Even though it is quite well known amongst the youth in the North American Muslim community that a lot of hip hop artists are Muslim it was still surprising for me to discover that the person who is largely responsible for introducing hip-hop in China is an American Muslim convert named Dana Burton. The same problem that is observed amongst the Muslim hip hop artists may apply in this case also e.g., many of the Muslim hip hop artists that refrain from things like promoting alcohol, drugs or oversexed themes do not usually become famous and those that do compromise do become famous. Anyway, here is a relevant excerpt from the story in Foreign Policy from Dana Burton.
I studied social science at Michigan State University, and I converted [to Islam] in college. …. The first time I left the country was when I went to the hajj in Saudi Arabia. I went in 1999, just before I came to China.
Also it seems that Chinese hip-hop is evolving in a different manner as compared to the American hip-hop.
They may have manufactured many of the trappings, but unlike the ubiquitous dubious English translations everywhere, China’s small community of rappers seemed to get it. “Rap doesn’t have to be angry,” explains MC Loop. “It doesn’t have to be unhappy, but it’s always honest.”