Rap and Races

In the music industry many subcultures of music have existed. some fizzle out and die while others grow and change into another form of music with a separate identity.  With sub cultures of music I would like to bring up Asian rapper Tai Mai Shu who was a Napster sensation back in the early 2000’s.  Tai Mai Shu’s name alone was a pun and a bash at Asian cultures.  Although, most of Tai Mai Shu’s lyrics are comedic some of his lyrics exemplify the importance that Asian American families put on education and school work.  Below is a link where you can watch and listen to the entire Chinese rap.


 Growing up as a Chinese American I don’t feel as though Asian Americans have made any appearances or show an identity when it comes to the “Rap game”.  Most of the time Asian rappers have not been given an identity in the sub culture of Rap and music.  In most of my experiences with rappers being Asian, they are being used to show mockery or poke fun at Asian Culture.  With Asian people such as Tie Mai Shu who does rap parodies to poke fun at Asian people still recieving more publicity than that of serious Asian Artists, how will an Asian Identity ever surface in the Rap Culture?  


Most people when they think of Rappers are of the alpha male african americans in music videos or of other famous White rappers like Eminem who have been able to break through into the sub culture of Rap and create a white identity where there was none.  Another artist who was able to create a similar identity through his difference is Brother Ali.  BRother Ali is a Rapper who has been born with Albinism.  Through his differences of being albino and having little to no skin pigmentation I believe it has actually helped his career in creating positive press or public attention.  I believe once people can accept something different and start seeing that identities are more than skin deep then we begin to make steps into a more accepting culture.  With people of different ethnic backgrounds such as Eminem  and Brother Ali entering onto the scene in Rap music it is only time until we will begin to see more ethnicities diverge onto a popular genre and see artists emerge who are talented.



One thought on “Rap and Races

  1. Do you think Eminem and Brother Ali move beyond traditional rap? As you note, part of their appeal is that they are “different” than other rappers. But do you think they authentically adapted rap?

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