When it comes to the hip-hop scene Asian Americans have always had a place, and now they feel it’s their time to shine brighter.
From sharing stages with the world’s top hip-hop acts, to lyrics that raise cultural issues and showcase identity, some of hip-hop music’s most well-traveled Asian American artists came together at the Chinese American Museum for “Represent, Represent: Asian Americans in Hip-Hop.”
The panel featured several prominent Filipino American artists.
No matter which element or ethnicity, it was about camaraderie and coming together to show that, Asians have had a powerful voice in a genre. Their artistry must be used to share their personal stories.
“When hip-hop artists come together, in general, its like we’re one big family its like we have so much love for the art and so much love and respect for the people that contribute to the art form and the overall message for me in building community,” said DJ Kuttin Kandi. “Finding home for the people and then again bring up those platforms of issues to elevate the voices.”
“We’ve always been here its just now were seen. I’m really grateful we’re at the time, we’re being approached — but even beyond being approached, we’re creating our own platforms and taking creative control and learning the business as it exists now, and expanding what that looks like for ourselves,” says Arnel Calvario.
The panel comes as “Crazy Rich Asians” has been on a box office streak, many Asian American entertainers agree that movie can be a breakthrough for everyone.
“The success of that opens the doors, and also its a calling for all of us now together other stories told and to get other cultural representation out there and to do it hopefully in solidarity with each other.”
While the panel lasted just one night, with many thoughts resonating among the crowd, the Chinese American Museum has dedicated several sections to Chinese American musicians, showing that Asians have been part of the hip-hop culture.