Yan Yan Chan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Yan Yan Chan
Born (1979-12-05) December 5, 1979 (age 37)
Genres hip hop
Occupation(s) musician
Years active 2000–present
Associated acts Acid

Yan Yan Chan (Burmese: ရန်ရန်ချမ်း, pronounced: [jàɴ jàɴ tɕʰáɴ]; born 5 December 1979) is a pioneer of Burmese hip hop and pro-democracy activist. Along with Zayar Thaw, he founded the group Acid.[1]


In 2000, Acid released Burma's first hip-hop album. Despite predictions of failure by many in the Burmese music industry, the album, Beginning, remained in the number one position of the Burmese charts for more than two months.[1] A Democratic Voice of Burma reporter described his music as blending a "combative, angry style with indigenous poeticism".[2] The band's repertoire has been said to contain many "thinly veiled attacks on the regime".[3] The Independent stated that while the band "focused on the mundane, their lyrics inevitably touched on the hardships of life in Burma, drawing them into dangerous territory." [4]

Generation Wave[edit]

Following the 2007 uprising against the State Peace and Development Council, Burma's military rulers, Yan Yan Chan's bandmate Zayar Thaw helped found the pro-democracy youth movement Generation Wave.[1] Though not an original founder, Yan Yan Chan became involved in the group as well.[5] Generation Wave used graffiti and pamphlets to spread messages opposing the SPDC.[1] and distributed bumper stickers reading "Change New Government" to apply to cars carrying "CNG" stickers (originally for "compressed natural gas").[1] The group also circulated anti-government films, including Rambo,[6] in which the titular character battles Tatmadaw (Burmese military) soldiers in Karen State.[7] The film had been banned by the government for portraying the SPDC and its soldiers in a negative light.[8]

In March 2008, several Generation Wave members were arrested for their anti-government activities, including Zayar Thaw, who was charged with membership in an illegal organization and possession of foreign currency.[9] On 18 April, Yan Yan Chan was also arrested in the Upper Burma town of Monywa, reportedly along with his longtime girlfriend Chilli.[5][10] Reporters Without Borders speculated that Yan Yan Chan was arrested due to "lyrics in some of his songs referring to the lack of press freedom".[11]

After nearly a year's detention, he was released without charges on 7 January 2009.[5]


In March 2010, Yan Yan Chan and Chilli announced their intention to wed.[12] On 4 April, they got married in a ceremony at the Traders Hotel in Yangon.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Alex Elgee (26 March 2010). "Another Birthday behind Bars". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Joseph Allchin (30 December 2009). "Fresh blood for a new decade". Democratic Voice of Burma. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Junta imprisons Yan Yan Chan". thefirstpost.co.uk. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Burma jails comedian for 45 years". The Independent. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Than Htike Oo (7 January 2009). "Detained Hip Hop singer Yan Yan Chan released". Mizzima News. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "AAPP Case No. 0062" (PDF). Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Rambo Draws World's Attention to Forgotten Crisis in Burma". Burma Campaign UK. 12 Feb 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Thomas Bell (18 February 2008). "Banned Rambo film hot property in Burma". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "MYANMAR: Hip-Hop Artist and Student Activist Jailed for Peaceful Protest" (PDF). Amnesty International. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Ashin Mettacara (18 April 2008). "Yan Yan Chan Arrested". Ashinmettacara.org. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Press forbidden to refer to campaign for a No vote in referendum on new constitution". Reporters Without Borders. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Hip Hop Singer, Yan Yan Chan To get Married". myanmarcelebrity.com. 27 March 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Myanmar Celebrity Wedding: Yan Yan Chan & Chilli's Wedding at the Traders Hotel". shwedarling.com. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011.