Amid restrictions aimed at China's burgeoning hip hop scene, some elements associated with the culture appear to be getting a pass.
Although rules specifically targeting hip hop were not available on official platforms, Chinese news site Sina Entertainment reported in January that regulators had requested that television programs avoided guests associated with the genre.
Still, "Hot Blood Dance Crew," a dance competition which shows the influence of hip hop culture, premiered on online video platform iQIYI in March. That came just weeks after "Street Dance of China" — a similarly themed program — began screening on Youku, another Chinese video site.
At first glance, both programs appear to have much in common with last year's breakout rap competition "Rap of China," which drew nearly 3 billion views during its June to September run, but has since seen its stars come under scrutiny.
For starters, both rap and street dance flourished in underground Chinese communities before gaining greater exposure through their respective video series. There are also aesthetic similarities: Participants on the dance programs are decked out in streetwear brands, from Supreme to Off-White, popularized on the mainland by "Rap of China."
The newer programs, however, were released months after authorities began suppressing some aspects of hip hop culture.
PG One, one of the winners of "Rap of China," made a public apology in January after accusations that lyrics in one of his older tracks encouraged drug use and misogyny. The rapper's other tracks were subsequently yanked from various music-streaming platforms in China, online news site Quartz reported.
Other prominent alumni of the rap competition were dropped from various television programs. GAI, the other winner of "Rap of China," was pulled from "Singer" — a reality show he had been participating in — while Reuters reported that VaVa, another rapper, was edited out of a variety show.