Multilingual Rapper, Shanghai, China

The Rapping Professor

Matthew Bloomfield didn't expect to become a rapper. But he grew up with a mother who wrote and performed rhyming poems for every family occasion, and a father whose strong singing voice he inherited. While studying world music at the Naropa Institute and Mandarin at Cornell University, he came up with the idea of writing songs to order. Today he's the self-styled "Rapping Professor," based in Shanghai, writing and performing commissioned "gift raps" for private and corporate clients.

Rapping up the world

In the last few years alone, Bloomfield has rapped and emcee'd at events ranging from beauty pageants and charity benefits to weddings, galas, Christmas parties, and conferences. His services have been in demand mainly in China, but also in South Africa, Macao, and the United States, and his corporate clients range from Dow Corning and Ford to Citibank and Bayer. "In my lyrics, I mention key event themes, activities, and people by name, really personalizing the experience," Bloomfield said. "It feels great to hear your name in a song or rap, and I can even rap in Chinese!" He has also contributed pro bono raps to anti-poverty and plant-a-tree causes.

"Rap"-sodic influences

Besides his parents, Bloomfield credits his 90 percent African-American elementary school in Cincinnati, where he absorbed rhythms and oral inflections he uses in performance. He began composing songs as a sophomore at Kenyon while studying poetry with Professor Phil Church. "The rapper that grabbed my attention back in the day when I was starting out was Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: remember 'The Message'?"

Introducing . . . The Rapping Professor!

I'm the Rapping Professor,
Chinese name FeiMeng ["Flying Dream"].
I've been writing songs and raps ever since I was young.
Whether private, corporate, or conference event,
I'm sure you'll agree I'm money well-spent.
I'm highly confident about entertaining clients;
I've got this rapping art down to a science.

After a long string of jobs, ranging from language instructor and preschool teacher to United Nations document editor, voice actor, and technical writer, Bloomfield has found his creative niche and livelihood. Career choice? Wrapped up. DeliciousFacebook FacebookStumbleUpon StumbleUponDigg Diggreddit reddit