Jin was quite the rage in the United States. He was a novelty getting all the media attention. He was the Chinese kid who could rap. He won competitions on the Black Entertainment Television. Then he was signed to a major hip hop record label. His debut album came out in 2004. But his climb in the charts never matched the hype.
“Oftentimes, history isn’t kind to the people who break down the doors,” says Jeff Chang, who now runs Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. “Jin was trying to basically break the old mold of Asian-Americans being sort of kung fu artists or the folks who kind of stood in the background to play the supporting role. And so it might have simply been a case of Jin being there too early,” Chang told NPR
NPR recently caught up with Jin and a lot has happened since then.
Universal Music Hong Kong rereleased his album ABC in that country in 2008 and Jin’s career took off. He is now a full on entertainer seen in TVs and movies in Hong Kong.
“I went out [to Hong Kong and] three months turned into six months, six months turned into a year, a year turned into two, to three,” Jin says, “and I’ve been there for four years now.”
Until now. Jin has returned to the United States and wants to give a career here one more shot. He’s released a new album appropriately titled Brand New Me. At age 3o, anything is possible.