Fast Lane (Yin Ts'ang)

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General Information

Artist: Yin Ts'ang
Title: 花天酒地 (huā tiān jiǔ dì) / Fast Lane
Release Date: 2007, November 21
Label: Dragon Tongue Records (
Type: CDDA
Catalog No.:
Language: Chinese, English

Track Listing

  1. Right Now
  2. Let's Get It
  3. 最后一次
  4. 城市的罪
  5. 我的街头
  6. 狂人日记
  7. 走起来
  8. 街头诗人
  9. Do That Thang
  10. 毕其功于一役
  11. 长期的奋斗
  12. 举起你的杯
  13. 往左往右
  14. 呆会儿
  15. 还在北京
  16. 终点线
  17. Hidden Track: Keep It Real


  • (c) that's Beijing Magazine Online, Lisa Liang, February 19, 2008

Fast Lane, the second effort from Beijing-based rap group Yin Ts’ang, starts off promisingly enough. The opening track, Right Now, is decent, with bits of thoughtful sentences strung in here and there; the production, heavily ripped from Van Halen, is fine, but could certainly have been smoother. In fact, on an initial listen, you might be fooled into thinking that the album isn’t that bad – the Chinese is comprehensible, and the beats, for the most part, are tolerable, with a few tracks sounding almost like some southern anthem Lil’ Jon could have produced. Almost.

There’s no denying Yin Ts’ang’s 2003 debut made a huge impact on the Beijing hip-hop scene. But while original member MC Webber, for example, has since moved on to a live, organic experience, the remainder of Yin Ts’ang has veered towards a fake-bling style. As such, Fast Lane fails dreadfully to impress, and it’s highly doubtful that “making hits” is Yin Ts’ang’s zhuanye. The continuous switching back and forth between English and Chinese, meanwhile, comes off awkward, especially when the English being uttered falls in the vein of “snitches,” “bitches,” and other such empty fillings. Practically every hook on the album’s 16 tracks consists of three-to-five words (usually the song’s title), sung over and over without variation or effort toward innovation whatsoever.

The only salvageable track among the egocentric ramble is a melancholic ballad titled The Last Time (Zuihou Yi Chi), which captures, surprisingly well, the slow and static repetition of life as viewed from the subway. But it is a little unclear why this album is called Fast Lane, except, perhaps, that it may have been made a bit too hastily, and that, in the end, you are left with no need or desire to be returning to it anytime soon.


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