TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is featured rapping in a song penned by the Taiwanese rapper Dwagie released last week to promote Taiwan to the international community.
In the nearly four-minute song titled "Light up Taiwan," Dwagie, also known as Dog G (大支), raps about the many things Westerners may not be aware that Taiwanese industry and Taiwanese people have contributed to the world, and includes a guest appearance by President Tsai.
First, Dwagie takes a stab at clearing up the seemingly endless confusion Westerners somehow still have between Taiwan and Thailand, as well as its status as an independent country as opposed to being a "province" of China.
He highlights the industrial and innovative prowess of Taiwan over the years including with household products, tires, hard drives, laptops, and smartphones. "U see the MIT, cuz it's made in Taiwan... even the dress worn by Michelle Obama," raps Dwagie, alluding to Jason Wu, a fashion designer born in Taipei.
Dwagie then raps about famous people with Taiwanese connections in a wide spectrum of vocations including NBA player Jeremy Lin, MLB athlete Wang Chien-ming, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Dr. David Ho, who developed HIV cocktail therapy, and Academy Award-winning film director Ang Lee.
After the chorus "TAIWAN No. 1," which is a reference to an online spat in 2015 in which American gamer Angrypug enraged his Chinese counterparts by simply saying "Taiwan No. 1" repeatedly, Tsai can be heard rapping in Taiwanese dialect "One day, everything will be better" (有一天一切都會不同).
Of course, no rap song about Taiwan would be complete without mentioning the food, bubble tea, and a travel ranking about Taiwan, in this case a 2015 ranking by National Geographic which placed it 12th on its list of "20 go-now destinations."
Other key Taiwanese attractions are also covered: "Hot springs for days, sky lanterns to gaze at. Night markets so big, you could get lost, it's a maze."
Statistics that set Taiwan apart are then listed including Taiwan's universal national healthcare system, its high recycling rate (55 percent), and that it hosts the largest LGBT parade in Asia.
Dwagie then gives a history lesson about Taiwan's transition from a dictatorship to a democracy, its Austronesian origins, and rule by Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese. In the second chorus, Tsai can be heard rapping in English "Tsai Ing-wen and Dwagie, we light up Taiwan."
In reference to the growing resentment that Taiwan continues toward having to use the term "Chinese Taipei" in Olympic competitions, he raps:
"We also dream in the Olympics one day. They'll call us Taiwan and NOT Chinese Taipei. No way" They've been doing that for years. We wanna wave our own flag, in joy we would cry tears."
As for the ongoing cross-strait tensions, Dwagie suggests that China and Taiwan could coexist in the same way the U.S. and the U.K. do. He asks Xi Jinping to remove the estimated 1,300 ballistic missiles pointed at Taiwan and suggests democracy, peace, freedom, and human rights can replace "jets and tanks and wars taking lives."
He reminds listeners that Taiwan has provided much disaster aid to other nations and regions in their time of need such as Japan, China, North Korea, and Africa.
Towards the end, Dwagie calls Taiwan "the unsinkable aircraft carrier," a term the U.S. military has used to describe Taiwan, Japan, and the U.K. since WWII. In the final chorus, Tsai is shown rapping "One day everything will be better" again in Taiwanese.