In this particular post I will be mentioning representations of Asian Americans in music and how exactly there type of music impacts the Asian culture. For the longest time I did not know that rapper/pop star Nicki Minaj or Onika Tanya Miraj (given name) was of East Indian descent. I believe the reason that I did not know this is because she really does not embrace the fact that she is East Indian through her music. I do not know if she does not embrace her origins because she is scared that people will find her less appealing or if she is just making music based on popular demand. Either way I believe that Nicki Minaj has done wonders for not only East Indian culture but also the entire Asian culture.
She is one of the most popular female music artists at this certain time and I believe that it allows people within the culture to be able to connect with her and idolize her. It allows for a lot of the stereotypes to be lifted with the type of music that she is able to produce. Many would look at East Indian music as just certain instruments playing, but Nicki Minaj has been able to take the pop song industry by storm and create songs that are rather popular in the United and also probably extremely popular in India and other Asian countries. I believe that orientalism can relate to this particular situation. Nicki Minaj is of East Indian descent and many people from that part of the country usually pursue careers in the mathematical or medical fields. Nicki Minaj was never interested in this and she wasn’t born into a family that was particularly well off, she wasn’t given anything she had to pursue a musical career on her own. I believe that this lifts the stereotype that all people from Asia pursue medical or mathematical careers, she is able to inspire people in a completely different way and I believe that she plays a huge role when Asian American kids are looking for representations in music.
I also believe that Nicki is able to help erase the idea of Forever Foreigner. She is of Asian descent, but people do not discriminate or judge based on the fact that her ancestors are from East India. I believe that this is a very crucial step for the Asian culture. The fact that people are able to look beyond Nicki Minaj’s descent and just respect her solely for her music shows that people are beginning to drop the forever foreigner stereotype.
Moving onto the next subject at hand is the type of music that people are listening to these days. Just recently Psy, a South Korean pop singer, took the entire world by storm with his hot single “Gangnam Style”. Although most of the song is in Korean people all over the world were getting hooked to this particular song. It started out as a YouTube sensation and moved onto to be a song that he was performing at some of the more premiere concerts and nationally televised events. These types of situations allow kids who are younger to begin to dream to be exactly Psy and pretty much take the world by storm. He is the type of person that allows Asian teens and young adults the opportunity to be able to idol someone who is similar to them. The fact that he was able to get his song to be played at just about every club and bar in America and also across the world is a huge step for the Asian culture. It allows certain stereotypes to be lifted. Asian-Americans are no longer tied to classical or oriental styled music. They have been given the opportunity to be represented through a different type of music and I believe that it lifts certain stereotypes that link them to a small genres of music. Psy was able to take the world by storm and I believe it is only a matter of time that another Asian/Asian American comes up with a catchy song that will also restructure the music culture as we know it!