Meet The "Rapping Grandmas" Of San Francisco

After a long career dancing, I started a jewelry business and later retired after 20 years.

I was a docent for walking tours in Chinatown and later created the Chinatown Ghost Tours all the while serving the community.

Q: Who are the Grant Avenue Follies?

In 2003, Four of us former dancers of the Chinatown Night Clubs of the 60’s met again and started taking tap dance classes at the senior center.

I was President of the Chinese Hospital Auxiliary when asked to put on a fundraiser with entertainment.

I then recruited a few dancers from dance class and we did a number with feather headpieces and fishnet stockings. We got a standing ovation and pretty soon other organizations asked us to perform for them.

Today, the GAF has 12 members comprising of retired school teachers, physical therapists, accountants, a poet and a male architect. Ages

from 65 to 87.

Q: Your rap video Goi Mou Sou went viral. How did this come about?

During the Asian Hate movement of 2020, many Asian elders were being assaulted and we were asked to participate in the rallies. 

I suggested that we should do something different besides carrying a sign and after over dinner brainstorming, the rap Gai Mou Sou was born. (link)  It generated 98.4K on YouTube and over 150K views on Steve Harvey's Show.

The message of our rap is to tell youngsters that we are grandmas and must be respected.

Gai Mou Sou is a chicken feather duster that Grandma used for dusting but if the kid was not behaving, she would turn the stick around to show authority…saying whack, whack, whack.

Q: How did you get the name “Rapping Grannies?”

People started to call us Rapping Grandmas after our first rap came out called ‘Gai Mou Sou’ (chicken feather duster).

Q: Fund raising and giving back to the community are important to your group. Any idea how much you have raised to support charities in the past

20 years? 


As for total amount we have raised for other nonprofits, we don’t have a number but it's a lot.

Q: What keeps you going after all these years? 

Future plans?

No plans to stop doing what I do in the near future. I feel the need to inspire others to not sit in the rocking chair but do something that makes you and others happy. Nothing is more gratifying for me than to see the smiles on the faces of other seniors that may not have the opportunity to go out anymore.

Q: Life lessons learned?

A lesson learned is that growing old is only a state of mind. When people ask how old I am, I really have to think about it because I really forget how old I really am.

Q: How to stay young?

Try not to have the little things bother you or lose sleep over. Eat potato chips if you want to. Stay hopeful and keep busy. 

About Cynthia Yee

Age: 77

Occupation: Former cabaret dancer doing charity work in the community; Founder of the Grant Avenue Follies 2003

Education: Galileo High School Graduate

Awards: Jefferson Award 2002,

Miss Chinatown 1967

Residence: San Francisco, CA

To learn more about the Grant Avenue Follies, go to:


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