How soft of a rapper are you if you record a diss track about Mayor Breed, and then immediately apologize when her PR people complain? More importantly, why are pro-Breed PR forces coming after this obscure rapper with everything they’ve got?

It was not even a minor blip on the SF news radar nine days ago when the SF Standard made some hay over a local rapper named Chino Yang posting a London Breed diss track video to YouTube. The story was not picked up by any other local news outlets, though it was picked up by the New York Post and British tabloid Daily Mail, both publications with fetishistic obsessions for reporting San Francisco crime more than crimes that happen in their own jurisdictions.

Yet locally, it was a total non-story. But thanks to a bizarre overreaction from Breed supporters, it’s a story now.

Chino Yang’s video for “San Francisco Our Home” is seen above. In the track, he proclaims “Throw your two middle fingers up to the mayor,” and “London Breed, you ain’t nothing but a clown/ when we really needed you, you ain’t never been around.”

The video also notes multiple break-ins at Yang’s restaurants Kung Food in Alamo Square and Aceking BBQ in the Richmond District, and points out several attacks on Asian elders, though many examples Yang cites did not occur in San Francisco. The video has 13,000 views, which is nice and all, but certainly not viral by Youtube standards. Heck, SFist’s 4/20 smoke-out videos get just about that many views.

But for some reason, Chino Yang’s video has made the London Breed PR apparatus go to DEFCON 1. In what appears to be blowing this way out of proportion, some pro-Breed forces have called an 11 a.m. press conference Thursday featuring Willie Brown, SF NAACP chapter president Rev. Amos Brown, a half-dozen faith leaders, and what a press release calls “young black rappers.”

That press release adds they will “call upon Chinese-American rapper and San Francisco restaurant owner Chino Yang to remove a ‘dishonest and disrespectful’ video that attacks Mayor London Breed.”

And shortly after that press release was sent, the SF Standard reported Yang had apologized to Breed. But what the SF Standard did not mention, and neither did the Chronicle in their reporting on the matter, was that the press release was sent by Sam Singer’s high-powered political and corporate PR firm Singer Associates.

This is the same Sam Singer PR firm currently hired to get fired Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong his job back, and had previously represented the real estate firm that evicted Moms 4 Housing, the Napa Wine Train when they kicked off 10 Black women, and Chevron when their refinery sent thousands of East Bay residents to the hospital. And people, Sam Singer’s Singer Associates typically does not work for free (nor does Willie Brown’s consulting firm), so this seems like a hired-hand effort.

But maybe it did its job, because the rapper Chino Yang has publicly apologized to Breed. But boy is Yang's apology video unusual, in an almost hostage video sort of sense.

“Lately I have been receiving a lot of threats, especially from someone extremely powerful, someone who has connections to presidents, senators, or, you know, the top elites,” Yang says in his apology Instagram video. “For the sake of my family, my loved ones, my close friends, I’d like to openly and publicly make an apology regarding my actions and what I said in the video. I had no idea this extremely powerful individual has so much emotional attachment to London Breed. So with that being said, I’m sorry for my ignorance, I’m sorry for my foolishness, and impulsiveness.”

We should note that this publicity blitz to silence Yang might not be the work of London Breed herself, nor even her reelection campaign. It might be one of those generically named tech-money PACs like TogetherSF, Grow SF, or Abundant SF. But someone is paying for this effort to shut Yang up.

Remember, we’re heading into an election year. Perhaps there’s a sense among Breed supporters that the crime issue could weaken her standing among Asian voters, and Yang’s video could exacerbate that weakness. Though common sense says it’s just as likely that coming down on this young man could just easily backfire among Asian voters.

Either way, this is likely the shape of things to come as we enter 2024, and a November mayoral election that’s already well underway. Political consultants and public relations firms are going to orchestrate elaborate public attacks, or elaborate shows of victimhood, for their preferred candidate. And that consultant and PR class will get very well paid for doing so, no matter how ineffective and bumbling their efforts are.

Related: Mayor Breed Laments That 'All Eyes Are On San Francisco' Right Now When It Comes to Crime [SFist]

Screenshot: ZHONG.TV via Youtube