When a rap video critical of Thailand’s military government became a huge sensation, the authorities first responded with threats to arrest its creators.
Then they did what the establishment often does when under fire: co-opt the genre.
So on Thursday a government “Thailand 4.0” rap video was played to introduce Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s remarks to about 500 attendees of a conference on start-ups.
The video was seen as a reaction to the popularity of the music video “Prathet Ku Mee” — translated by its producers as “Which Is My Country” — which castigates the army’s domination over Thai politics. The video has logged over 25 million views since it was posted online on Oct. 22.
Prayuth himself has penned several patriotic ditties since seizing power in 2014.