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CantoMusic: Ng Lam Fung, "The Pop Scene is Dead"

Ng Lam Fung, 吳林峰 - "The Pop Scene is Dead" 《樂壇已死》

· CantoCulture

The phrase 樂壇已死 (“The pop scene is dead”) has been brought up constantly in Hong Kong for the past decade as the Four Heavenly Kings (四大天王) and many other artists gradually stepping down, their audience would rather reminisce over the Golden Age of Cantopop than to give a chance to unfamiliar artists and music genres. 

The atmosphere was none more apparent than when Jer Lau and Keung To from the idol group MIRROR won the gold prize for best newcomer and the “My Favourite Male Singer” award respectively in the 2020 Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation, where negative comments such as “乜水?” (“Who?”) and 樂壇已死 surrounded internet forums immediately after.

Lyricist Siuhak decided to write the song “樂壇已死” as a rebuttal to this “boomer” mindset.

樂壇已死 — 吳林峰 Ng Lam Fung

In the prechorus and chorus, singer-songwriter Ng Lam Fung mocks the netizens’ comments and mindset: 

對著作曲填詞罵句 deui jeuhk jok kūk tìhn chìh mah geui

Scold the composers and lyricists 

這乜水 怎麼可唱出 jéh māt séui  jám mō hó cheung chēut

Who’s this [乜水 māt séui, usually derogatory], how can they sing

垃圾金句 laahp saap gām geui

Such crappy punchlines

香港歌手經已死 hēung góng gō sáu gīng yíh séi

Hong Kong singers are already [經已 gīng yíh - already] dead

As the center of the controversy, the intentionally uncredited Jer Lau makes a surprising appearance in the reprise:

贈你這卡式機 聽返你舊時多優美 jahng néih jéh kāa sīk gēi tēng fāan néih gauh sí dō yāu méih

Here’s a cassette for you, go listen to your “beautiful” old-time [舊時 gauh sí, a pun on “a piece of shit” or 舊屎 gauh sí] music 

Indeed, the Hong Kong music scene is just lacking the attention it deserves—it has always been thriving with talented artists and musicians alike, and there is no point in comparing the present to the past.

If you enjoyed Ng Lam Fung’s work, check out:

下一束光 — 吳林峰 / The Next Light — Ng Lam Fung @ntl.fung

街燈 — 吳林峰 / Street Light — Ng Lam Fung

Also check out the songs that made all this commotion:

蒙著嘴說愛你 — 姜濤 Keung To @keung_show

迴光物語 — 柳應廷 Jer Lau @jeremylaous