Two Music Videos by Uncle Buddhist: “Do Whatever You Want (Phantoms of Youth)” and “Tsampa”

Screenshot of the music video for “Do Whatever You Want (Phantoms of Youth)” By Uncle Buddhist

High Peaks Pure Earth presents two English-subtitled music videos byTibetan artist Uncle Buddhist(name: Lhundrub Gyatso) called “Do Whatever You Want” and “Tsampa”.

[Scroll down past the introduction to see the music videos]

Those who saw the ANU video “1376” will remember Uncle Buddhist featured in it. Uncle Buddhist as a solo artist released an album earlier this year called “City Tibetan”, comprising of 14 tracks, including both “Do Whatever You Want” and “Tsampa”. Although “Do Whatever You Want” is titled like this in English, we have also included the Tibetan title which directly translates as “Phantoms of Youth”.

Uncle Buddhist, from Golog, Amdo, has a strong visual identity and social media presence including on Weibo, WeChat, YouTubeInstagram and SoundCloud. His Weibo bio says he was born in 1989 and is a graduate of Beijing Contemporary Music Academy.

His YouTube bio tells us:

This channel is dedicated to Tibetan rapper Uncle Buddhist, who has in 2018 released the world’s first and only Tibetan rap album “City Tibetan”. There are 14 tracks in this Album, representing a wide coverage of themes from cultural heritage to religion to the life experiences of the singer. He was born in the pastoral area but grew up in the city and thus he’s confronted with sharp contact between the Tibetan tradition and modern life. He encourages everyone who lives away from where one’s ethical tradition resides to acquire the missing parts through one’s devoted efforts. This entire rap album is produced in Tibetan language, which makes it truly one of a kind. Uncle Buddhist started to work on this album since 2014. After all these years hard work and ups and downs, he made it happen. He is the Tibetan rapper, 黎智坚措 Uncle Buddhist.

Our thanks go to Palden Gyal for the English translation of “Do Whatever You Want (Phantoms of Youth)”.

“Do Whatever You Want (Phantoms of Youth)”
By Uncle Buddhist

The sky above our heads casts dark clouds
The earth beneath our feet reeks of putrid mud
Yet the steeds of our desire and hate rear up, untamed
With our fickle, fluctuating temperaments
The phantoms of youth are like fleeting illusions!

Though our speech may sound faint
We have not forsaken our courage
Though our livelihoods are poor
We have not forfeited our dreams
In this stinking, pigsty-like environment
We sow dreams as the lotus flowers in mud

We have self-ruling kingdoms in our own minds!
We will never repent or reprimand
The times we blew to the wind or hurled in the river
When the drape of darkness retreats
The dawn of hope shall greet with a smile
As the pride and pluck of youth roar
Our turquoise-braids of courage dance in glory!

The sky above our heads casts dark clouds
The earth beneath our feet reeks of putrid mud
Yet the steeds of our desire and hate rear up, untamed
With our fickle, fluctuating temperaments
The phantoms of youth are like fleeting illusions!

The colour of our manes is many-hued
Yet our hearts are white in every aspect
The rules of our etiquette are frisky and frivolous
Yet we defend our dreams and desires with life

Don’t be upset by our pomposity and arrogance, we do have a limit
Don’t despise and deride our actions as profanity, we do have basic integrity
We reflect on ourselves in the depths of our ancestral history
We search for our future in the midst of this existing environment

The sky above our heads casts dark clouds
The earth beneath our feet reeks of putrid mud
Yet the steeds of our desire and hate rear up, untamed
With our fickle, fluctuating temperaments
The phantoms of youth are like fleeting illusions! (x3)

Translated by Palden Gyal
High Peaks Pure Earth

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

“Tsampa”
By Uncle Buddhist

Lyrics: Menlha Kyab
Backing: Machik Gyal
Piwang: Kesang Norbu
Melody: Gonpo Wangyal

The birthplace of green barley
The land of love
The fatherland of black-haired Tibetans
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy

The delicious scent of white honey tsampa
The land of love
The mental lineage of Snowland Tibetans
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy

At beginning time of the universe
In the plain land of Yarlung
A farm of green barley was cultivated
The green barley produced white honey tsampa
The stable livelihood of Tibetans of the three provinces
The nutrient is green barley

The supreme food of white honey tsampa
An antidote to all illnesses of the four elements
Like a vitamin to gain strength from
How fortunate are the black-haired Tibetans
May we not be separated from this supreme food
May we fulfil complete enjoyment
May we increase auspicious prosperity

The green barley from the plain farmland of Yarlung has no wings and yet has wings
The white wings stretch out to entire territory surrounded by snow
Like a golden belt that enclaves all provinces of Tibet
The winged barley arises from the lap of the sun and creates mala beads of script
From the Tsethang Mountain, the light of this nation’s culture is written on the roof of the world
Black-haired tsampa eating Tibetans
The winged barley is the dream of Snowland
It is the destined deity for the people of Snowland
Wherever barley is, it is a divine messenger
It is like a light for the virtuous people
Wherever the barley flies, there is the delicious scent of white honey tsampa
And the red-faced people flourish there
Wherever the barley lands, there is white honey tsampa
And turns the people’s minds towards virtues

The green barley is a unified single root
So is the tradition of black-haired Tibetans
Though despair arises and depart from the golden barley and the purity of it is difficult to taste each day
Though each day, body forgets the tradition, speech dumbs the tongue, and the mind agitates itself
Don’t forget the way green barley sourced, but keep in mind
Don’t forget the kindness of white honey tsampa, but keep in mind

The birthplace of green barley
The land of love
The fatherland of black-haired Tibetans
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy

The delicious scent of white honey tsampa
The land of love
The mental lineage of Snowland Tibetans
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy
The land of love
The land of joy

Translation by High Peaks Pure Earth

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please watch our other music videos from Tibet using this link: http://highpeakspureearth.com/category/music-from-tibet/