and-dance videos are passe — thanks, Jesse Appell, et al. — but the effort in this latest one is simply too rich to ignore. Matt Sheehan — who you recognize around these parts as the China Eastern airport rumble writer — teamed up with his friend Matt Allen to write, direct, shoot, and produce “We Livin in Xi’an,” and the result is a perfectly outlandlish little paean to the capital of Shaanxi province, and perhaps the foreigner experience in China.

The rap group name is “The 党 Dynasty” (that character is dang, Party), made up of Bro西来 (Allen) and 他马特老外 (Sheehan). For most of the video, the two Matts are wearing Xi’an Gaoxin Number 1 middle school uniforms.

There’s not much more we can say except whatever sound a shaking head makes. The full lyrics to the song are below. The rhythm and beat is inspired by Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop.” Enjoy these scenes of Xi’an.


我们来自西安/We Livin in Xi’an

We livin in XI-AN, XI-AN, XI-AN……
Thing bout Xi’an, when you first step off that train,
cars be swervin out they lanes,
but we ready for that, we game.

And we hittin’em back,
two 老外 headin the pack,
matta fact we got the buns,
now where my 老外 at who’d rather observe than interact?

Back to my face it don’t reflect on all of the Chinese I know,

k-ktv is fake-fake records,
the headcount’s in the millions,
and no migrants get respected

If you check 1-2 my word of advice to you,
is learn the tongue,
just say what you got to say,
if that don’t work then just play dumb.

If you a bus or cab driver, noodle grinder, scooter rider,
or you gotta hand out flyers,
then just own it,
but then if you a baijiu sippin, restaraunt spitting,
belly itchin, Gucci wearin bitch,
I’ma know it when i see it,

It’s bigga than XI-AN, XI-AN, XI-AN…..

Who drivin this cab?
if he don’t slow down he gon’ kill us all

don’t think droppin one 你好
get you local prices, cuz it’s not,
laowai speak a lil’ Chinese and think he’s hot,
talkin bout how many dishes he got.

man all you rich folks act the same,
that black Audi? That’s lame.
Mao’s on Hongbaos? A shame.
Social climbing? Fast paced.
Big-ass savings rate? THAT’S FACE.

听不懂 me though
These training schools sling my skin like dope,
I could be talkin out my ass,
and still be treated like the pope.

You rather have a lexus, or justice?
That QQ or substance?
A breadcar, a beamer or freedom?

Don’t China-hate,
just stay awake,
this is real 中国
and it don’t stop till they push the hutong off the block

We call it XI-AN, XI-AN, XI-AN….

Qujiang got that crazy shit,
Tang Dy-Nasty with a DQ in it.

PRC got that crazy shit,
man hella fast trains?
I don’t even trip in it.

(What a laowai gonna do?)


PRC got that crazy shit,
man 40 stories,
but nobody lives in it.

    5 Responses to “Two Bros Rap Delightfully In “We Livin In Xi’an””

    1. Bill Shit

      This is great. Even though the video quality was kind of shit, the overall fun and quality of the lyrics really comes through. Nice job paroding “Hip Hop,” a great song in its own right and you matched the pacing of the flow really well. Great social commentary, too, especially the part with FREEDOM. If this isn’t on the Chinese web (w/ Chinese subtitles) it needs to be because I could really see this taking off.

      • Matt

        Thanks for the kind words. We’ve got the video up on youku at this link:
        We’d love to see it take off in the weibo/renren/weixin world, so put it out to any Chinese friends. Being subtitled in the language of the specific rap verse limits it a bit, but that’s all part of the game.

    2. .P.

      Any chance that you could commission this erstwhile duo to summarize Beijing Cream articles in rap form? Because if I could start my day off with minute-long odes to toilet babies, Bus Uncles and poisonous foodstuffs instead of reading pesky words, I’d be delighted.


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