This song was based on a little thing that people say, just like how people call New York “The City that Never Sleeps”, the people in Asia describe Hainan using this phrase:
What it says is:
Haven’t been to Beijing; (You) don’t know what is to be an Official.
Haven’t been to Shanghai; (You) don’t know what is to be rich.
Haven’t been to Chongqing; (You) don’t know about early marriages.
Haven’t been to Hainan Island; (You) don’t know how what being healthy is.
What does it mean?
This is a song expresses the opulence of people living in those places. Many asians have proverbs associated to a place. The most famous of Chinese proverb says that one should “marry in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Gwanzhou, and die in Liuzhou.” The cities are known for the beautiful woman, the best scenery, the best foods, and the best wood (presumably for making coffins), respectively.
Namewee’s song, Hainan Island, spotlights the abundance you would find in the following cities: politicians in Beijing, wealth in Shanghai, marriage in Chongqing, and health in Hainan. Beijing is a city filled with government officials. There are many politicians living in Beijing because that is the government center. Shanghai is one of the most expensive cities in China. You would need to have lots of money in order to live there. Chongquin is known for young men looking for brides in that province because it cost a lot less to pay the bride price. The bride price is the amount you need to pay to the parents of the bride in order to marry her, quite the opposite of a dowry. Hainan is known to have the highest life expectancy and where more people live to be over 100 year old then any other province in China. Aside the lyrics, the song is upbeat and Sean Lin has a beautiful, rich voice that provides an agreeable contrasts to Namewee’s rap.
Enjoy the video!