Filed under: Events | Tags: apature, asian american, hip hop, kearny street, pacific islander
Reminder! I’ll be in the Bay this weekend starting TONIGHT! Here’s a quick overview of where I’m djing:
Thursday 9.25: Devil’s Pie – Namu Bar, SF
Friday 9.26: LIBRE – Poleng Lounge, SF
Saturday 9.27 (day): APAture: API Hip Hop Workshop – Space 180, SF [JUST ADDED!]
Saturday 9.27 (night): Basic – EZ5, SF
Sunday 9.28: Soul-Full – Luka’s Taproom & Lounge, Oakland
As you can see above, I, along with Drizzle, am now doing a workshop at the annual APAture, a festival highlighting emerging API artists. The workshop is titled: Asian American Hip Hop for Dummies: Race, Popular Music, & Authenticity, and is basically a discussion focusing on analyzing and critiquing notions of what “real” hip hop is and how Asian Pacific-Islander Americans fit into the whole scheme of things. Also, we’ll be exposing folks to all the API hip hop out there that we’ve come across doing our Apex Express API Hip Hop radio show on KPFA.
For more information, click on the flyer:
Filed under: Music, Video | Tags: asian american, fuck song, james iha, luna, siamese dream, smashing pumpkins
* Ok, so “fuck song” a misleading category for this song, but hopefully it got your attention.
The year is 1994. I’m in 7th Grade. My family has just purchased its first CD player in the form of a Sony boombox. The homie lets us borrow his Smashing Pumpkin’s Siamese Dream cd. My dad dubs it onto a cassette for me. I fall in love.
Siamese Dream was the first full album I ever listened to in its entirety. To this day, I consider it a perfect album. “Spaceboy” was the only song I would skip, but that’s only because my dad accidentally dubbed it twice: it ended the A-Side and started the B-Side (whatchu 90s babies know about cassettes?!).
“Luna” ends Siamese Dream with a chorus of overdubbed Billy Corgans singing “I’m in love with you..” over and over again. “Luna” also ended every single love mixtape I ever made.
Note: James Iha, the other guitarist in Smashing Pumpkins, is the first Asian American countercultural pop music idol in my life. We wanted so bad to be like him. Even planned on growing my hair long like him; but you know where that went.
Filed under: Music | Tags: aquarium, asian american, kid cudi, man on the moon, nosaj, nosaj thing, the change up, untapped sounds
Listening to the Kid Cudi mixtape, there’s this one instrumental he spits over for the song “Man On The Moon (The Anthem)” that I SWORE I knew but couldn’t put my finger on…shit bothered me for a long time.
But, while preparing to jog around the Lake this morning, the trusty shuffle mode of iTunes solved my mystery! (Am I the only one that thinks there’s a secret magic psychic formula used to program iTunes’ shuffle mode?)
The instrumental is produced by LA based musician Nosaj Thing. The song is called “Aquarium” and was featured on a compilation by indie hip hop/electronic label Untapped Sounds called The Change Up, which I got my hands on around 2006.
PS: Nosaj Thing’s real name is Jason Chung. That’s right, he’s a fellow Asian American! YEEEE!
Filed under: Music, The Isms | Tags: asian, asian american, bad dancing, class, fflood, hate, kingman's, lucky lounge, magic milkcrates, oakland, privilege, race, racism, self hate, white people
First one to guess who this guy is wins an Asian American Hip Hop for Dummies CD
So, I was substituting for fellow selector dj fflood at his Saturday weekly, Magic Milkcrates (fflood is an amazing selector and dj. There’s no other night in Oakland with better music), at Kingman’s Lucky Lounge this past weekend when I was reminded of something:
I hate djing for privileged/suburban-bred Asian Americans.
Yes, charge me with self hate. I plead the 5th.
I get there at 9pm to start djing. It’s gonna be a long night so I called on another amazing Bay Area selector and music tastemaker, Ms. Lovelee to come in and relieve me for an hour. When I get there, already there’s a group of yuppy business professionals getting hammered in the back. One hour into my set of downtempo soul & old school classics, one of them, an East Asian (the type is of Asian is important) woman, comes up to me and asks, not rudely, if I was going to play anything faster. Now, as 10-year veteran of djing, I’m used to requests, both rude or otherwise, and have been able to channel zen-like responses (on the outside) to such requests. Here’s a lesson for you beginner request takers: when most ignorant drunk muhfuckas ask for something “faster,” they mean something that’ll match their drunken energies more, not necessarily something with a higher tempo. So, anyway, I tell this woman, calmly with a smile, “Yea, later, the night’s just beginning…”
At 11pm, Lovelee comes just in time to give me a break and we switch at 11:30pm. At this time, I’m playing old school HITS like Yarbrough & Peoples “Don’t Stop the Music” and Eric B. & Rakim “Paid in Full” Coldcut remix: shit that slap. Lovelee gets on and drops the classic “Hypnotize” sample, Herb Albert’s “Rise.” Now, as a song, “Rise” is fire: that bassline is undeniable, and the horns build you up to the break perfectly. As the recognizable part of the song (cue the intro to “Hypnotize” in your head) drops, the same East Asian girl comes up to me, a little more drunk, and asks in an annoyed tone:
“Can you play something faster? Like reggae? We’re here to party.”
“You don’t like this music?” I ask playfully.
“No, this isn’t music…”
“THIS ISN’T MUSIC”?! fuck you. suck my choad, or as Erykah said to a hater: “Kiss my placenta.”
In my racial hierarchy of audiences-I’d-rather-not-dj-for, privileged/suburban Asian Americans rank first. They have the same bad musical tastes as privileged white people, BUT white people dance to anything and everything. These Asian Americans tend to sit there with their disgustingly-sweet fruit-based alcoholic beverage in front of them, talking shit about any music they don’t recognize; then scream and jump as they rush to the dance floor when you play “Ditty” or “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”; only to sit back down if you play something out of their paper thin range of musical knowledge. I could even play something they love like Jack Johnson, and they still wouldn’t dance, because it might not be “fast enough.”
Like I said, white folks dance, albeit without any sense of rhythm, to anything and everything. I’d rather laugh at bad dancing then withstand the hateful glares coming from my own peoples.
Laugh at this: