Rap music video about Singlish faces harsh criticism from S'poreans

23 August 2015 / 1 year 2 months ago

The New Paper
Aug 20, 2015

The issue of whether the much talked-about local music video Lingo Lingo can be viewed by the public again on YouTube is still up in the air.

Yesterday, The New Paper had reported that the irememberSG team had asked the video's director Shawn Tan to take the video down because it had received online flak.

They were concerned that it would affect the irememberSG branding.

The video was to promote local SG50 featurette Lingo Lingo Where You Go, which was partially funded by the irememberSG Fund at $50,000.

In response to queries from The New Paper, a spokesman from the National Library Board, which manages the Singapore Memory Project and its irememberSG Fund, said: "Lingo Lingo Where You Go is an entertaining and creative one-hour featurette about the origins of Singlish. It is one of the 72 projects supported and funded by the Singapore Memory Project's irememberSG Fund.

"The music video was funded and produced by J Team Productions.

"We noticed that the Singapore Memory Project and irememberSG Fund logos were credited in the music video. The irememberSG Fund was also associated in the music video's description. Since the music video is not funded by the irememberSG Fund, we had requested J Team Productions to remove the logos."

Tan, 27, changed the setting for the YouTube video to private on Tuesday.

But Tan, who also directed the featurette, is hoping that the logos can remain in the video, which had attracted over 79,000 views.

He said: "If I remove the logos and upload the video again, the views on YouTube will be reset to zero. I am hoping to keep the video as it is.

"I will probably drop them an e-mail to discuss this."


The video was uploaded onto YouTube on Aug 4.

It features Ah Boys To Men star Tosh Zhang, local singer-actor Bunz and their entourage flanked by a fleet of supercars and sexy girls in lingerie, rapping about Singlish.

It was criticised by some netizens, who said it did not reflect Singaporeans' way of life as it promoted a super luxurious lifestyle with scenes of well-dressed young people hanging out by a private jet.

Lingo Lingo Where You Go was screened for free at the National Library on July 25.

The short film, which cost close to $100,000 to make, is about a man who wakes up from a 10-year coma to a world of unfamiliar Singlish terms and phrases.

If I remove the logos and upload the video again, the views on YouTube will be reset to zero. I am hoping to keep the video as it is.

- Video director Shawn Tan

Lambo lifestyle? We're First World

Freelance model-actress Melody Low, 22, who is the main female star in the video, is not affected by the negative feedback.

She told TNP: "It is quite common these days for people to have differing views as they have different tastes and mindsets.

"Some netizens say that the Lamborghinis do not represent Singaporeans. However, we are a First World country and Singapore has one of the highest rate of people buying supercars, so I think it is okay."

Some netizens commented that Lingo Lingo reminds them of a K-pop MV, saying it is "like the Singlish version of K-pop".

Freelance actor-singer Yutaki Ong, who choreographed the dance routine featured in the MV, said: "The whole direction is more street style, designed to match the song and the music video. As K-pop is very popular now, many people might compare the MV to K-pop. I take that as a compliment."

The 32-year-old, who has been dancing for the past 12 years and has starred in local movies The Lion Men 1 & 2, added: "As for negative comments, I am okay with them as long as they are constructive and meant for us to improve upon. If the comments are hurtful, I will take them with a pinch of salt, if not I will feel dreadful."

JM Artiste Network, which manages Zhang and Bunz, turned down our requests to interview them.

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