12 August 2003

Here's Drew Hu on Chinese-American rapper Jin, currently featured in the New York Times:

So I had all these ambitions to somehow be the foremost Asian American rapper, called MC Wonton, of course (what else?), but now, and this is not really new news, as my kids told me about him, and that he was legit (though of course this is not very meaningful, perhaps, as my kids, while they are useful for "keeping it real" relative, to say, Alric's affection for Eminem, buy into a lot of corporate capitalistic misogynistic materialistic hip hop nonsense), apparently Jin is the act to beat. But it is too early to judge without listening to the music. It just seems a bit too packaged. NMBHS is not really ghetto. He is not a Chinatown native, blah, blah, blah. These issues of authenticity I am familar with, perhaps. I dunno: I suppose it wouldn't hurt to much to go and fucking buy an album. I imagined my own work being more polemical and in Chinglish [Ed: Really? Explain!], less foregrounding my ethnicity than speaking from it, like my self-racist fiction, perhaps. Worth thinking about.

Granted, I can't imagine Drew writing a line like "Every time they harass me, I wanna explode/We should ride the train for free/We built the railroads." Also, I'm not sure what the Times means by calling Jin "a less angry Eminem," because Eminem without his anger would just be a novelty act. No comment on Alric's affection for him, though.

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