New disc Yo Yo Ma Biatchesrecorded on specially made solid gold cello.

It’s no surprise these days to hear classical musicians playing bluegrass, jazz or even heavy metal, but the Chinese-born cellist is crossing over into uncharted territory with his latest release, a CD of gangster rap entitled Yo Yo Ma Biatches.

The new disc, to be issued on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, is slated for release on April 10, and features not only the musician’s skills as a virtuoso cellist, but also sees him dropping his own rhymes over the beats of producer RZA and remixes of classical favourites including Saint-Saëns’s The Swan.

“When they see me with my cello,
All da shorties say, “Hello!”
Shakin they asses like jello…” Raps the musician in his distinctive Chinese-American drawl. The lyrics refer to Ma’s cultural identity, political convictions and his own rags-to-riches journey from busking in Paris as a six-year-old to counting President Obama and the late Steve Jobsamong his friends.

Ma took a break from filming the title-track’s music video in Bel Air, Los Angeles to chat exclusively to Limelight.“It’s all about breaking down the boundaries and creating a dialogue between different genres,”...

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