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Wait, is this OK?

by toksala | 1737 days ago
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Earlier this week I read about Korean musician MC Mong’s upcoming comeback and had a positive initial reaction being an MC Mong fan. I thought his last couple albums were definitely solid and I really enjoy the fact that he’s a rapper that doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s the kind of guy who seemingly doesn’t mind being the butt of a joke.

Then I paused to think for a second about this new image/style concept… an ‘Indian Boy’. I scratched my head… and asked myself… “Wait, is this OK?” Look at the following images…

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I’m honestly a little torn as to whether these images are humorous or offensive. Now, before we go down the road of adhering to absolute strict political correctness all I’m saying is let’s consider both sides of the coin here.

On one hand, I’m fairly certain there is no ill will here. MC Mong & company found a new/interesting concept direction to pursue and they ran with it. It looks light hearted and fun and I gotta admit it intrigues me enough to stir anticipation for his new release.

On the flip side, the term ‘Indian’ in reference to a Native American is already a bit of a faux pas. Additionally this is a culture that has gone through a long history of various struggles since the discovery of the ‘New World’ by Europeans and continues to be misrepresented in media and contemporary culture to this day. Lastly, if Lil Wayne were to start taking goofy pictures dressed up in a hanbok you can bet your bottom won that he’d be scrutinized by Korean culture, as they criticized anything that could be the least bit offensive.

I don’t think MC Mong’s new concept will really upset many people, especially considering the cultural separation of those involved; but it does make me think a little bit. If no one’s upset is it “no harm, no foul”? Is this a point where we realized we need to lighten up? Or do we need to take a step back and reconsider our predispositions?

Now this is my opinion, but us Koreans as a people often tend to be a culture that can dish it much better than we can take it. Koreans are a proud people, for better or worse but would we be as accepting if the tables were turned?

Something to think about.

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Fried Day WTF

by toksala | 1737 days ago
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OMG. Why is this day not over yet? It’s Friday and we’re fried.  So, to give all our brains a break, we’re going to look at the latest piece of crazy ricocheting around the internet. Yes, it’s true. Dogs wearing bikinis:

The video is of a July 15th doggie fashion show in Taipei, Taiwan. Can someone explain to me why dressing animals up in human clothes is supposed to be cute? I don’t get it. This swimwear thing is a travesty. Animal rights groups should be outraged. WTF, people!!

Details, details:

The pooches wore everything from bathing suits and evening gowns to bridal wear. Chihuahuas and French bulldogs were accompanied by two-legged models to show off the designs made by top Taiwanese dog clothing companies.

The company is hoping to catch the eye of owners who treat their pups like family members.

“I want my dog to dress up like me, just like mother and daughter in the same style dress,” one dog owner told UK’s Metro newspaper.

The designs will be available in China, Japan and Australia. [Source]

Not being clued into the canine fashion world, I thought this dog bikini thing was a new idea. Sadly, I was wrong. Apparently IT IS VERY POPULAR:

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Do you think this is cute? Seriously? This is a crime against the animal kingdom. It makes me want to vomit.

[Hmmm...Maybe this counts as a sick day...Take the afternoon off? Get a start on the weekend?]

Bring on poochie woochies! Yay!

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Hello, Judy? It’s Barack. Congratulations.

by toksala | 1738 days ago
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Say hello to your newest congresswoman. As most expected, Judy Chu has claimed the vacant Los Angeles-area House seat in yesterday’s special election, becoming the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress: Democrat claims US House seat in Calif.

Chu’s victory makes her Southern California’s only Asian American in Congress. The seat was left vacant after Rep. Hilda Solis was named U.S. Labor secretary to the Obama administration.

Most residents in the 32nd Congressional District are Hispanic (64% Hispanic, 20% Asian, % white and 2% black), but Judy Chu assembled a diverse coalition and stressed her ability to work across racial and ethnic lines.

Yesterday, according to the White House Press Secretary, President Obama called up Congresswoman-elect Judy Chu to congratulate and acknowledge her historic victory. The first Chinese American woman elected to Congress — it’s about time!

To read more from Angry Asian Man, visit angryasianman.com.

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Go-Go Makes the World Go Bounce

by toksala | 1739 days ago
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L.S. Films is the brain child of Washington DC natives, Matt Echave and Max Haney.  Their company was founded to produce documentary videos with an emphasis on getting the DC music scene on the map.

From lsfilms2009

Their current project is a documentary on the local Go-Go phenomenon.  Go-Go, a genre of music unique to DC, is best described as a mixture of Funk and Hip-Hop, although many elements have fused into its distinctive sound.

Slump, the percussionist from U.C.B., the Legendary Go-Go Band, grows a third arm and gives NYC a taste of DC’s sound.

Since its birth over thirty years ago, many DC artists have contributed to this indigenous music. Some of its pioneers are the Young Senators (aka the Emperors of Go-Go),  Chuck Brown (its official Godfather), Trouble Funk, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited and Junk Yard Band. Many of these iconic groups share the Go-Go scene with today’s popular artists such as: Back Yard Band, Mambo Sauce, TCB, Wale, and Uncalled 4 Experience. So, this musical subculture continues to evolve and to influence the Hip-Hop scene.

“Beating yo feet” is a unique dance that originated from DC’s Go-Go music. The Beat Ya Feet Kings are one of the top dance crews in DC, here one of the members flexes his new move called “Da Max Payne.”

Over the years Go-Go has been sampled by several main stream artists. Unfortunately, the genre is barely recognized on a national or international level.  For the past year and a half L.S. Films has been documenting the Go-Go scene and other live music in the DC area. Quite the buzz has been spread through their YouTube and Vimeo pages.  This multi-faceted documentary, will show the “Real DC” by including interviews with top artists and live Go-Go performances. The still-untitled film is scheduled for release in early 2010.

Wale, a DC rapper singed to Allido/Interscope Records, is helping spread the Go-Go sound on a national level.  Here he performs his mixtape mash-up hit “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.”  where he fuses styles of gogo, hip-hop, and even some grunge-rock.


Written by Matt Echave for Nomadic Wax
L.S. Films LLC
contact: echavematt_at_gmail.com

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Guinea Bissauan Rappers Use Hip Hop to Speak Out

by toksala | 1741 days ago
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After the recent wave of political assassinations in Guinea Bissau, international media have seized the opportunity to label the West African country a lost cause.  Refusing to become discouraged or complacent, the youth of Guinea Bissau has been working to combat this image through powerful hip hop narratives filled with critique as well as hope.

In immediate response to the assassinations, seven Guinea Bissau emcees came together to record a three-track compilation expressing their responses to the killings and the larger context surrounding the political situation.  The emcees tell the stories of their personal struggles and their national identities, bringing light to an otherwise darkly painted story.

The unity embodied by the hip hop movement and by the mix tape itself serves to attract positive media attention to Guinea Bissau, often written off as a “narco-state.”  The BBC has reported that the recent assassinations can be traced to “the fingerprints of drug trafficking,” and international media at large tends to report the “outsider view,” devoting little attention to nuance in a situation that can too easily be classified as hopeless.

On May 23rd, Cobiana Records, founders of the hip hop collective, along with Big UP GB and others, hosted Guinea Bissau’s first hip hop festival.  Acting as a powerful symbol of national solidarity, the festival filled the capital’s Lino Correia Stadium.  While the Bissau emcees have just begun to receive international media recognition, they enjoy a great deal of popularity and influence among Guinean youth.  They are also highly sought after by political contenders, though the movement does not intend to endorse a particular candidate.

BIG UP GB mixtape (the making of video) from Nomadic Wax on Vimeo.

The mix tape, produced by Cobiana Records and Nomadic Wax, epitomizes hip hop’s potential to instigate social change.  The tape’s lyrics promote the need for betterment of Guinea Bissau and its citizens.  ”This isn’t a solution; we need an innovation:  for people to have a spirit of forgiveness,” raps Guinean artist NB.  ”We’re not able to talk?” asks Emcee H.  ”Guineans, please let’s come together / Guinea, let’s come together / We’re all brothers and sisters.”

bigup

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